Look out everyone, the A's have a new leading home run hitter. After seeing his lengthy locks shorn in the most recent homestand, I was concerned that Nick Swisher would have seen the source of his power drained away with every scissor snip. But we've learned that when all else fails, a quick visit to Camden Yards will do ya good, as Swisher bombed a three run shot for his third home run in as many days against the Birds.
With the home run, Swisher raised his season total to 9, trumping the once-heroic Jack Cust, whose 8 home runs remained steady as the A's designated hitter went 0-10 on the series, seeing his once lofty average continue its freefall all the way down to .231. Was the mighty Cust a one-week wonder? Or is even he allowed a slump?
Which brings me to the next topic - finding hitting options where there weren't any before. Adam Melhuse, in an extremely rare start, was two for three, with a walk, raising his average to .227, and reminding us that, yes, you can actually get offense from the catching position. Unfortunately for us, and for Adam's cause, his pitch calling and throwing didn't do him any favors, as Joe Blanton got tagged for 8 runs and 10 hits in 6 innings, with five stolen bases (none caught) thrown in. A nice shutout could have quieted those Kendall apologists still out there who claim our sub-Mendoza marvel is the better option behind the plate. Adam, thanks for the offense, but you missed a great opportunity to help your cause in a big way.
And Miggy? Why does thou hate us so? We preferred the time when you were an easy out against us (see: Friday's game) and not this new model who posted the Orioles' first two runs on the board, putting the A's in a deficit from which they would never recover. We didn't like yesterday's homer either, so cut it out. As for Mora's homer, we get that. The man's got six mouths to feed at home and has to put food on the table. More power to him. Should we ever be ahead comfortably against the Orioles in future games, I wouldn't go against our staff grooving a pitch to the man now and again.
But by Joe, just when we thought we could win today's game, following Swisher's blast, we had to have our hopes crushed again. After Melhuse couldn't throw out Roberts or Patterson in a double steal on a day when the O's ran wild, Markakis finished us off with a 3-run bomb. And that's not approved.
With the series complete, the A's see their record fall to one below .500, a full six games behind the hated Halos. But don't you worry, May is almost over, and the calendar gods will shine our way soon. Right?