The next time Art Howe decides to make a pitching change maybe he should be given a Rorschach Inkblot test. It may not reveal anything, but maybe Art would be distracted enough to go back and sit down.
Any visit to the mound should consist of the pitcher and catcher reminding Art there are plenty of seats in the dugout.
STUCK ON YOU OR 99 (LUFT BALLOONS)
For the second night in a row the A's blew a lead and wasted a good performance by their starter.
What does it take to get a few outs and not let people score? It looks like it's a heck of a lot easier for the Mariners to score runs than it is for the A's to prevent runs. As ridiculous as that sounds.
STUPID QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Two nights in a row they dodged a bullet. We'll have to see if we can keep that from happening again tomorrow." - Manager Art Howe on Seattle's two come from behind wins
No offense Art but;
"Hey, JACKASS, how about trying to win a few games instead of trying not to lose and expecting the other team to just lie down?"
More from the Art Howe excuse file.
Is it all pitching?
The A's offense has been pathetic and Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez haven't been productive in about two weeks.
Here's some September breakdowns:
The only one hitting is Scott Hatteberg and when your number nine hitter (Ramon Hernandez) has about the same Slugging percentage as your clean-up hitter (Eric Chavez), there are going to be problems.
SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
The manager and coaching staff haven't been getting the most from their players.
SO WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
We don't know, we can speculate, but they better find one soon.
THE BIG THREE
All the talk about the Big Three is driving us nuts. They would be the Big Three if the bullpen could be a little reliable. Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito would all have 20 wins. That's not a stretch, either. The bullpen has blown 23 saves. The 'pen ranks 14th in support in MLB. That is horrible for a team with 99 bleedin' wins.
Sure, the A's have come back a few times after a blown save, but they have also allowed teams to take and secure a lead when the game was tied going into the 7th. They have still blown a lot of saves. The point is, the bullpen is not reliable. Not as explosion-ready as the Texas bullpen, but pretty darn awful for a playoff team.
There's no such thing as blind luck, though Baseball Prospectus has been able to attribute numbers to luck. BP does a nice job of daily updates on their stats and it's worth your time to take a look at the relievers .
SO, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE A'S?
The need to find their swagger, their mojo, their what the French call a certain, "I don't know what". They need a fire lit under their asses...like the Twins Geek mentioned recently, they are in danger of becoming the Buffalo Bills of MLB. Not a bad team to root for from November to September, but keep some brochures around to check out all the great vacation specials and cruises you can take to the Bahamas in October.
Where is John Mabry?
Who the hell is doing the breakdowns that stipulate some of the pitcher/hitter matchups the A's are rigging for the late innings, i.e. Art's lament?
Who the hell is the Official Scorer in Seattle-how was T Long's play in center Tuesday ruled a hit when it went off his glove?
Who the hell thought that Long's catch in center last night wasn't a catch-have you ever watched baseball before (note to T Long: IF you read the ball off the bat THEN you can get a good jump and take a straight line to the ball instead of trying to circumnavigate the stadium before making a routine catch)
Is the pitching nightmare REALLY an elaboration of trying to offset the alignment of the upcoming playoff rotation?
Is it worth losing three games to get your starters lined up for a possible five game series over eight days?
Can the Yankees lose enough games to get the A's homefield advantage in the ALCS (should the A's trip, stumble and fall into it)?
IT'S CALLED TOUGH LOVE, GET USED TO IT
We're not bashing the A's. But we really like to see the team's best every night and a focus on winning, not getting by.
Cory Lidle will pitch the afternoon game to close the season series with Seattle today, skipping Ted Lilly's spot in the rotation. By the way, the A's lost the 3 game series with Seattle. So much for the theory of trying to win each series.
Anyway, it makes for some projections on what will be the roatation for the rest of the season.
Likely; Scenario A:
Friday: Lilly on 6 days restSaturday: Harang on a lot of restSunday: Fyhrie on a lot of restMonday: OFFTuesday: GAME 1 ALDS Mulder on 8 days rest
That doesn't really look too promising. Especially if the A's want to capture homefield during the ALCS.
Of course, they would have to win the ALDS, first.
More Likely; Scenario B
Friday: Mulder on 4 days rest (80 pitch limit)Saturday: Zito on 3 days rest (80 pitch limit)Sunday: Lilly/Harang/Fhyrie on a lot of restMonday: OFFTuesday: GAME 1 ALDS Hudson on 5 days rest
Eh, we like the straters getting some work, but, not if it's subject to the Texas launch site that is the Ballpark in Arlington.
Most Likely A's win AL West; Scenario C:
Friday: Lilly on 6 days restSaturday: Harang on a lot restSunday: Fhyrie on a lot of rustMonday: OFFTuesday: GAME 1 ALDS Mulder on 7 days rest
That is the more attractive solution with the A's heading down to Texas with the AL West crown and just having fun. That's what they need. Get some of the other guys in the lineup and basically give the regulars a weekend off. Keep Miggi's streak alive if you must, though we would like to see him have a few days off. Go bowling or golfing. Like the rest of the A's, he just looks out of touch and pressing too much.
FOX SPORTS is broadcasting today's game at 3:35 PST. So, we're be taking a late lunch or skipping it all together.