I have calmed down a bit from my initial utter shock at the fact that the following things happened:
- Aubrey Huff hit a three-run homer and changed the game in the eighth inning.
- Nick Swisher gave the A's a two-run lead again in the top of the ninth with a solo shot off of Joan Baez.
- Bottom nine: Payton walks, Patterson doubles, Gomez stands there like a moron, Roberts singles up the middle.
That's where it all started, right there on Brian Bob's ground ball single through the hole. Patterson, on second base with incredible speed, hesitates for about a year and a half before deciding to head to third base. If Patterson takes off, he scores. Slow motion replay -- to me -- didn't make it look like anyone but maybe Street had a shot at fielding it, and it got through there too quickly, and was obviously past him. Crosby wasn't near the ball.
So Patterson's on third, Roberts on first, with one out.
Melvin Mora bunts. Bunts.
Apparently, Perlozzo called this and Patterson missed the sign, or whatever. Apparently Mora decided this was a good idea all by his lonesome. The point is, Melvin Mora should not have been bunting in that situation. I get that you don't want the DP and that Street has an assortment of pitches meant to discourage fly balls that could have tied the game on an out, but what ever happened to good old fashioned swinging the freaking bat in a situation like this, with your No. 2 hitter for the love of God? This fixation with bunting has gone haywire.
Then, with runners in scoring position (fast runners, at that) and two down, they walked Markakis to bring up Tejada. As all good hitters do, Tejada got one pitch, said, "Ooh!!" and promptly grounded out to second base.
There are so many hang-ups. Patterson's initial baserunning mistake. Mora bunting.
Perlozzo telling him to. Tejada grounding out on THE FIRST PITCH HE SEES, against a pitcher that blew a save last night and is probably about as rattled as he can get.
But then you take a moment, get some fresh air, have a drink, and you remember that ace pitcher Erik Bedard couldn't get out of the fifth inning, and looked all kinds of wrecked up again. I really do think something is not right with Bedard, maybe it's his mechanics, maybe it's his arm, maybe it's something else. I'd like to take this moment to call Bedard out, because it worked last year.
This is the type of loss that sticks in a person's craw. All-around crap putting one in the L column. All that said, this team does not quit. They are making every game worth watching. Dunderheaded stuff happens, pitchers have bad outings. It's baseball. We come back tomorrow afternoon and try to square it away with a win.
God, I cannot wait until that "P Bako" thing in the lineup is replaced by "R Hernandez" -- that's a big, big difference.
Plus, Boston lost tonight, too, so we didn't lose any ground. And the Yankees lost 10-8 to Tampa Bay, so, like, ha.