While it seems a bit churlish to complain about a bad offensive night less than 24 hours after the A's scored 16, how can you be anything but churlish when an A's runner only gets past first base in the sixth inning? And as nice as Friday's performance was, the A's have had a lot more games like Saturday's this season. It isn't too hard to figure out what the outlier is.
Equally aggravating, neither of the A's flagship stations reach the Monterey area with any clarity -- 106.9 FM sort of came in, but it was completing for space on the FM band with a Latin music station, so most of Vince Cotroneo's play-by-play was backed by a saucy beat, when it wasn't being drowned out entirely.
"Travis Buck steps in, 0-for-2 on the night to face Wils... Mi amor robó mi corazón... ball two, inside...."
I had forgotten to check on the A's broadcast affiliates before leaving town, so I wasn't sure which station in the Monterey area picks up A's games. (KRKC 1490 AM in King City, I guess.) And as we got past Gilroy, the regular A's stations started coming in stronger. Just in time for me to hear the Rangers put away the game with five runs in the eighth, lucky me.) But while scanning the dial, I came across the broadcast of the Angels-Mariners game coming in clear as a bell. Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo may be broadcasting from a boat anchored out in international waters, but Rory Markus and Terry Smith are apparently hovering over my car no matter where I travel to. Again -- lucky me.
One of these days, Lew Wolff is going to announce that the A's new broadcast deal is to have Ken Korach talking on the other end of a tin can and string or Robert Buan standing up on top of Mt. Davis signaling the play-by-play with semaphore flags, and I will not be the least bit surprised.
Game 17: Rangers 7, A's 0
Your Pitchers of Record: WP -- K. Loe (1-0) LP -- J. Kennedy (0-2)
Went Deep: Kata (2)
Your King Estate Pinot Noir Star of the Game: Apparently this was Kameron Loe's first start of the year, and 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball is a pretty good way to solidify your place in the rotation. Then again, C.J. Wilson did put down the A's only offensive threat of the night by striking out Eric Chavez and Milton Bradley with the bases loaded in the sixth.
... this night was all about Loe, who proved he was ready to start when his turn came.
Fair enough. They saw the game, after all. I was busy eating beef rouladen.
The Turning Point: You don't have to watch the game to know that having your two big hitters strike out with the bases loaded is not a recipe for winning baseball games.
A less obvious moment occurred in the Rangers half of the seventh, when Texas had runners on first and second with one out. Alan Embree wound up walking Gerald Laird and his formidable sub-.200 on-base percentage; that would allow Nelson Cruz to score on Jerry Hairston's fly ball, putting Texas out in front 2-zip. I suppose a two-run lead in Texas is hardly a secure one, but the way the A's were swinging the bats Saturday, it's about as close to secure as you are going to get. Just to be sure, the A's coughed up another five runs in the eighth. Sheesh.
Dreaded Jamie Reed Sighting: Pitching with a seven-run lead in the ninth -- had to get his work in, I guess -- Eric Gagne had a back spasm, requiring a visit from the Rangers' trainer.
I just wanted to see what it felt like to write one of these things without mentioning Larry Davis. Kind of weird, actually.
Phil's Not-So Phun Phacts: Heard this from Ken Korach during the warm-up for Sunday's game: apparently, this is the second time in A's history that the team has followed up a 16-run outburst by getting shut out the following game.
All in All: Every time the A's score 10 or more runs, I usually mutter something along the lines of "save some for tomorrow." The A's never seem to take my sage advice.