Some thoughts on today's game:
- I think the game was lost when Haren was allowed to pitch the sixth inning. He was uncharacteristically wild all day, and boy, did the walks cost him. Not just in extra runs, but more in pitches thrown. And there is NO reason why he starts the 6th inning. Everyone in the world knew he was done after five, it was his turn to bat with two runners in scoring position, and he not only didn't record an out in the sixth, but gave up two more runs, turning a comfortable 7-2 lead into a save situation. Macha, you can't manage the bullpen by being worried about Loaiza tomorrow! Try and win the series today, and tomorrow will just have to sort itself out. How is that so hard to understand?! Street never should have had to be used today.
- I don't remember loving any A's player, maybe ever, in my years and years of watching baseball, more than Nick Swisher. I love him. An unhealthy amount.
- Not to be stereotypical of any fans, or gender, but REALLY. What woman in her right mind, when Nick Swisher practically ends up in her lap, would get out of the way, unless she was trying to help him catch the ball, in which case she would have to be an A's fan, and clearly since she was dressed for a country club, and not a baseball game, she must have been a Giants' fan. <rim shot>
- Did they dig today's announcers out of the "Rejects of the YES Network" scrap pile? How out of the loop do you have to be to argue that Kendall is not a punch-and-judy hitter? Jason Kendall is the DEFINITION of that moniker! And no, I don't agree with your assessment of Finley as a HOFer. And, no I also don't believe you when you say that the NL has an edge in Interleague play because their pitchers are better hitters; I kind of think that the AL has the advantage because they have...um...better players. Your in-game assessments suggest...um...maybe that you not only don't watch a lot of A's baseball, but baseball in general? Perhaps football is more your speed?
- On that note, according to the announcers (who I'm pretty sure took a couple of innings to realize that they were watching a baseball game), from 1999 to the present, the A's are two hundred games over .500 from June on. That is the most insane number I have ever heard of in the stat-heavy game of baseball. Offer any explanation you want for the phenomenon, but it doesn't make it any less of a staggering accomplishment. Can we rename April, May, September, and October, "June"?
- Add "shifting strike zone" to the list of things I don't like about the National League. I'm sure Haren and Wright would back me up on that today.
- There's some tension in the land of A's today regarding the extra outfielder situation. Rumor has it (and the rumor mill being the FOX announcers, so take it for what it's worth) that Jay Payton (who has legitimately been on fire lately) was absolutely livid in the clubhouse this morning when he saw that Kielty got the start. Of course, the announcers had their own opinion on why Payton was so mad, "According to the numbers, Payton is great in day games and Kielty is bad". Sure. That's the reason. And JayPay? Just a hint, darlin'. When you are frustrated about your playing time, you probably want to have a good at-bat when you do get one, and you also may want to do the little things, like going all the way to first base, and trying to be a good sport when your team is in the middle of an unbelievable streak of good play. I'm just sayin'. He might be seeing less playing time after today's stunt.
- Bobby Crosby has turned a corner. He had an absolutely beautiful hit in the first inning--after Swisher "struck out" and Chavvy K'd--where he didn't try to do anything except slap a single out there to collect the run. He also had a big two-out walk in the third, setting the table for Kielty and Johnson, and another hit in the fifth, which he followed up with a stolen base.
- Kendall had some good ABs today, and despite the early DP, Marco Scutaro had to be a positive force in the game today. He had a darn good swing in the sixth on the double, and he made a heck of a defensive play to save a couple of runs.
- I hate when your closer has a stressful 8th and has to come back out for the ninth. I also hate stupid losses like this. We should have won.
Our nerves may be shot, our nails may be bitten to the quick, our heart may be on the verge of breaking at all times but somehow, some way, we're the fan base of the what is still the hottest team in June. Feels good, doesn't it? <collapses> Yuck.
<rouses self for one final announcement>
Come to AN DAY THREE! Have a heart attack IN PERSON!