Street sense

Just wondering after yet another ninth-inning meltdown where you all stand on the subject of Huston Street closing. Personally, I think it’s time for Bob Geren to try something else (or, to be more specific, time for sombody in the front office to “suggest” something else). 

Street has blown three of his past four save tries, and he’s also mixed in a loss a week ago after entering a tie game against Kansas City.  You have to wonder if this is health-related. Street’s ERA was 3.16 and he was 13-for-15 in saves after polishing off the Giants on June 15. Shortly after that, he reported that his groin was bothering him slightly. Street has a football mentality, so I could see him trying to pitch through it without letting anybody know how badly it’s bothering him, and maybe that’s taken a toll on the quality of his pitches.

Either way, wouldn’t you all rather see Jerry Blevins get a chance in the ninth. Or how bout Brad Ziegler? Ziggy’s 34-inning scoreless streak is A-MAZ-ING, start of the career or not. And what about Joey Devine? Didn’t the A’s get him to close games. Why not give him a peak. This team isn’t going anywhere.

One last thing: Street will get the lion’s share for this latest loss, but the offense contributed mightily again. You gotta score when you have the bases loaded and no outs, and the A’s failed in that situation in the eighth. Tony La Russa said it. You get what you deserve in this game, and that’s exactly what’s happening with the A’s right now.


  • Oakland Sí

    whether it’s a physical or mental issue, he shouldn’t be closing right now. There are other relief situations, plus he also has options should they want him to work things out in Sacramento.

    Of course, a thorough physical wouldn’t hurt.

  • greenmachine

    I’d like to give Devine a shot at closer, assuming he’s fully recovered. I want a closer who has some heat. Street can get two strikes on guys, but he can’t put them away. I’m glad Geren is finally acknowledging that Street is not closer material. Unfortunately, his decision came too late to help the A’s this year. Geren now has to stop coddling Crosby and Cust. Any Dominican could match Crosby’s pathetic offensive numbers (.250 average, 5 homers) and field better to boot (Crosby has no range or arm). And since when has on-base-percentage been an attractive quality in a clean-up hitter? Cust’s walks and solo homers belong either in the lead-off spot or at the bottom of the line up. If he can’t drive in runs, let someone drive him in. Geren should think outside the box for once. What does he have to lose? His job? Would Beane dare fire his best man? Nepotism blows. Good luck, Ron Washington.

  • Bee

    Something is clearly wrong with Huston Street. I have wondered for some time if he is hurt and just trying to gut it out. His velocity is down, he can’t make his pitches when he has two strikes, and he’s leaving the ball out over the plate and the hitters pounce as they should. He needs to be run through the medical system to see if there is anything wrong with him physically or mentally, or sent to Sacramento to work out his problems, or both.

    Once again, there is a parallel to Barry Zito, who, after being relegated to the bullpen, seems to have turned his act around. Huston didn’t take kindly to having some of his saves given to others, but when he did get an opportunity for a save last night, he blew it in spades. With the A’s puny offense, they just can’t afford to let games slip away. So it doesn’t sound like he got the message. Maybe sending him to Sacramento would get his attention.

    That being said, if he does have a physical or mental condition, he’s a fool for not divulging it. It doesn’t help the team and it certainly doesn’t help him. Hell, he looked like he was about to cry coming off the field after giving up the win. He’s certainly not a happy camper these days. Or could he be coming down from taking something he’s not supposed to be taking? That could account for his reduced velocity. I really hope not.

    Something’s gotta give, and right now. Last night was heartbreaking for us die-hard A’s fans, and I can’t even imagine what Greg Smith feels. He should have won that game.

  • Byron Shirley

    I would love to see a submariner like Ziegler, with the success he’s had, be closer. I don’t have as much of an opinion on Joey Devine or Blevins–still somewhat unknowns to me, but if a guy’s tossing outs after outs and not allowing ANYONE to score, why *not* put him in a better role? But I think it should be that the best bullpen arm should be used at the best time possible. It’s like this article in ESPN about overrated closers, if you’re saving your closer for “saves” situations, but your team essentially loses the game back in the 7th inning, why *not* use your best guy then? And so Ziegler could/should come in when he’s most needed, at whichever inning.

    I think also that Street is hurt. Rick, why do you think he ended up not getting traded at the deadline? are teams fearing he’s damaged? Where the offers–if there where any–not good enough? What is Street’s future if he can get back to being dominant or at least effective?

  • DrBill64

    He doesn’t deserve to be the closer now and hasn’t for quite awhile. Players should earn a spot not have it handed to him or given so much leeway that he has no concern for his job. It should be results oriented produce or hit the road to SACTO. Hanahan is useless, release him or send him down throw someone in there who can hit more then .229. Conrad wasn’t doing much but I would rather him get the ab’s at least he will appreciate them and if he sucks then release him to.

  • France

    A Closer needs to be able to throw for more than 90 mph consistenly. Seems like Street’s velocity has gone down a bit. Devine can throw some smoke. The beginning of the season he was on point. Give Devine a shot and Ziegler to set-up. Nice combo. Submarine then the Smoke.