Game 97, A's 3, Tigers 8 (42-55) (brief)

By Jason Wojciechowski on July 20, 2011 at 1:30 AM

I watched this one, but not with my usual attention, and not taking notes. Guillermo Moscoso ran into exactly the trouble I predicted he would, giving up some homers and doubles while not, to my recollection, inducing an infield popout. It's known that the general population of pitchers does not possess a "popout skill" (never say never, of course -- someone could come along, one supposes) and thus that Moscoso was a prime target to come back to the mean in certain respects. One would prefer, as a fan, that this not be the case, but one knows, as an analyst (such as one is), that betting on milkshakes to stay frosty in hell isn't the way to make your bones.

The main difference in how the game came out is that it was close, with the A's taking a 3-1 lead into the fifth before the Tiger offense exploded and left Oakland in the dust. The bleeding two-out grounders the A's relied on to score never came back, though (shock of shocks), and that was all she wrote.

It wasn't all I wrote, though, because there are two things to address going forward. First, I don't know yet (having not read the recaps and such) what's up with Scott Sizemore after he took a ball in the throat or thereabouts in the second inning. Eric Sogard took over at third base, but if Sizemore is seriously hurt, do the A's go with Sogard and call up, say, Adrian Cardenas as a utility man? Does Kevin Kouzmanoff get to come back up as a reward for mashing AAA pitching? In the meantime, can Sizemore play immediately? If not, do the A's seriously run with a two-man bench (Sweeney, Powell)? Or do they ship out a reliever or two for some position-player help?

Second, Justin Verlander is not pitching Wednesday's game, thank goodness. Something called a "Duane Below" is set to make its major-league debut instead. Below is 25, just reached AAA this year, and is a former 19th-round pick. His AAA stats at a glance say "generic righty with an uncharacteristically low hit-rate." For what it's worth, it looks like he grew up in a one-stoplight town about an hour from Detroit, so hometown boy makes good will surely be the theme of the night on the Tiger telecast. I will be watching Ray 'n' Glen.1

  1. Actually, I will be preparing to leave on a jetplane for a long weekend of mini-vacation in the District of Columbia, with a side trip to Philadelphia. It is unlikely that I will be watching any baseball, and any blogging will be purely incidental. The A's being the A's, I expect come back with the team having not lost a single time in my absence.