Memo of the week to the A's offense: In general, if you think that the umpires are not calling a consistent game at the plate, why in the world are you taking ANYTHING remotely close to the plate with two strikes? Striking out looking should NOT be an option unless the pitch is clearly not a strike, in which case, the onus really is on the umpire.
For a few scary innings there for a while, it looked like this game would be a repeat of the two previous. Being down four is never a good recipe for an A's win. But the team battled back, and even after "Frank being Frank" cut the deficit to three, the A's didn't stop the scoring. A six-spot in an inning will usually take you where you want to go, and by the end of the sixth inning, the A's looked in fine position to salvage a game of the series.
Then came the seventh inning. Looking for some combination of Flores, Gaudin, JFK, Calero, and/or Duke to take us home, color me surprised when Witasick started the inning, and Sauerbeck followed him. Amnesiac727 summed it up best in the game thread:
The A's announcers were slightly nicer about it, saying something to the effect of "Witasick is more a '10 runs up, or 10 runs down' pitcher."
I'd like to say that Blanton pitched well for the win today, but let's be honest. The "W" stat is somewhat flawed. However, to be fair, Texas has one of the toughest offenses in the league, and they have pounded better pitchers than Blanton. To his credit, he was able to hang in there longer than I thought he would.
It's official: Jason Kendall is awesome. What an amazing day--both at the plate, where he nearly had a perfect day; flirting heavily with .300, and behind it, where he had to handle approximately 70,000 pitchers today.
Kotsay's hit may turn out to be the biggest hit of September; turning a loss into a win with insurance, and it was good to see Milton Bradley give himself a mid-game pep-talk and come off the deck for his last two at-bats.
Oh, and Duke is as rock-solid as any closer right now.
One thing I'd like to add from this series: In my comparison of Texas, Anaheim, and the A's from a couple of weeks ago, I think I sold Texas' defense short. They are much closer to the A's caliber than the Angels'. Speaking of, the Angels keep it a 5 ½ deficit with yet another win today, but something for the A's to keep in mind: If they can just win or split the next seven series', Anaheim can win every other game, and it won't matter.
Here's to hoping! Enjoy the off-day!