Sunday, October 03, 2004

Game 161 : the A's are out of the post-season

Today I was at the game again and it was a rough game. And it started off so well.

Zito was finally on his game. He pitched 7 strong innings, baffling the Angels hitters and only allowing 3 hits through 7 innings. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a 2-run HR. Chavez went 2/3 with 2 RBI, Miller and Scutaro both added RBI's and by the end of Zito's magnificent run, the A's were ahead 4-2.

Then everything went to hell. At the top of the 8th, Macha went to Mecir. I leaned over and mentioned to my family "that's it, game over, we just lost the post-season". I have never liked Mecir. Sure, he has some good numbers this season and also recently, but he had blown a lead just a few days before against Seattle and I have never felt comfortable with him on the mound.

Sure enough, 2 hits and 2 runs later, the Angels tied the game 4-4. Macha then pulled Mecir and replaced him with - Rincon ?!?!? Who promptly gave up a double that was almost a HR on his first pitch and allowing the go ahead run to come home. Angles 5-4.

Macha, perhaps finally realizing he has mis-managed the bullpen yet again, brings in Dotel to pitch the remaining 1 and 2/3 innings - Dotel, who has complained about tendonitis in his elbow. Luckily, Dotel struck out 3 and walked 1 to close out the game.

But with Donnely, K-Rod, and finally Percival, the A's couldn't manage to get another run home to tie the game up, finishing the game with 3 fly outs to left field.

We stayed after the game was over in shock, as we watched about a hundred Angels fans celebrate in the stands.

The A's lead in the AL West and their chance to go to the post season were theirs to lose, and they lost it. The Angels played like a team hungry to get to the playoffs while the A's stumbled around like extras from the movie set of Dawn of the Dead. I have always felt the A's and Angels were well matched against each other. At the end, it came down to the A's just not playing the kind of September ball that made them the perennial favorites in the past.


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