By Joe Stiglich
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 12:00 am in 2011 regular season.
A quick postgame recap of the A’s 8-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. I figure many of you will get the early-edition story in your papers, and it won’t include the postgame news …
–Shortstop Cliff Pennington left the game in the bottom of the sixth and was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a nerve condition that causes temporary facial paralysis. He said he began having problems closing his left eye Sunday night, and the condition worsened Monday to the point he had to come out of the game.
Scary stuff, obviously. Scanning some online articles, it appears Bell’s Palsy can last a couple days, a couple weeks or even longer. Sometimes it’s just a one-time occurence for people and never surfaces again. Pennington had never experienced any problems of this sort before Sunday night.
He is on medication right now and is listed as day to day. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on the DL. This isn’t a condition you want to take lightly, or attempt to play baseball with until you know it’s under control. Plus, the A’s only have a three-man bench right now, and that’s really two when you consider that David DeJesus is still unavailable because of right thumb soreness (manager Bob Melvin hopes to have him back Wednesday).
A reporter who was in the A’s clubhouse afterward said he had a bout with Bell’s Palsy about 30 years ago. It affected him for about six weeks, then symptoms disappeared and he’s never experienced it again. That’s just one person’s experience.
Pennington said “it feels like you went to the dentist and the whole side of your face is numb.”
You have to hope this is a temporary thing …
–As for the on-field news, the A’s did not start this nine-game road trip off on a good note. That bases-loaded, no-out situation in the first, when they came away with no runs, looked an awful lot like their pre-All Star break offensive form.
But perhaps more concerning for the A’s was Trevor Cahill’s outing. He went just four-plus innings, allowed 12 hits and was charged with seven runs. Cahill just hasn’t been able to string together several good outings in a row since his 6-0 start. “We know he’s an elite pitcher, he’s just having trouble running two or three starts together (to build on),” Melvin said.
It’s worth noting that not everything was hit hard off Cahill. And his defense let him down at times. But he was constantly putting runners on base, and when you do that, there’s no margin for error.
–With a double and home run Monday, nine of Kurt Suzuki’s last 12 hits are for extra bases.
That’s all for now …