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A's Drop Heartbreaker In 14th Inning, But At Least It Wasn't Boring

There was a lot of this tonight, but they STILL can't win.
There was a lot of this tonight, but they STILL can't win.

Several people joked in the game threads (plural; there were many of them) today that I should link to the encyclopedia I would have to write to even begin to recap this game, and they're right. Seventeen runs and fourteen innings ("Take Me Out To The Ballgame" was indeed sung twice) will make for several pages of recap. However, since the A's didn't win, it's rather a moot point, is it not? Do you want me to recreate the feeling of elation when the A's tied the game with four runs in the ninth inning to extend the game? Do you want me to talk about how the A's took the lead in the eleventh, failed to score the insurance run, and put Bailey in for his first save with a one-run lead? The crushing blow in the fourteenth as the Red Sox finally broke through and scored one of their many runners?

Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Using a combination of Cahill, Ziegler, Breslow, De Los Santos, Fuentes, Bailey, Devine, Wuertz, and finally Moscoso, the A's allowed eighteen hits and nine runs (all earned). They did strike out seventeen in the losing effort. Cahill pitched into the eighth inning. He allowed his first run on a homerun by Gonzalez in the second, and his second run on a manufactured run by Crawford in the bottom of the fifth. With the Red Sox leading 2-0, the A's put on two runners in the sixth; a walk and a hit-by-pitch (a veritable rally for the A's offense). After a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third with one out, the Red Sox chose to pitch to Josh WIllingham instead of doing what I personally would have done; walking him to face Hideki Matsui, who looks all but done with his baseball career with his 1-7 afternoon. Willingham singled in both runs to tie the game.

Then bad things happened. The Red Sox hung three runs on Cahill in their half of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. The A's would come back with a sac fly by Pennington in the seventh to inch closer, but the combination of Ziegler/Breslow gave up two more runs in the eighth, extending Boston's lead to 7-3. As the A's went to the top of the ninth, the game was over...right?

This was when things got interesting. Papelbon came in to start the ninth and allowed a single to Ellis and a walk to Barton. After Powell struck out (a familiar sight; he had four on the day), Crisp reached on a error, scoring Ellis. Cliff Pennington doubled, scoring Barton, and Conor Jackson (newly in the game) singled in both Crisp and Pennington to miraculously tie the game and send it into extra innings.

The A's would take the lead in the eleventh inning on a walk to Pennington, a double by Jackson, and a sac fly by Sweeney. Jackson would end up on third base with one out, but was out at the plate on a contact play with Willingham as the hitter. This fail would cost the A's the game, as Andrew Bailey would strike out the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the eleventh, but back-to-back doubles would give Boston the tie. It was only a matter of time until the Red Sox won; Moscoso would allow the game-winning single in the fourteenth after a controversial walk of Jed Lowrie to face J.D. Drew

So the A's have now lost five in a row to the AL East, and drop a real heartbreaker today. But the game was not boring, the time did show a spark of life, but something still needs to change. We do it again tomorrow.

Current Series

Red Sox lead the series 2-0

Fri 06/03 WP: Bobby Jenks (2 - 2)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon
LP: Joey Devine (0 - 1)
6 - 8 loss
Sat 06/04 WP: Alfredo Aceves (3 - 1)
LP: Guillermo Moscoso (2 - 1)
8 - 9 loss

Oakland Athletics
@ Boston Red Sox

Sunday, Jun 5, 2011, 10:35 AM PDT
Fenway Park

Brett Anderson vs John Lackey

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

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