The sun was shining bright, the air felt crisp, and there were high fives for everybody. Then, the bats went quiet for two nights and it all came crashing down. This is the scene in Oakland today as the A’s fall to second in the division after last night’s 6-1 loss to the Angels.
I’ve been hating these ties for the division lead, but being in second sucks more. What kills me is that the A’s only scored a single run on 6 hits and 2 errors by the Halos. It is also amazing to me that only one batter walked last night for the A’s (surprise! Jackie Boy Cust).
The problems at the plate were probably the big story. Dana Eveland gave up 6 over 5 and a third, but you expect young guys to give up runs now and then. His ERA only rose to 3.67, so the fella has been doing things right. He just didn’t have any run support last night. The bullpen close down the game by pitching the end of the 6th and then the 7th and 8th. Again, they end up pitching shutout baseball.
Also, Braden pitched out of the pen again last night. He’s got his ERA down to 3.60 which means he’s making pitches. I’m not sure if he’s doing his job now because he’s being used mostly in late game situations where there is no pressure. It could just be that he was meant to be a relief pitcher. I believe Old Bob needs to throw him in there in a couple of 2 or 3 run games to try to get a single out. If he can do that, maybe we start trusting him a bit more and he could become a 6th or 7th inning guy when the game is tight.
We’ve got Duke back pitching tonight against some kid who looks like a 7th grader. He was looking extremely smooth before the bicep injury. We’ll see tonight how he pitches coming off the rehab stint. Until then, enjoy the games, enjoy some brews, and if you happen to know who is the next former A that will sign back with the ball club, e-mail me pronto.