Hey, the A’s win!!!! Calero got an out!!! Embree got a four-out save! We never doubted it for a minute!!
<drags self out from under couch>
<pries fingernails out of palms>
Okay, first the happy part. The A’s win! Yay! And I guess that’s kind of what is of first importance here. Credit Danny Haren with yet another gem, lowering his ERA to a stupid 1.70, and despite the A’s best efforts, he got a win! Swisher provided almost all the offense himself with a two-run homerun, and the winning run was provided by a sac fly from Bocachica. Dan Johnson turned a beautiful, potential-game-changing 3-6 double-play in the seventh, and the A’s defense looked better than Baltimore’s for sure.
But not all is sunshine and rainbows with this win. Let’s look at this logically. We have our closer, and our back-up closer on the DL, and most other good members of our bullpen trying to be starting pitchers, with a very severe drop-off in talent after that. There had better be a darn good reason to pull your starting pitcher, who was flat dealing, after 91 pitches. The only half-way plausible explanation I’ve heard would be the fatigue from the heat, but I would think that even Haren at 80% would be better than any other option for the eighth and ninth. I have a cold, cold feeling in my stomach about this situation, because like monkeyball said in the game thread, unlike all of us who, at the beginning of the season, thought losing Harden would mean losing the year, in actuality, we should rewrite the situation missing a "d". The facts don't look good. At a time when our ace should have thrown 110-120 and finished the game himself, he threw merely 91 pitches and left in the seventh. Updates are appreciated, because I know I am panicking.
I have another question for the manager: What else does Kendall have to do (or more correctly, not do) to have you sit him down? Or to put it in ‘We’re all going to die’ terms:
WHY THE &^%$ IS JASON KENDALL STILL PLAYING?!?!?!?
Seriously, Melhuse must be sitting on the bench day after day thinking, "They don’t think I can do better than that?"
In ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY at-bats, Kendall has only TWO extra bases hits; he is batting lower than .190, he is a double-play machine, and a walk or a single by an opposing batter pretty much translates to a double at all times, unless the bases are loaded or Bengie Molina is on first. He cannot hit this year--career .300 average notwithstanding--he can’t throw runners out, he has zero power, and I’m more than ready to test the theory that the starting pitching staff will completely fall apart if Kendall isn’t calling the game. I don’t care if Geren himself wants to catch; just get Kendall out of the lineup because he is DESTROYING our already-shaky offense.
And in the random rant category?
Thanks a lot, stupid Yankees. The only series all year that I want to you win, and you look like the no-talent hacks with single-A pitching that New York thinks you are this year.
And memo to Freddie Bynum. If you have hurt one of the only starting players that we have left by sliding late into second and taking out our Mark Ellis, you will not be well-received in your career as an ex-A. Ellis looked fine, but didn’t stop me from being concerned.
All in all, big win for the A’s. I do give a lot of credit to Embree for hanging in there all the way to the win, but I think the part where we really enjoy this win will come after there is iron-clad proof that Haren is okay.
Update: And he is! He was pulled by the manager; no injury.
A’s take on the O’s again tomorrow night at 4:35pm.