clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game #139: A's Waste Another Stellar Lester Outing

New, comments

Well, our ace pitcher did what he was supposed to; pitch eight innings while allowing nothing more than two solo home runs. In a normal baseball game, with even an average team batting, he'll win a good percentage of the time. But because the A's refuse to be a playoff team, they folded to Felix Hernandez like a cheap deck of cards. Come to think of it, I think even a cheap deck of cards can manage more than three hits in a game.

Ezra Shaw

Well, I certainly hope management is happy. Jon Lester has been everything the A's dreamed of when they traded for him. He is a pitching machine, and he gave the A's another great start today, pitching eight solid innings and allowing but two solo home runs. The only problem is that I think they saw him as the missing puzzle piece to an already near-complete puzzle, when in truth, he's like that awesomely shaped, brilliantly colored, flashy puzzle piece...all by its lonesome in the middle of an empty puzzle, with sparse parts of the border put together. There's pieces on the floor, the dog has chewed some of them, and for a team that is still mathematically in a playoff race; even leading the Wild Card for now, but not for much longer, this is anything but a complete puzzle; the A's aren't a playoff team. You want to know how the playoffs would work right now? Just look at the last two games. I'm sure one of the A's starters will be good, but not good enough to overcome the one run the offense will muster up, and another pitcher may have an off night, and you can forget about that game, there isn't enough in the A's tank to come back from that.

This is why the game last night, and each and every at-bat mattered. The A's needed two of three from Seattle, and yesterday was their game. God forbid if the A's are lucky enough to play a single Wild Card game; the opposition just has to throw Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, or any assorted left-handed pitcher from a scrap heap o' LHP and this offense will suddenly look like the bottom third of an every-kid-plays-an-inning Little League game.

I mentioned this in the preview, but A's baseball post-July 2014 is like watching the last two Game 5's on a nightmare Groundhog Day loop. Different players here and there, but the same damn outcome every day. I don't want to hear how good Felix Hernandez is. You know what good teams do? They find a way to win games. They take a different approach. They do something different to scratch out a run. Was there any doubt that the A's would get three-hit today?

Aside from the shiny new toy Adam Dunn, who unfortunately, can't bat in all nine positions, and did manage another home run in the fourth inning, that was the extent of the A's offense. Well, sorry. Lowrie did have a single. Norris walked to open the third, and after Vogt singled in the fifth for the A's third and final hit, and second-to-last baserunner, Norris tried his best to hit into a double-play. Not content at his failure, he made sure that he was out on a double-play, he was caught stealing second as Sogard struck out to end the inning. I think Reddick walked in the sixth, but I didn't really care. I looked up for Dunn's at-bats.

Lester gave up back-to-back home runs in the seventh that erased the 1-0 A's lead and turned it into a insurmountable 2-1 deficit. You could almost see the thought bubbles over his head. (Home run #1) "S***, that tied the game. No way I'm getting another run. Help, I'm distracted!" (Home run #2) "Well, f***, that's the game."

Or maybe that's what I said.

I have nothing else to say about this game. The A's lose to Felix. The sky is blue. And maybe if they had found a way to win last night's game, it wouldn't be such a crushing loss today. Because whether we admit it or not, these games are the playoffs, and the A's found a way to lose the game they should have won in the series, while losing the game they were supposed to. And if they have enough trouble in a series, just imagine how fun a single wild card game would be.

I don't think there's enough alcohol in Bill King's wildest nightmares, or for that matter, in the city of Oakland. The A's play Houston this weekend, starting on Friday night. I'm hoping the Astros play a flawless next two games, and let us win a few then. We'll do it all over on Friday night. In the meantime, I highly recommend whatever it is you do to break the baseball curse. Tell us all about it in the thread.