The Oakland A’s played the biggest game of the season tonight against the Seattle Mariners. Now, some would say it’s way too soon to talk about big game especially since it’s only August 9, but with a young team like the A’s, any time the team has a chance to make ground on the division-leading Texas Rangers, it’s a big game. 

What were A’s fans treated to tonight? An absolute disgraceful performance offensively. Pitching-wise, Vin Mazzaro pitched extremely well after a shaky first inning. He ended the night going seven innings, giving up three runs, two earned, while striking out five and walking two. 

Not a bad start for Mazzaro, although the one complaint could be after getting Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman is, what was he doing pitching around Russell Branyan in the first inning? 

As a result, it led to two runs because the next batter, Jose Lopez, followed with a RBI single scoring Ichiro, who opened the game up with a single. Franklin Guttierez was able to take a hanging slider to right field for a RBI single scoring Branyan. 

It looked bad when Mazzaro got behind in the count to Ryan Langerhans, but Mazzaro was able to get out of further trouble by striking Langerhans out on a 3-2 pitch. 

Overall, the A’s had excellent opportunities to score runs. The biggest moment of the game was in the top of the fourth inning and further proves why Bob Geren is not the manager that will lead the A’s to the playoffs. 

Jack Cust opened the inning up with a single and Kevin Kouzmanoff walked, putting runners on first and second with no outs. The A’s hadn’t been hitting well with runners in scoring  position; in fact, when Kurt Suzuki came up in the top of the third, the A’s had been 0-for-30 with runners in scoring position. 

What the issue is that Geren decided to push the envelope instead of playing it safe. Mark Ellis had been the A’s best hitter with runners in scoring position, but knowing that the A’s had been struggling to get runs in with runners on base it would have been a much better decision to bunt. 

Instead Geren chooses to let Ellis swing away. What does Ellis do? He grounds into the inning-ending triple play! Let me restate that: He grounds into the inning-ending triple play! 

Now, in reality, the call was missed. Ellis definitely beat the throw from Chone Figgins to first, but either way two runners were out and the A’s were now 0-for-31 with runners in scoring position. 

The A’s only scoring came on a double by Rajai Davis. Coco Crisp opened up the sixth inning with a leadoff single. Davis then pulled the ball down the left field line, scoring Crisp from first. 

Suzuki again came up with a runner in scoring position and he grounded out to second base moving Davis to third with one out. Make it 0-for-32 for the A’s with runners in scoring position. 

Next up for the A’s was Cust, who had two hits previously, but he ended up striking out making it 0-for-33 for the A’s with runners in scoring position. Kevin Kouzmanoff couldn’t come up with a big two out hit making the string with runners in scoring position. Oh-for-34. 

There’s not much to say about the rest of the game for the A’s offensively since that point in the game as they went 0-for-12, not even making a dent off struggling closer David Aardsma. 

What a disgraceful way to start a series for the A’s. The Mariners are one of the worst teams in baseball and the A’s can’t even gain ground on the Rangers, who were idle today, and in fact lost positioning in the standings because of tonight’s game. 

Even worse, though, for the A’s is that Felix Hernandez is starting tomorrow night’s game. So, instead of sweeping a team that came into tonight with only 42 wins, the A’s could be the team that gets swept—not a good sign when the A’s had a chance of gaining ground on the Rangers. 

The reason why the A’s had an excellent chance to make up some some substantial ground on the Rangers is because the Rangers are facing the New York Yankees the next two games.

Tonight, though, is just another example of the long list of reasons why Geren should be fired at the end of season regardless of where the A’s finish. The only way he saves his job is if the A’s make the playoffs, and under his direction that doesn’t seem very likely.  

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