Examining the wreckage of A’s 5-4 loss to the Giants

There’s no need to rehash all the details of the A’s 5-4 loss to the Giants tonight. Here’s some quotes, notes and observations after one of Oakland’s more painful defeats of 2012 …

–Who would have thought just a while back that a game started by Tim Lincecum offered — on paper — the A’s best shot at a victory in the Bay Bridge Series? But that was the case with Lincecum entering Friday’s game with a 6.19 ERA. And he was extremely vulnerable in the first inning. But the A’s couldn’t apply the knockout punch after getting to him for three runs and loading the bases with no outs. Now, they have to rebound from a deflating loss, and they’ll do it against the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.92) and Matt Cain (9-2, 2.34). No easy task …

A’s manager Bob Melvin looked back on the missed opportunity in the first inning. “Would you take three runs in the first inning? Obviously,” he said. “But then having the bases loaded, and you end up only getting three, it deflates you a little bit.”

–Ryan Cook hasn’t had to conduct many postgame interviews after a loss this season. The rookie was pretty down after Friday’s game and not in much mood to chat, though he fielded all questions from reporters. “Tonight was one of those nights,” Cook said. “I didn’t have anything.”

He has been so dominant this season that it’s been easy to overlook all the walks Cook has issued. He had 18 of them coming in, second most among AL relievers. They came back to bite him tonight. But closers are going to give up leads. You don’t expect an unproven rookie to be perfect in the ninth inning. Now we’ll see how Cook bounces back. And after saying he didn’t “have anything,” surely Melvin wants to see Cook come back with crisper stuff in his next outing.

–I saw Collin Cowgill catching some grief on Twitter for his diving attempt at Brandon Belt’s game-tying double. It rolled all the way to the fence and two runs scored. Sorry, I don’t have a problem with his decision to dive. His only attempt at reaching the ball was if he dove for it. And I don’t think he would have kept the ball in front of him no matter what. At any rate, Cowgill rolled an ankle on the play and left the game later in the ninth inning. Melvin said he would have an update on him Saturday.

That’s all for now. Remember, first pitch is at 4:15 Saturday to accommodate a Fox telecast …

Joe Stiglich