The A's should've won this game. Ron Flores should not have pitched to Jason Michaels. Flores has gone into a deep funk on the road trip and has been smacked around and if you look at Flores' stats, he is much better against lefties than righties. Even still, he would've given up the lead to Sizemore a few batters earlier had it not been for one of the best catches I've ever seen. Nick Swisher made what should be one of the best Web gems of 2007. At the same time, it isn't exactly like Ruddy Lugo is a much better choice. You've kind of have to pick your poison with this assortment of bullpen arms right now. And the choice to have Casilla go two innings last night did wind up biting the team in the butt today because he was unavailable. The A's are back to the Island of Misfit Toys in the pen. Geren probably looks down there and goes, "Hmmmm, Colby Lewis, Ruddy Lugo or Ron Flores? Hey Latch, pour me another whiskey."
Yet, the A's drop the series 3 games to one and now head into New York to face the Yankees. I'm hoping that Nick Swisher doesn't have anything wrong with him. Because the last thing this team needs is to lose its number three hitter because then you're going to see Chavez back in the three or four spot. Although I still think Chavez looked like a different batter these last two games. He got his RBI because he went the other way. It's like he suddenly decided to try and put the ball where it's pitched rather than try and pull everything.
And despite the double for Crosby today, my patience is running thin with the supposed shortstop prodigy. He lost all kinds of balance on a swing against Borowski because he was trying for a bomb. Just keep the freaking inning going, Croz. Please. I did think when Kotsay got a hold of the ball that it was going to drop for a brief second. Albeit it was a smidge too brief. And I'll be honest that I was screaming for Buck to hit for Kendall in that inning. Kendall proved me wrong. And I really thought Stewart was going to come through since he was the man of the hour. Still, if the A's didn't take the lead in that top of the ninth, you're dealing with the bullpen issue and the A's aren't likely to come up with a win in a matchup against too many bullpens right now. You've basically got Casilla and Embree (if Embree isn't tired) and that's it. The rest of the pen has to have you wanting to sniff glue.
It's basically up to the starter right now to get through at least seven right now if they want a chance for the win and even then it's still a tossup. Blanton pitched well today against a very good offense, but it wasn't enough. Dan Johnson did have four hits today and is hopefully getting out of the huge tailspin he went into. I'm just worried about Swisher right now. The A's need Nick to be healthy or the outlook is not so good for our boys in green and gold. Cust can't carry the offense by himself.
Any way, it was a frustrating seven games for this team. The A's sit at 1-6 on the road trip now and head into one of the tougher places in baseball to win. 2-5 would've looked a lot better and then maybe if you can win two of three in NY, you come home 4-6. Now the best they can do is 4-6 and that's with a sweep. And with the state of the A's pen, that's highly unlikely.
On a side note, the Cleveland announcers are soooooo annoying. Here is a sampling of things they said throughout the series (paraphrased):
"Pronk (Travis Hafner) is pacing in the on-deck circle like a caged tiger just wanting a chance."
My response: A caged tiger? Really? What's this, a Siegfried and Roy show?
"Despite Borowski's 6 ERA, he's been awesome this year and only really had two games that he'd like to have back."
My response: Yeah, he has two blown saves. Good call, master obvious. But he's also giving up a ton of hits and eventually you will learn like the Cubs did that Borowski isn't someone you want closing games regularly.
"Can Jack Cust hit against any other teams that don't have Indians on the uniform?"
My response: Uh, Cust has hit the Indians well, but he's got a .352 average in June and a 1.030 OPS over the season. Not all 287 ABs have come against the Tribe. I know you meant this in jest, but it just sounds ill-informed.
And the most annoying which they repeated ad nauseum throughout:
"Wow, the Indians are really crushing the ball but they just keep hitting them right at people. Yeah, I'm tired of these at-em balls."
My response: This goes under the "our team can do no wrong" category. So many announcers fall into this trap, even if their team stinks. I'm really surprised about it, but I guess I shouldn't be. So many of these guys are basically marketing tools for the public to eat up. Ah, it makes you appreciate Vin Scully and Ken Korach that much more.
Now some of these things may be factual, but really, you guys just come across as tools (not the marketing kind either). Sometime in the near future, I'm going to put up a post that has all of the moronic things these other announcers say. I love MLB.TV because I get to watch all the A's games, but the biggest negative about it is I've been subjected to the other team's announcer about 80 percent of the time this year. Twice I've been able to actually see the pictures of the game and hear Ken Korach call play-by-play. Those have been heavenly. But the rest of baseball has got some really crappy guys doing TV. Holy s%&# do they stink.
Much like this loss.