The A's have been in Oakland since 1968. They've had a lot of bad seasons to go along with the four World Championships. But they have never gone 11-straight games scoring three runs or less. Until now. They've also now lost eight in a row.
And wouldn't you know that the final opportunity to get the A's back into the game would come down to Kurt Suzuki. Zuke is going to have to learn quickly to protect that outer half of the plate with two strikes. Something Kendall knew better than pretty much any player in baseball. Still, I'm really happy that the Suzuki era has started. He made a great play and tag on Gerald Laird who was clearly out, but Marvin Hudson didn't exactly bring his "A" game to the park tonight. The whole umpiring crew was a bit shaky as Sosa was clearly safe at second on Kotsay's throw when Sosa was tagging to go from first to second.
I do like Suzuki and think he's going to be good. But we'll probably have to take our lumps on a nightly basis while he learns his way around. If you want to get to know him a little better, be sure to read the AN interview back when he was with Stockton.
Tonight was one of those games showing a flaw in the A's offense. They wound up with five walks, but no one seemed able to come through with a hit at the right time. Still, it sometimes seems easy to get these guys to walk. The problem has always been what to do with these guys once they do actually make it to first base. But again, the story tonight is all about Jason Kendall. Believe it or not, there are many Cubs fans celebrating Kendall's arrival. I guess the situation can always get worse with a catcher.
It's a difficult night in that, as several ANers pointed out, Kendall was involved with some of the most memorable A's wins the last couple of seasons. How much this adversely impacts the A's pitchers remains to be seen, but the A's pitchers were already starting to go in the other direction any way. So if they have a rough outing the next time out, we can't blame Kendall. I pointed out that Haren and Gaudin both have ERAs above 5 in July.
I do wish the best of luck to Jason. Maybe he can help the Cubbies break their curse. Heck, Foulke helped the Red Sox do it and Dye helped the White Sox do it. At the same time, I'm really glad to turn the page to the future. I wonder whether we're also going to see Barton soon. And DJ moved as well. It's going to get very interesting around AN over the next 15 days even if they aren't all that interesting on the field. Or scoring any runs.