This is getting downright ugly. Oakland has lost nine of their last eleven. The only team they've beat in that span, which covers three and two thirds series, is the Devil Rays. They're in danger of being swept for the second time in a row by the Yankees, despite being in situations where they should have won a number of those games.
The latest two debacles: a loss on Tuesday night after being up 7-1 in the middle innings, and then another blown save by the bullpen, as Arthur Rhodes continued to look combustible, allowing a tying solo home run to Alex Rodriguez, then a go-ahead double to, of all people, Tony Clark. When you're letting a guy like Clark beat you, you're having a rough go of it. The Oakland bullpen has to turn things around, and quickly, if they plan on not digging themselves a gigantic hole to climb during the second half.
Let's try to find some positives from these two games:
Mark Mulder was hittable on Tuesday, giving up thirteen hits in six and a third innings, but he kept working out of trouble in the early innings, getting double plays, including two by Jason Giambi, one after he just missed a broken-bat three-run homer that would've made the score 7-6.
The A's hit Jose Contreras hard, and ran on him at will. They knew Contreras was slow to the plate so Jorge Posada would have no chance of throwing them out stealing. Eric Byrnes stole twice in succession in the first inning, forcing Posada to throw from his knees to second base (not even close to getting him out), and then getting to third without even drawing a throw. Mark Kotsay later took third base, though the play was actually a close one.
Eric Chavez popped two homers on Tuesday, and Scott Hatteberg hit one each night. The A's need power out of Chavez, and getting some from Hatteberg would be a huge bonus after last year's outage.
Jim Mecir and Chris Hammond didn't allow any runs. Mecir's inning last night was a perfect one featuring two strikeouts.
I wrote on my piece of paper with a Sharpie on Tuesday night, "If they blow a 7-1 lead ..." I'm not sure what the "..." was intended to mean. Probably, "I'll be really unhappy." Which I am. I'm pretty sure I killed a mailman who happened to be outside on the way to work yesterday morning. I don't really remember. Apologies to his family if I did.
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