Frustrations from the Other Side of the Bay

On what we all knew would be a rough month for the Oakland A’s, things seem to be taking a turn for the worst very very quickly. After starting the week with 2 straight victories at home over their division “rivals” the Angels, the madness of the 6 game losing streak began.

A costly error by Daric Barton led to the Twins beating Oakland in extra innings. The following day, Tyson Ross exits the game after only 7 pitches. The A’s lose 11-1 to the Twins, completing the 2 game sweep. Only 2 games, but losing it like this to the worst team in baseball, unacceptable. It later came to the surface where Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy would be going on the 15 day DL with minor injuries.

Coming into the series with the defending World Champs, weird to say this I know, the A’s were reeling. 3 starting pitchers on the DL, a shaky bullpen of late, and the worst being the lack of offensive production. The struggles weren’t going to get any easier with Oakland facing the likes of Vogelsong, Lincecum, and Sanchez respectively.

Friday night, after giving up a run in the first Trevor Cahill dominated the Giants. He only allowed one hit and one run through 6 innings, yet was lifted for a pinch hitter when Oakland had a run in scoring position with 2 outs in the 7th and the score tied 1-1. Now on this front, I more blame Bob Geren for poor managing rather than the A’s lack of offense. Cahill had been dominating the Giants, only allowing one hit and seemed to be getting stronger and stronger as the game went on. I understand that you it’s more important to get that run home, but the team’s strength is preventing runs more than scoring. Yes, Freddy Sanchez made an incrdedible play to save the run, but in that sequence, the A’s lost Hideki Matsui, Cahill and Conor Jackson in that sequence. Chalk that up to a fail on Bob Geren’s part, especially when he saw Jeremy Affeldt warming up in the bullpen. DOUBLE FAIL. The A’s ended up not scoring the rest of the game and Brian Fuentes ended up losing it in the 10th (surprise, surprise).

Saturday, Bob Geren put out a questionable lineup against one of the NL’s elite pitchers in Tim Lincecum. A lineup top to bottom with only 9 total homerun, yes 9. Most of those coming from Josh Willingham. So naturally when a team is struggling to score runs, and they are against one of the best in the game, its going to be tough to scratch out runs. The end result, Lincecum throws a shutout, making the A’s bats look silly in the process.

Sunday things seemed to be looking up. Going into the bottom of the 8th, Oakland led 4-2. But then more late game meltdowns by Oakland. First Nate Schierhotlz takes Grant Balfour out on a pop up that carried over the short right field porch at AT&T park, with a little help from the wind. Then, our “failure of the week,” Brian Fuentes goes 2 innings in the extra frames, only to give up the winning run to Darren Ford and the no-name Giants lineup.

Maybe I’m just a bitter A’s fan, but I think that the San Francisco Giants aren’t really that good of a team. Shown by this weekend, they seem to be a team who is average, with extraordinary pitching and just the right amount of luck in San Francisco. Shown by the A’s 9 straight losses in San Francisco. There is nothing to fear about this team but their talented rotation, which as far as I am concerned, the A’s have out-pitched this year so far.

Last night was rough, and by rough I mean season altering rough. The A’s managed only 1 run against the Angels, and managed to stay in the game until the bottom of the 8th. Why? Our pitching as always. The offense could not muster much, yet our pitching gave up 1 run. In that fateful 8th inning, Fuentes took the mound in the game again with the score tied late on the road. Once again, the same result would pan out, another loss for Fuentes, his 4th in the last week, dropping his record to 1-7 on the season. He has acounted for 24% of the Oakland losses this season. As an A’s fan this frustrates me, based on our pitching leads MLB in several categories or is at the top, yet we seem to lose games because of our pitching. Very confusing. Then Fuentes goes on to rip Bob Geren to the media. Really? Come on, just because your not doing your job means you need to put the blame on others. Yet I do feel for the guy, but before you air out your issues to the media, try and keep it in house. 6 losses in a row is tough, but when everyone in baseball knows the team is bickering, not a good look.

At some point something’s gotta give, whether its shaking up the roster with more offense through trades or through the farm system, we have to do something soon. Especially when this could be a year we could potentially make a run. We will see, this 6 game losing streak needs to end, and our team needs to unify. Maybe when the injuries stop, maybe we can get some momentum.

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