Given how many Oakland A's games I have had the opportunity to attend this year, it is no surprise that some of them don't turn out the way I had planned. Even the best teams in the league will lose 2 out of every 5, and while the A's had won six consecutive games, and were leading the American League West by 3 games at the beginning of play today, we saw the team completely fall apart in a 14 to 0 pounding at the hands of the Texas Rangers, who avenged the two previous days' losses in dramatic fashion - socking five home runs, and refusing to give the A's any kind of chance to compete.
After finally making it to the city this morning - about 90 minutes behind schedule, we connected for our meeting, and having knocked out the big to-do items, we, as a group, headed to Oakland expecting to give a good demonstration of the Bay Area's best team, but it was not to be today. A's ace Barry Zito started off the proceedings by giving up a home run in the first inning, and continued to struggle through 5 ugly innings. When relieved by a team of relief pitchers, they managed to fare worse, seeing a 4 run inning followed by a 7 run frame, and the rout was definitely on. In fact, I understand that the 14-0 blowout was the most lopsided shutout the Oakland A's have ever suffered. Yay... history. Woo.
It is well documented that the A's offense isn't exactly a barnburner. They simply manage to outscore their opponents more often than not, relying on strong team defense and starting pitching. But today, none of those elements shone through in any way. Not only did the team fail to score, and didn't see a base runner past the second base bag, but they also had three ugly errors, which only made things worse.
That's not to say the day wasn't fun. As they say, the worst day at the ballpark beats the best day at the office. With 80-plus degree temperatures, and an optimistic 30,000+ crowd for a day game that featured one-dollar hotdogs, we had a good time, and shook our head as the A's turned a challenging game into a comedy. Despite giving up the two touchdowns and extra points, the game counts as one in the standings, just like any contest, and the team's most-hated rival, the Angels, also managed to be shut out themselves, so the A's, though stunned, continue in first place by three games, and can press forward to their next opponent, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who return to Oakland on Friday. We will be there, doing our best to ensure a different outcome.
Listening to ''Technologic'', by Daft Punk (Play Count: 13)