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I kind of wish this game would count for fifteen, and the A’s could be right back in it, but I think I have to face the sad reality of the fact that we’ve just finished a series with the 2007 American League West champions. That sentence even hurts to type. I can’t see the appeal of this Angels team, except, of course, for their superstar. Love him. But their pitchers are arrogant and annoying, their announcers are [insert your own adjective here], and their manager is Mike Scioscia. Enough said.

I suppose it would be a small victory for the A’s to finish at .500, but it seems such a hollow goal, especially when next season seems as suspect as this one. I envy the Angels’ Vlad; I envy the Yankees’ A-Rod, and I miss having that one player in the lineup that can make all the difference in the offense. I have hoped for years that Eric Chavez could be that player, and I think despite management’s hope for him and Crosby, the more time goes by, the less likely this seems.

On a related note, the story of today’s game definitely involved Donnie Murphy, who was a huge part of the offense, going 3 for 4 in the contest with a homerun. I’ve said it before, and I know I’m working off ridiculously small sample sizes here, but if I had any say in the matter, he’d be the first-string shortstop, barring an off-season pickup. Our announcers gave us a half an inning song-and-dance of how Crosby is looking forward to a whole off-season of recovery and conditioning, and I just don’t buy it anymore. I don’t have the slightest bit of optimism regarding Bobby Crosby’s career, and I’m willing to put that in writing, even if I have to revisit this post next year, when Crosby wins the MVP and the fake Comeback Player award.

As long as we’re talking about baseball’s little disappointments, I have to say that I am stunned at how poorly Nick Swisher has performed this season. It’s like he has lost his will to play baseball, and for whatever reason (today’s late-inning double notwithstanding), he has seemingly lost all of the talent that made me think he would be great. And boy did the A’s need him; when a team is down to batting Marco Scutaro second and Piazza third, they are hurting for players who can hit a baseball.

But it’s not all storm clouds and rainy days after today. The A’s had a solid win today; Joe Blanton settled down and pitched very well in his outing, and Ellis hit another homerun, setting an A’s record for second basemen with 17 in a season. Congratulations, Mark Ellis!

The A’s take the game by the final score of 6-2 and they head to Texas to take on the Rangers starting on Friday. I look forward to seeing more of Donnie Murphy.

And to get you through the off-day, be sure to read 'Getting Ziggy With It' right below this post!