Just a few postgame thoughts after the A’s latest disaster at AT&T Park, where they haven’t won since June 15, 2008. How long ago was that? Dana Eveland got the victory that day, Chad Gaudin and Keith Foulke relieved him and Huston Street nailed down the save. Eric Chavez led the offense with two RBIs. That’s going back in time …
–Misfortune just seems to strike the A’s from every angle when they play the Giants here. Indeed, their hitters were completely shut down by Ryan Vogelsong. But they also had the obviously missed call by home plate umpire James Hoye during the Giants’ four-run seventh, when he ruled Vogelsong was hit by a pitch though it was clear that Tyson Ross’ pitch actually hit Vogelsong’s bat. Fast forward to Angel Pagan’s two-run single later in the inning, a blooper that managed to find a hole. The A’s can’t catch a break in this ballpark. And it’s quite a mood shift that has taken place in their clubhouse. Just two days ago, they were flying high after an uplifting 10-inning victory at Texas. It wasn’t quite so festive after Saturday’s game, their 11th straight loss at AT&T.
–Catcher Kurt Suzuki had as good a view as anyone for the controversial Vogelsong at-bat, where he squared to bunt only to have Ross’ pitch go directly at him. The sound of bat hitting ball was clear, so all indications were it should have been ruled a foul ball. Surprisingly, Suzuki took a very diplomatic approach to the play and did not blame Hoye. “It was loud,” Suzuki said of the sound. “At the same time, you don’t know if it was deflected or not. All I know is, that ball was right at him.”
Suzuki was thinking like a catcher with that response. He has every reason to want to stay on the good side of an umpiring crew, in hopes it will benefit the A’s on balls and strikes.
–It’s pretty amazing how much Grant Balfour’s role in the A’s bullpen has changed. Since being demoted from closer, his past four appearances have come in the sixth or seventh inning. Balfour couldn’t get the job done Saturday when he entered in the seventh with runners on first and second with no outs in a 0-0 game. His five-batter sequence: walk, strikeout, sac fly, RBI double, two-run single. Say this about Balfour, he always makes himself available to reporters after a bad outing. He accepted his portion of blame Saturday, but Melvin had his back.
“You know, I’m putting him in some tough spots,” Melvin said. “Now, that’s what relievers do — they come in with guys on base. But he’s had a tough draw. The results haven’t been great for him, but he’s throwing the ball better the last few times than earlier.”
–The A’s face no easy assignment tomorrow in trying to avoid a sweep. Tim Lincecum is 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland.
That’s all for now …