It’s a tough pill to swallow when all your starting pitcher needed was a league-average start to cruise home to an easy win, and he couldn’t even manage that. The A’s offense staked Dana Eveland to a 6-1 lead, and it should have been more than enough to win the game, but as you can see from the final score, it wasn’t. Holliday, Suzuki and Crosby provided the early runs (Suzuki and Crosby with nifty, multiple-RBI hits that would go for naught).
Dana Eveland was terrible from the get-go tonight; loading the bases with no one out in the first, but got out of it only allowing a sac fly. Sometimes pitchers will settle down after the initial rocky inning, but that never really happened; it just got worse from there. The Mariners scored one in the first, two in the third, and four in the fifth, as Eveland couldn’t make it through five innings; he turned a 6-1 A’s win into a 7-6 A’s deficit in record time.
Holliday (!!!!!) tied up the game in the seventh with his second homerun; a second-deck bomb, but the A’s have not been good at converting the late tie games into wins so far this early season.
The A’s had a golden chance to score in the in the eighth after a beautiful lead-off double by Suzuki, but Geren had Travis Buck bunt. I’m not completely opposed to the play in general, but the problem is that judging from Buck’s bunting stance, he is not good at it; he should have been swinging. He popped up the bunt, and no one was surprised.
Dan Giese relieved Eveland and did a nifty job; retiring all ten men he saw, but Russ Springer came in to pitch the ninth. In the controversial call of the day, with men on first and third, Geren had Springer walk the bases loaded to face Jose Lopez--leaving him no room for error--and after an epic at-bat, Lopez dumped in the game-winning single.
A lot of wasted side notes in the game tonight; Suzuki continues his hot streak, Crosby with a bases-clearing triple, Sweeney with another great catch, and great bullpen work by Giese.
These games are maddening to lose. Lack of execution; lack of quality starting pitching from someone who really doesn’t have the excuse of a Cahill/Anderson, questionable management, the rest of the AL losing, and a chance to make up some ground. It’s a tough loss, and there isn’t much that makes it better.
We do it again tomorrow night, Cahill vs. Washburn, 6:05.