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2 Innings of Pleasure, 7 of Pain

As A's games go, today's was fairly unusual. Prior to first pitch this afternoon, the A's offense had reached double digits on only 9 occasions so far this year. Similarly, the team's pitching had only given up double figures in runs in 7 contests. In none of those games did both happen.

Logically speaking, that should have meant the A's 10-7 lead in the top of the 7th inning would be considered "safe". But it wasn't any more "safe" than the Mariners 6-0 lead in the 2nd or 7-3 margin in the 3rd, because the A's bullpen dramatically collapsed, before our eyes, just as the Mariners' had, when Reitsma and O'Flaherty played the roles of punching bags. Santiago Casilla bottomed out after a questionable hanging pitch to Beltre, later giving a bomb to Ben Broussard, and Huston Street made us wonder what he'd done with the one-time rookie of the year who went by the same name. While he gave up only two "earned" runs in his 2/3 innings of work, two more scored due to a wild throw to first, which was his doing.

In fact, for those who track these types of things, you'd be interested to know the most similar game to today's was last September 25th, when the A's lost 10-9 to these Seattle Mariners, in Seattle. In that game, Street came into the game in the 9th, up 9-6, and gave up 3 runs. The winning pitcher in that game? Some guy named J.J. Putz.

The A's got off on the wrong foot in this game, when Lenny DiNardo didn't impress anybody with his three innings of seven run ball. And while the top of the A's order did their part to put runs on the board, and get on base, the 6-7-8 hitters were a complete washout, as most would expect, considering who we trotted out there.

In fact, while the A's 1-5 batters were a combined 9 for 22 (.409) with 10 RBI, the 6-9 hitters went 4-17 (.235) with no RBI, although Suzuki did score 3 runs following two hits and a walk.

Even in a game where the A's scored 10 runs, throwing out half a lineup wasn't enough to beat the healthy Mariners. While we've seen so many games this season where the hitters let down the pitchers, today, the shoe was on the other foot, and we've got the bootprint to prove it.