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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

This is actually by Nico. Because of a big-time hiccup in the server, Nico had to go to bed before AN could come back to life. - Blez

Blue Jays 5, A's 4. The Blue Jays scored 3 runs in the 7th inning off of Andrew Brown to snap a 2-2 tie, then held on as the A's scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th before Shannon Stewart grounded out to strand the tying and winning runs.

Scoring two early and two late was fun, but ultimately the not bothering to score for 7 innings thing caught up to the A's. What stands out to me about this game is the importance of defense to a team like Oakland. We know the pitching is very good and we know the hitting is very mediocre. As a result, the A's play a lot of tight, low-scoring games and often the difference in those games is the play made or not made.

Who are the favorite whipping boys of late? Gotta be Chavez, Crosby, and Kotsay. Tonight we saw Jack Hannahan drop a foul pop up that Chavy catches in his sleep. In that same 8th inning, in a play that very well could have decided this game, Scutaro dove for and couldn't get to Rios' base hit. Does Crosby get there, by virtue either of his superior range or simply his 6' 3" frame? Hard to know. Earlier, Swisher missed, and played into a triple, a ball that I have to think Kotsay puts away with relative ease. The A's don't just have a makeshift batting order right now, they have a makeshift defense, and it shows.

Give that makeshift batting order credit for one thing, though. It was the bottom of the order, Scutaro, Hannahan, and Suzuki, that gave the A's life with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. They may be AAAs, but at least they battled.

I'll leave you with one random bit of "glass fullery". If I recall correctly, in 1999 the A's pennant race hopes were dashed when the team followed up a 6 game winning streak with a 6 game losing streak, similar to what these A's have just done. Those A's weren't good enough to get to post-season, but the team would go on to make the playoffs each of the next four years. Make of it what you will, we haven't won for nearly a week; it's the best I can do.