I put the blame for this loss squarely on the shoulders of Huston Street. Street had a remarkable rookie season and was heralded as the second coming of Mariano Rivera.
He hasn't been any such thing this year. He's blown three out of 11 save opportunities and he's almost blown as many saves this season as all of last year (4). But we'll come back to that.
The A's have lost a series at home to a team that had won only three games all season away from Kansas City. The truth is that this likely does make the A's the worst team in baseball right now. That doesn't mean that they're going to be the worst all season or even a week from now, but right now, this team is just pulling a May '05 routine.
On top of it all, Eric Chavez left the game with a bruised left hand, which we all know could mean anything from a bruised left hand to gout to hand, foot and mouth disease to a missing kidney. That would leave the A's offense with Nick Swisher and, uh, Nick Swisher.
All that positive energy surrounding the impending return of players like Bradley, Harden and possibly Duchscherer is now tempered with the reality that the only other consistent offensive performer this year could be down. Now there's no reason to overreact, except that this is the way the A's season has been going.
It would be foolhardy to call the season over at this juncture, but every single sign seems to be pointing to the water rolling around in the sink. Whether it makes it to the drain is another question. The fact remains that this team is just bad right now.
The offense can't score and when they do, the starting pitching or bullpen isn't there. When the starting pitching pitches well, the offense can't score. When the starting pitching struggles, the offense might score, but then the bullpen implodes.
Which brings me back to my original point...Street is suddenly hittable (nearly .300 batting average against this year - .194 batting average against last year). The A's absolutely needed this win tonight to just stop this miserable slide, and Huston couldn't step up. That doesn't mean that he won't turn things around. It's just par for the course in the life of an Oakland A's fan right now.
On the sliver of a positive side, Crosby seemed to suddenly find his stroke tonight and Gaudin was impressive in relief. He should get more opportunities now. It isn't like the other bullpen guys have earned much trust.