Last night's loss to the Chicago White Sox reminds me of an old Arthurian legend called the "Perilous Bed." This is one of the trials of Sir Gawain. It's a silly story: Gawain tries to go to sleep on this bed, and it bucks him around like a wild stallion, generally making it impossible for him to sleep. Gawain "defeats" the bed, by simply staying put. The lesson: some monsters can't be slain, they have to be endured.
Most people expected the A's to be one of the better teams in the AL this year, and at this point, with five pitchers on the DL, they clearly are not. There's a long list of other A's players I'd rather see on the mound with a lead in the eighth inning against the World Champions than Steve Karsay and Randy Keisler, both of whom should be mopping up innings in blowouts, if they're even in the majors at all. And if your first option in the tenth in a tie ballgame is Ron Flores, you are truly hurting.
It doesn't get any easier in the next couple of days, with Javier Vazquez and Mark Buehrle lined up to face Oakland. If the A's get out of Chicago with one victory out of three, they should count themselves as fortunate.
That's why last night's loss hurts. If you're going to endure having five pitchers on the DL, you desperately need to win games like that. Every win is precious, another step closer to defeating the endurance test monster. But if you let those slip out of your grasp, you get perilously close to falling off, into a losing streak that will be the death of you.