I predicted over at Wahoo’s On First prior to this 4 game set between the Oakland Athletics and the Cleveland Indians that the two teams would split the series. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was as disastrous a 4 game series as you could hope to find; offensive ineptitude, poor defense, inconsistent starting pitching, and Angel Hernandez’s incompetence led to this point. This sweep has completed the Athletics long journey from 12-4 all the way back to the .500 mark at 18-18. Not where we all hoped the team would be at this point after a start like that.
Today’s game was simple, Bartolo Colon got rocked, and the resurgent Scott Kazmir shut down the Athletics offense with the exception of a solo home run from Josh Donaldson well after the game was in hand. If the A’s were going to get swept like this, I can take comfort in that it came as part of the long journey for Kazmir all the way from the top of the AL pitching ranks, to independent ball, and back to the show. I thought the guy would never find his way back, so in that sense I am happy for the guy. But still, the Athletics are in a bit of a free fall right now and something needs to be done to stop this.
The injuries to the outfielders certainly is not helping the situation, Coco Crisp was off to a pretty good start to the season, and while Chris Young and Josh Reddick have struggled, their presence in the lineup can have a positive effect sometimes. A lineup that includes Michael Taylor, Luke Montz, Adam Rosales leading off, and Nate Freiman doesn’t exactly resemble a division winner. But that’s what the AL West Champs put out there today.
I’ll pound my fist on the table as many times as I have to in urging the A’s to call up the likes of Jemile Weeks, Grant Green, and even Shane Peterson from the River Cats. The A’s need a spark after a flat 4 game series in Cleveland, and any one of those three could provide that spark.
So we will try to forget this ugly series in Cleveland as the A’s return to the Pacific time zone to take on the Seattle Mariners. There has to be a lot of frustration within the ranks of the A’s, and playing against the AL West, against whom they are 13-3 just might be the right solution for this team. Let’s hope Angel Hernandez is nowhere near the city of Seattle.