Killer loss for the A’s in Cleveland tonight. One out from victory with a two-run lead in the ninth, Alan Embree couldn’t close the deal. The Indians scored five against him, all with two outs, a rally capped by Kelly Shoppach’s pinch-hit three-run home run that brought the A’s home an 8-5 loser.
Listened to the game on the radio while in my car, and announcer Ken Korach told his audience, “shocking events here in Cleveland.” I love Ken, but sorry, not really. The shocking part, really, is that the A’s have stayed afloat as long as they have. Given their injuries, it’s amazing they weren’t buried in the respective races (AL West and wild-card) in May. As it stands, they’re still in shouting distance in the wild-card, but the final two games in Cleveland are critical.
Seeing a quick turnaround might be an optimistic outlook. The A’s are fading, because among other things: Lenny DiNardo and Joe Kennedy have turned into Lenny DiNardo and Joe Kennedy; the Chad Gaudin magic show has hit a snag; Alan Embree has become Alan Embree (remember, he had only eight saves ever before this season; don’t expect him to be the incarnate of Huston Street); the offense has returned to its normal lull (the A’s scored five runs in the first four days of this trip), the they’ve faced far superior competition on this trip.
Five games to go on it. Two vs. the Indians, two vs. the Yankees. Felt the A’s would be thrilled with 5-5 before it started. Now? Hey, just avoid 0-10.