Just in case you thought (hoped?) you had seen the A's season-low at any point earlier in the year, I'm here to tell you that you absolutely hadn't seen anything yet. This game was the lowest of lows for the A's, and I sat through the Giambi non-slide/Jeter flip, the broken leg, the Byrnes fail, the Tejada fail, the Mecir/Rincon fail, the Mulder fail, the Long fail, and every inning of both game fives in 2012 and 2013, and I'm not sure I'm all that tongue-and-cheek about the title. If the A's were trying to deliberately throw a game, a season away for profit or otherwise, they certainly couldn't perform a more masterful job than they did tonight. This game lives only in your worst nightmares, where you relive every regret, every bad decision, every fear, everything that haunts you when you close your eyes; your darkest secrets, your unrealized hopes, your worst decisions, your unrequited loves, the pain you can't talk about to anyone, the secrets you keep. That was this game. It's moved way beyond drinking to cope with this team; this 2014 season has now infested our souls. I was wrong to light-hardheartedly comment on how bad could it be to watch the last 12 games of the season; after tonight, we'll all be lucky to be still standing at the end. I feel like I should responsibly research some therapy options to share. And these last 11 games should certainly come with a warning; watch this baseball team at your own risk. Add the suitable warnings for graphic content, language, violence, and disturbing images as appropriate.
I'm not wasting one more second of your or my time on this game, mostly because nightmares. All you need to know is that Jeff Samardzija pitched a gem; throwing 8 innings of shutout ball, striking out ten and walking no one. He left after the eighth inning, leading 1-0, and he appeared to be the only one not in on the fix. I would have started him in the ninth no matter the pitch count. Didn't care. He was the only one on the field, with the possible exception of Sam Fuld and Nick Punto, who looked as if he was trying to win and not to lose in tonight's contest.
The A's failed to get every runner home that they had on third base, except for a two-out base-hit by Sam Fuld, which gave the A's the 1-0 lead in the fifth, a lead that Jeff Samardzija would ride all the way to the close of the top of the eighth inning. And then, in line for a 1-0 win, the A's panicked because fix, you see, and promptly remedied the situation. By failing to score--impossibly, improbably--with the bases loaded and no one out, pinch-hitting or not pinch-hitting the very worst options on the bench, and yes, I'm including all of the pitchers, and then giving up not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six runs in the top of the ninth inning after Samardzija left the game.
Do you want to know why I think the fix was in? Because Jonny Gomes batted fourth tonight. Because after the A's loaded the bases with no one out, Bob Melvin not only let Jed Lowrie hit, who was so useless today it could probably be measured using negative numbers. Because Bob Melvin pinch-hit Alberto Callaspo instead of Brandon Moss with the game on the line.
I...I...I...can't. I have nothing else.
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Angels for winning the West. I would say it's not you, it's us, but it really is us.
Here are some motivations slogans for you. It's all I have to offer.