I can already hear the refrain from Bob Geren's after-game interview: "I'm proud of our guys. We put some good at-bats together and never gave up. We just came up a little short today, that's all." While technically true, the reality is that the position-player portion of the A's roster is in total shambles, the team is relying on AAAA-talent to fill out the lineup card and overall this particular manifestation of said lineup card was lucky to get even the 3 runs they got today, which they did via a huge (by Oakland standards) rally in the 6th - a leadoff double by Emil Brown, followed by single to right by Barton followed by a 2-run double down the line in left by Rob Bowen, and then added one in a desperation 9th inning rally via a seeing-eye single by MaEl after Hannahan and Suzuki had "ducksnorted" two singles through the Chicago defense.
Rich Harden looked uneven most of his abbreviated 5-inning performance. He got the first two outs of the 1st inning cleanly and efficiently, but after Gregorio Petit overthrew Barton after a routine ground ball and let the Chisox back into the inning, the wheels fell off for Rich, and he eventually walked-in a runner after loading the bases. Due to the error and subsequent 30-pitch inning, Rich was forced to bob and weave the rest of his 4-inning performance and never really looked to be in rhythm. He hit 93-94mph on his fastball a few times during the game, but was generally at 90-92 and the A's staff has to be a little concerned that this marks back-to-back unimpressive outings for Rich.
So, without the truly dominant Rich Harden on the mound and without the benefit of a major league quality-lineup, the A's predictably lost. That part of the day doesn't really concern me; but what does is the fact that with this latest wave of injuries the 2008 A's are slowly and excruciatingly turning into the 2007 A's. That being the case, I'm putting myself back into the mode that got me through that affair: looking at the bright side. Hey, Jerry Blevins pitched 1 2/3 nice innings!
It's going to be a long next week and a half through the All Star Break...