You know what would be a great thing to do for your rookie starting pitcher in his first start ever against the Red Sox, at Fenway Park of all places? He'd probably appreciate some run support. He probably would not appreciate the offense leaving runners all over the basepaths, and stranding multiple runners on third base with less than two outs.
Cahill might have deserved better than the loss he got; for five innings, he held the Red Sox scoreless with one hit, walking a tightrope with a 1-0 lead.
The A's scored their first run in the second on a leadoff double by Holliday, an infield single by Suzuki, and a single by Cust (who was 3-3 against Wakefield). With runners at first and third, and no one out, things looked promising. But Ryan Sweeney popped up, and Ellis and Crosby struck out to end the inning.
Cabrera managed a one-out single in the third inning, and Hairston doubled him to third, but Holliday popped up to the catcher for the second out, and Suzuki grounded out to end the inning.
The fourth was more of the same. Cust opened the inning with a double, and after Sweeney moved him to third, Ellis walked to put runners at the corners with one out. Then fickle Lady Luck joined the A's general suckitude as Crosby absolutely blistered a ball to third--which was caught for a double play.
With two two-out singles from Cust and Sweeney, the A's put runners on the corners in the sixth, but were again unable to move a runner across the plate, and had to settle for the slimmest leads; 1-0 through five and a half.
It all fell apart in spectacular style for the A's in the bottom of the sixth as Boston did in ten minutes what the A's tried to do over the previous two hours. Cahill (who has allowed an awful lot of homeruns for a sinkerballer) gave up the tying homerun to JD Drew, and then put two runners on for David Ortiz, who looked less than a superstar in his previous at-bats. Despite swinging through a lot of pitches this season, Ortiz did not miss Cahill's, drilling a 3-run homerun to give the Sox the 4-1 lead.Cahill was replaced by Breslow, who finally got the A's out of the inning.
The A's tried to waste another scoring opportunity in the seventh after hits by Crosby and Sweeney opened the inning, but after Cabrera struck out and Hairston popped up (Crosby almost got picked off on the play to end the inning), Holliday walked. With the bases loaded and two outs, Kurt Suzuki, our All Star catcher (if no one else's), had the at-bat of the game, eventually hitting a 3-2 pitch for a two-RBI single to bring the A's within one run.
But they would give one right back; the difference in the game. Wuertz, who replaced Brewslow, started the seventh with a walk, and then allowed a double. Boston would score a run on an Ortiz groudout, but Ziggy came in to get him out of the inning, and set the Sox down 1, 2, 3 in the eighth as well.
The A's had one last chance in the ninth against Papelbon, as they opened the inning with a Kennedy walk, and a Cabrera single (an a great AB). Hairston made a bid for a three-run homerun (that looked gone), but it was just a long sacrifice fly. Holliday struck out for the second out (insert your own comment here), and Suzuki singled the runner to second to give Cust and the A's one last at-bat.
Cust struck out.
The A's lose the game, the series, and frustrated yet more fans. I think the eight K's by Wakefield were the key.
We do it all again on Friday night. Hang in there.