Postgame notes from the A’s 9-8 heartbreaker

Examining some of the wreckage from the A’s good-night-gone-horrible on Friday …

–Certainly the A’s brass will think long and hard about making a move in the closer’s spot after Brian Fuentes served up a walkoff three-run homer to Arizona’s Ryan Roberts, sinking the A’s 9-8 in the opener of a three-game series. The Diamondbacks showed no sign of rolling over after falling behind 6-0 in the second, but these types of games absolutely have to be nailed down by the A’s. It was the second three-run walkoff blast that Fuentes has allowed in the past 11 days. Minnesota’s Josh Willingham got to him May 29. Fuentes has allowed seven runs over his past four outings.

A’s manager Bob Melvin was asked about the closer issue after the game but answered: “I don’t make decisions like that two minutes after a game.”

Don’t be surprised at all if we see rookie setup man Ryan Cook get his shot in the ninth inning. It’s going to be tough to avoid going with him at this point. Cook pitched yet another scoreless eight inning, giving up one hit and striking out three. The right-hander has given up two runs in 24 games (26 innings).  Grant Balfour is more experienced, but he’s hardly a lock-down guy these days. Can you go back to him after just removing him as closer in mid-May?

–A’s starting pitcher Tommy Milone delivered a two-run single in the second, and then scored all the way from first on Coco Crisp’s double. After that, he took the mound and gave up three runs in the bottom of the second. Coincidence? Milone was hardly his sharpest, going five innings and allowing nine hits and four runs. He said afterward that all of the activity made it challenging to re-direct his focus back to the mound. “I felt like every time I went up to the plate afterward, my adrenaline was running a little harder,” Milone said. “I felt like I had to work hard to get my composure back.”

That’s sort of how it looked to me, but Milone was still in line for a victory that the A’s fell one out short of securing …


Joe Stiglich