Saturday, August 29, 2009
Lourdes In The Seventh: Angels 11, A's 7
What Lourdes is to hunchbacks and the afflicted, the Oakland Athletics are to under-performing baseball teams. We'll cure what ails ya.Well of course the big story will be Kendry Morales and his franchise-record-breaking 13 total bases (at least, that's what I remember the radio broadcasters telling me, I'm too lazy to run upstairs and verify it just yet), but really, this was a couple of games; the first one was the second consecutive mauling of Trevor Bell by a major league club whose bats he is not suitably trained to oppose. The news of the Scott Kazmir trade also overshadowed, to some extent, the exceptional night that Morales had, and in fact needed to have as a consequence.— Philip Michaels, via Facebook
Bell, the once and future AAA pitcher, got through the A's lineup exactly once without giving up a run. That fact was greatly assisted by Rajai Davis erasing himself on a 2-6 caught stealing in the first; but the A's wouldn't repeat that mistake, and after a relatively quiet second, pounced in the next frame, with Bell unable to get the third out of the inning but giving up instead a home run to Scott Hairston, who has been known to hit them (this was his sixth, a two-run jack plating Kurt Suzuki).
The rest of the frame was fuzzy, and I briefly considered suicide by listening to Miley Cyrus, or leaving the game early; but as Philip, the former author of the estimable (and apparently now defunct) Idiots Write About Sports observed, this is, after all, the 2009 Oakland A's we're talking about here, so all kinds of catastrophes may ensue. However, the least likely one that I could think of is a massive fail by sidewinder Brad Ziegler, who has pretty much pwned the Angels in his career to the tune of a 1.84 ERA prior to Friday night. (We shall not speak of Brett Freaking Tomko, who turned in a shockingly effective 5.2 IP with two runs, both earned, and was in line to get the win.) Between the starter and Ziegler, Craig Breslow, who actually didn't pitch too badly, but then the A's defense made a couple critical errors:
- Leadoff man Howie Kendrick reached on a fairly routine grounder to third baseman — no, that is not a misprint — Adam Kennedy, when he threw the ball into the A's dugout, with the result that Kendrick was able to take second on the two-base error.
- Three batters later, Bobby Abreu, with one out, got aboard on a shattered-bat grounder to the pitcher that should have been a routine (if scary) 1-3 bouncer. Instead, first baseman Daric Barton realized Abreu was far closer to first than he had anticipated, and being down the first base line himself, attempted to make the tag. He utterly missed, and so the second error of the inning fell on his shoulders.
Kevin Jepsen almost managed to close out the game and get his first major league save. Following a clean 1-2-3 eighth, he couldn't quite pull it together in the ninth, leaving the game with a pair on first and third, a run in and one out. Brian Fuentes came in like Winston Wolfe and knocked out the remaining two outs on four pitches.
We'll fix what ails you, all righty.