Jeff Manship's 29-pitch second inning resulted in a pair of Oakland runs and a 0-2 deficit. He bounced back, retiring the A's in order in the third and fourth, and at that point had only thrown 69 pitches. Through four innings, okay, it's not ideal, but hey, Joe Mauer would double and score in the bottom half of the inning to knot the game at two (thanks for the sac flies, Justin Moreau and Jason Kubel!). So really, he was in pretty good shape. Right?
Well, Manship walked the #8 AND #9 hitters to kick off the fifth. His hook was slung. Jesse Crain actually retired the next three men, but sadly the first two managed to get off long fly balls and they each produced a run. That made the game 4-2, where we'd end things.
Mauer and Mike Redmond each managed to ground into double plays. It's a catcher thing. In fact, Mauer's double ensured that the 2-6 hitters didn't go hitless on the afternoon (1-for-17). What else can I share with you that was utterly and mind-retchingly frustrating from today? Oh yes, Brett Anderson owned us. Seven innings, a pair of runs, five hits. If you go back and read what I wrote in his scouting report for the game thread, well, he was exactly the pitcher I warned he's been since the end of June. Oakland closer Andrew Bailey may have walked Morneau in the ninth, but I'm pretty sure it was an accident. Because he mowed right through the other three guys he faced.
Orlando Cabrera did make a nice play in the first inning. He ranged back to shallows left field near the foul line in between Brendan Harris (two hits on the day) and Kubel, caught the ball over his shoulder, then doubled Adam Kennedy off of second base.
That's right my friends, today's highlight might have been the double play in the first inning.
It's become abundantly clear over the last few days that the offense is pressing, and putting a lot of pressure on itself. As necessary as that's been considering the type of starting pitching we've had this season, results in those circumstances are never good. You always hear about players being told "not to do too much", but it's pretty evident that on any given night there's at least one guy who is more in his own head than he is inside the batter's box. Or maybe that's just a completely subjective observation and I'm trying to rationalize how this offense continues to underwhelm when we need them the most.
Life is good when your team wins. Hopefully the Twins can win tomorrow. If not, you can always flip over to the Vikings. If they beat Cleveland by anything less than 21 points, I'll be surprised.
Brendan Harrs: A pair of hits! We'll always take multi-hit days...
Denard Span: One hit, and an RBI at that. We like Denard.
Jose Mijares: 1.2 innings, no runs and four strikeouts. I'm liking Jose, he's been a much needed reliable arm out of the 'pen most of the season.
I Love You But You Make Me Cry
Jeff Manship: It's not your fault really. You should be in the bullpen. It's pretty clear we shouldn't let you go past pitch number 70 yet. Abundantly clear.
Cabrera-Cuddyer-Redmond: A lot of guys didn't get hits today, but there was zero contributions from you guys.
Hope: Yes. My hope makes me cry.