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Four hours and forty-five minutes of suck: Yankees 4, A's 3 (12)

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For Bob Geren's sake, I hope that Wes Bankston dove head-first into the shallow end of the Yankee Stadium visitors' clubhouse jacuzzi in the top of the 12th inning. Because that's the only thing that would have explained pinch-hitting Emil Brown with Mark Ellis on first and 2 outs -- with not only no other first basemen available, but with Rajai Davis (the one hitter on the A's roster worse than Emil) scheduled to bat next.

Don't get me wrong -- the game was not lost right there. (It was lost when Street gave up the tying run in the bottom of the 9th, consigning the A's to either lose right then and there, or to go to extras with no offense of which to speak and Lenny DiNardo as the "second starter" for as far as he could throw in extras.) But it was a real dunderheaded minimizing-the-percentages decision, at the tail end of a tight game where luck and little decisions like this actually make a difference. Inexplicable.

And you really can't blame DiNardo for the result in the bottom of the 12th -- even for loading the bases and hitting Molina to nudge in the losing run. Lenny is what he is ... and a couple innings against the Yankees for what Lenny is is gonna result in a bunch of baserunners and one or two crossing the plate sooner or later.

Heck, Sean Gallagher is not what Lenny DiNardo is, and his 5 innings against the Yankees resulted in a whole lot of baserunners and two crossing the plate.

Gallagher really didn't look that bad; downright impressive at times, in fact -- such as when he K'ed Jeter, Abreu, and A-Rod to escape the tortuous 2nd (when the feeble bottom of the Yanks' order knocked in those 2 runs). The difference between his first start for the A's and this one was the difference in discipline between the Angels and the Yankees: the Angels swung at everything he tossed up there that looked like it might possibly somehow end up in the strike zone, and the Yankees ... didn't. And hit the stuff that did end up in the strike zone.

Chamberlain was better (not by a lot) for the Yanks, but the A's managed to scratch out a run in the 5th, and to drive his pitch count high enough to get to the Yankees' blah pen in the 7th.

Neither closer was on top his game -- Rivera was merely human, but Street was extremely hittable. I'm not sure what exactly was up with Street today. His usual problem -- not getting on top of his pitches, letting them "float" out of or up in the zone -- didn't seem to be in evidence. He was just ... really hittable. Hope this didn't drive his trade value down.

Looking to the positive side of the ledgers, there were a couple of bright spots for the A's today beside Gallagher's stuff and tenacity: Carlos Gonzalez' temporarily game-saving catch in the bottom of the 11th, Ryan Sweeney's game-by-game increasingly mature plate presence, and some good relief work by Embree, Casilla, and Ziegler.

A's try to avoid the sweep tomorrow.