Well, let's get to the news that everyone is talking about; the A's finally have a shortstop! (Sorry, Cliff Pennington.) The A's announced in the middle of the game that they had made yet another trade with the Diamondbacks; Stephen Drew is on his way to Oakland in exchange for minor league shortstop Sean Jamieson. Huh. I didn't know we had a minor league shortstop.
In Drew, whom the A's were thought to have shown interest in before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, they get a career .266 hitter who enjoyed his best seasons under the tutelage of manager Bob Melvin, for whom he batted .291 with 21 home runs and 67 RBIs in 2008.
Drew had a gruesome ankle injury to end his season last year; he's only played part of this season. He was a huge prospect who never fully lived up to his potential. He's also the brother of J.D. Drew, who just retired. I do not yet know his marital status, for those ANers who like to be in the know.
As you can tell from the headline, the A's did not continue the home stand with a fun win, but rather with a wretched loss, not dramatic, just flat and lifeless. Brandon McCarthy (and you never, ever want to say this with his injury history) was not his usual self at all, throwing almost as many balls as strikes early in the game, and showed very little control.
He dug the A's into an early 4-0 hole, from which they never recovered. They had early opportunities, but weren't able to cash in more than two runs; and one was a gift. The A's just didn't seem to have "it" tonight; the game was probably over for all intents and purposes by the second inning.
McCarthy got the first out of the game, but allowed back-to-back singles and a Willingham double to give the Twins their first run. The A's got the second out on a play at home, but McCarthy hit a batter to load the bases and walked in a run. He was lucky to escape with only a 2-0 deficit.
It was more of the same in the second inning, as McCarthy allowed a single, a stolen base, a single, a stolen base, a throwing error by Norris, and another single, as the Twins doubled their lead. The A's got on the board with a Cespedes single and stolen base and a still-red-hot Donaldson double. Norris would follow with a single to put runners on first and third with one out, but Rosales struck out and Weeks grounded out. Jemile would end the day with six left on base; effectively killing the A's rallies.
The A's would cut the lead to 4-2 in the third as Crisp reached on an error, stole second and went to third as the ball hit him on the throw. Reddick would knock him in with an RBI groundout, but the A's were done scoring. They would put two on in the fourth, but Weeks grounded out again, and they would also put on two in the ninth, where--you guessed it--Weeks grounded out again to end the game. Not his finest.
The Twins would add two more in the fourth on a single by Mauer, and one more in the eighth on a sac fly; the only run Blackley would allow in his 5.2 innings.
The team would be best served to forget this one, and win the next two. We do it again tomorrow; same time, same place!
Let's talk about our new shortstop!