Tonight's win, the usual "fall behind 2-0, climb on Thomas' back" winapalooza, ended with a dilemma made more interesting by the Angels' impending visit that is now just around the corner. On Friday, the games become more important--not 100 times more important, but exactly twice as important, as a win against the Indians reduces the magic number by one while a win over the Angels reduces the magic number by two.
The A's know they need to grab every win they can, no matter whom they are playing, and so Justin Duchscherer and Huston Street were both called on yesterday in a game that wound up not even offering a save situation. Tonight, Duchscherer finished the 8th inning, pitching for the second night in a row. Duke could have pitched the 9th, but when Street got the call it meant each has now worked two days in a row. But before the Angels come calling, there's still one game against Cleveland, a game half as important as each of the three that follows but a game that is still a heck of a lot more important than an off-day.
Do you want to see Duchscherer pitch for a third day in a row tomorrow if the A's have a chance to win? Do you want to see Street pitch for a third day in a row tomorrow if the A's have a chance to win? Should Duchscherer, who has proven himself capable as a closer, albeit over a smaller sample size, have finished up tonight to avoid facing these dilemmas going into the Angels series?
And would we even have the luxury of such a discussion were it not for the awesome settle-down job by Loaiza and the 3-4 punch known as Milton Bradley and Frank Thomas?