The M's in the top of the 1st inning looked like they wanted to make up for the humiliation of game one. Segura smacked a single and stole second, and then Robinson Cano smoked a long single to score Segura easily. 1-0. Even after that, Boomstick racked a menacing line drive and then Ryan Healy singled. Seager struck out, looking every bit the 70-single man that Mo' Dawg sez he is, but still it looked like all the makings of a nice comfy 8-3 win vs. a 100-loss team.
Erasmo Ramirez quickly gave the lead back, though, in the bottom of the first for a 1-1 tie and then in the 2nd, gave up no-doubter HR's to the Padres. The Mariners' chins dropped and their chests collapsed. (For those interested in technical-type details, Ramirez spent the day going 0-1, 0-2 and then nibbling the outside of the zone to death. The idea of "expanding the zone" means that 50% of the time you go outside the zone a little bit, not 100% of the time. All the M's pitchers are showing us death by a thousand paper cuts of predictability.)
In the 3rd inning --- > single, double, home run, 5-1 lead. Mound visit. Single, single, single, 6-1 Padres. Check the last time San Diego swept a series.
The A's lost a 1-run game, so we're at
THERE'S GOOD NEWS: THE SCHEDULE IS ABSOLUTELY IDEAL
If you check the b-ref schedule and results page, you find that the A's beat the M's in fine style on Monday-Tuesday August 13-14, before Mike Leake saved a sweep in a 2-0 win on the 15th. Since then the M's have: Lost a series to the Dodgers, lost a series to Houston, won one from Arizona, and botched two in San Diego. A 4-6 streak, so I guess we can't make a super big deal out of the 10 games since.
Moreover, the offense has some good games in there: 5 runs in a walkoff win over the Dodgers, 7 in a win over Houston and 7 in a dreary loss to Houston thrown away early, 6 and 4 in the two wins over Arizona. So, Dr. D's suspicion that the A's took the wind out of the M's bats would NOT be much to lean yer can on.
- 4 against Oakland. Yee-haw.
- 3 against Baltimore that you'd BETTER not botch.
- 3 against the WC leader NYY,
- and then 6 games' worth of breathers against poor teams.
To put that in English: a couple of giant, exciting "catchup" series plus a full 9 games' worth of powder puffs to lay into. A good two weeks and the M's are back within two or back in the lead. Especially with Zeus back and a rejuvenated* Felix. I break that all down very easily on paper: 3-1 vs Oakland, sweep Balmer, beat NYY by 2-1, score 4-2 vs SD and LAA. Boom, a quick 12-4 and all this is a distant, ugly memory.
Of course, "a good two weeks" would involve doing some winning, at least, if not playing .750 like Oakland's done for two months.