It’s hard to know how the 9th would have gone had the score been different, since had it been closer Nathan might have been from the beginning and if you believe AN, had the score been closer Chavez would have been compelled to pop up anyway. Still, you can’t help but look back and realize that the Twins’ 3 runs off Lenny DiNardo all could easily not have scored.
In a “be careful what you wish for” scenario, Mark Kotsay was benched and Nick Swisher showed why even in 2007 Kotsay is the superior CFer. Swisher’s poor jump on Castillo’s lead-off double cost the A’s a run in the 3rd. Then DiNardo got snake bit again in the 4th, when Castillo blooped a two-run single even Kendall would have been tempted to throw back (on a hop, of course). But for that, DiNardo and the A’s (probably Casilla) might have matched Santana’s zeros and the 9th inning might have been more than just a good try, a little momentum going into tomorrow, and a Friday the 13thian ending that required 87 replays to conclude that “yup, it was durn close”. (Personally, I think Stewart was out, albeit barely, but it wasn’t an obvious call either way—LIKE, SAY, THE BALL FOULED OFF BARTLETT’S FOOT!)
I’ll leave you with this “glimmer of hope” thought. The next four games, the A’s will face Carlos Silva, Boof Bonser, Robinson Tejeda, and Jamey Wright. Remember, it is always darkest before the dawn. Let’s hope dawn comes tomorrow, because right now the A’s are the sun: Sinking slowly in the West.