Geren without top four relievers today
The A’s won the series with the White Sox, but I think today’s loss just goes to show that not even a series win is that significant when you can’t close in on games you should have won. I’ve already heard from many people who are ragging on Bob Geren for letting submariner Brad Ziegler face two lefties there in the ninth. The A’s were without a left-handed reliever today, so Geren had no options there. So you get Michael Wuertz warming up then, right? Not if Wuertz is unavailable, which Geren informed us after today’s game. He’s battling that sore right thumb that kept him out of some recent games again, and there’s really no timetable for his return. Same for Jerry Blevins, who isn’t even throwing because of a shoulder strain. Craig Breslow wasn’t available because of his recent workload (maybe he shouldn’t have been used Tuesday?), so Geren — also without an ailing Andrew Bailey — was without his top four relievers today. Still, I think in today’s situation, you maybe pull Ziegler after he walks Quentin and let Henry Rodriguez or even Vin Mazzaro have a go at Mark Kotsay. Your thoughts?
Nevertheless, it was a tough loss and the A’s are going to need their starters to go very deep over the next four games against Texas. Otherwise, they’re going to be hurting in the later innings and lose any chance at whatever shot they still have at catching the Rangers. If, by weekend’s end, the division has been decided or is close to being decided, it’s probably best to simply shut down Bailey, Blevins and Wuertz — and be cautious with Breslow — for the remainder of the year to allow them the opportunity to get 100 percent better.