This game actually began quite surprisingly and optimistically for the A's. Jack Hannahan of all people played the roll of the gallant knight battling the fire-breathing (or flame-throwing) pitching dragon King Felix. Hannahan took the 8th pitch of the game, a mis-located changeup, and blasted it into the right field bleachers to give the A's an early 1-0 lead. Dan Meyer would then pitch admirably for the first 2 innings of his outing, holding the Mariners scoreless via a couple strikeouts, some nice velocity and an effective changeup. Hannahan would then strike again in the top of the 3rd with a SECOND solo homerun to right off of King Felix. Career game for the Jackster that bumped his season average up to .225 and his OPS up to a robust .656! A's lead 2-0 after 2 innings!
Yet, just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Meyer's control abandoned him in the 3rd inning as he issued back-to-back walks to open the inning and then surrendered back-to-back run-scoring hits before recording an out. Meyer would miraculously get out of that inning after allowing only 3 runs total and then went on to only allow a solo homer to Johjima in the next two frames. The 5 inning, 3 hit, 4 run outing wasn't terrible but not really encouraging or a step in the right direction for Meyer at this point in his development and with his precarious standing with the organization. He still seems to struggle finishing off his pitches and was consequently working in the upper part of the strikezone as a result.
The A's bats would tally 1 more run on a Rob Bowen solo homer in the 5th (the first of two strong drives by Rob, the second of which died at the warning track) and then another solitary run after a single by Barton, a double by Pennington and a run-scoring groundout by Patterson in the 7th. While Barton still has a long ways to go, he looked good this series and we can always hope that his month of September 2008 will bear some resemblance to his performance of September 2007.
Mop-up man Captain Kirk Saarloos would give up 4 runs on 5 hits in only 2 innings to put the game effectively out-of-range for the A's in the later innings. Casilla actually pitched a nice, quick bottom of the 8th to give the A's one last chance to bridge the 4-run deficit in the top of the 9th, but we all know that never happens to this team.
So, like a pretty standard Sunday matinee made-for-TV movie, the A's did a few things early on in the plot to grab your attention and appeal to your curiosity, but eventually followed the outline of most every other game of the past month and a half. I guess it was just too much to ask for the A's to actually WIN a series against one of the worst teams in all of major league baseball.