Greg Smith now has a cumulative 2008 record of 5-11. I would venture to say that, in general, he probably deserves at least 3 more wins and 3 fewer losses. However, he certainly deserves being hung with the loss for today's game. Greg just couldn't find the strikezone consistently, or really, at all today en route to regressing quite a bit from his recent progress, only lasting a little over 4 innings after having walked SEVEN batters. It was a minor miracle he only gave up 1 run after all of that. Huston Street, now-relegated to mop-up duty, certainly deserves a loss of his own for making a bad situation worse, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in his only inning of work. So between the first two pitchers the A's brought into the game, the Tigers walked a total of 9 times and scored 4 times in just over 5 innings. And, by that point, if you had just then turned off the TV in disgust and believed that the game was all but over, you would just saved yourself a whole bunch of time, because it was over.
The A's offense...what else can be said? Once again, the feeble lineup made a terrible pitcher look absolutely dominant. Even though Ellis came through with an RBI single in the 8th after Hannahan had led off the inning with a double, it was waaaaay too little too late and Ellis looked bad in every other at-bat of the day (as did most everybody else - so the unicorn man shouldn't feel too special). Even the A's normally-strong defense took a siesta for the afternoon, as Crosby and Blevins committed back-to-back throwing errors on the SAME PLAY in the 8th (allowing two runs to score on a double that Emil Brown had already misplayed fairly horribly).
The guys on the radio noted that the A's "look defeated" and could be seen in the dugout "hanging their heads". Well, yeah, that's what's to be expected when a team can't really do anything right for a long enough period of time to win more than one game a week and thus end up on the wrong end of a disastrous road trip that was the organization's worst since sometime in the early Reagan administration. Vince and Korach then speculated that, with an off-day tomorrow, the time is ripe for wholesale changes to give this team a shot-in-the-arm for the upcoming (potentially even more brutal) home stand against the Rays and Pale Sox. While I agree wholesale changes should be made if they could, what else can really be done?
- Demote your struggling closer to mop-up duty while he figures his problems out? Check.
- Give more high-leverage innings to rookie relief pitchers? Check.
- Option ineffective starters to Triple-A? Check.
- Get Frank healthy and productive in the lineup? Check.
At what point do you just realize that the current 40-man roster is just bereft of any possible combination of players that might make this team even a mediocre squad...Barry Bonds anybody? He might make this team more entertaining to watch for the next few weeks...