It's been the story of this entire skid, but Oakland's starting pitching has imploded. The A's scrapped together a .500 team in April and May in spite of unbelievably poor hitting, mostly due to a lights-out pitching staff. But now, in June? The pitching is gone.
The latest victim of the pitching implosion is ace Trevor Cahill, who was pulled in the 5th inning after allowing 7 walks. He struck out none. His velocity and pitch movement were right at his career averages, but his undoing was his horrible control. He was behind in the count all night, and frankly, he's lucky he only allowed 4 runs. With four starting pitchers on the disabled list, the A's cannot afford to lose a fifth.
But it's not all poor process, but a huge dose of bad luck as well. In an inning that's indicative of this entire season, Joey Devine's 8th inning included an unbelievable blown call at 3B. With one out and Alcides Escobar on 2B, Melky Cabrera hit a groundball to Cliff Pennington. It was hit hard enough that Pennington threw to 3B to get Escobar. Alcides slid into the base, and he had to go through Scott Sizemore's glove with the ball in it. The umpire called it safe. The replay showed that he was out by a mile, and instead of a two out, man on 1B situation, Devine was caught in a one out, men on 1B and 3B situation. A single and a sac fly later, the Royals increased their lead to 4.
Sadly, those extra two gifted runs proved to be decisive, as the A's scored two in the bottom half of the 8th, but instead of tying the game, they were still down by two. So close, and yet so far. Typical.