The Oakland A's came in tonight's game against the American League West division leading Texas Rangers, but yet again the A's were burned by a pitcher being left in a game too long.
Vin Mazzaro didn't have an easy time with the Rangers lineup. At one point Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, and Josh Hamilton combined to go 6-6. The telling stat though is the fact in five and a third innings Mazzaro gave up 12 hits!
What really makes for A's fans disgusted with Geren was the fact that in the sixth inning the A's rallied from a 4-1 deficit to a 4-3 deficit. The big clue for Geren that Mazzaro needed to be relieved was the fact that starting the bottom of the sixth inning he had already given up nine hits.
It wasn't like the bottom of the fifth inning was a breeze for Mazzaro either. He did a great job pitching out of a jam and for a 23 year old that should have been enough for him to keep his confidence for his next start.
That inning saw Young double, Josh Hamilton single moving Young to third, Guerrero then hit into a double play scoring Young, and Nelson Cruz struck out swinging. It says something about Mazzaro being able to get out of a jam like that when facing the Rangers potent lineup.
Instead Mazzaro of course was allowed back out. The first batter was David Murphy and Mazzaro did a good job of getting ahead of him, but Murphy worked the count a little more to his favor and hit a hanging slider way out to right field.
After the homerun Mazzaro should have been relieved, it wasn't like the A's didn't have anyone up in the bullpen in case Mazzaro got into trouble. The next hitter was Mitch Moreland and he got a pitch that he just missed hitting out to center field. Another sign to Geren that Mazzaro was done.
Still, he was left in to face Joaquin Arias who hit a slowly hit ball toward Cliff Pennington. Instead of charging the ball Pennington waited to receive the ball and use his arm to get Arias, but he beat out the throw by Pennington.
Was Mazzaro taken out of the game after Arias got on? Nope. He was left into face Taylor Teagarden, it was understandable that maybe just maybe Mazzaro would be able to get Teagarden because coming into the at-bat he was hitting .034 on the season with no homeruns and no RBI.
Well, Teagarden finally got a pitch he could hit and he drove the ball out for a two run shot to make the game 7-3. Any momentum the A's had from getting with in one run was still there because when Murphy hit his homerun the A's were still within two runs. But, when Teagarden launched his two run homerun any thought of making the game interesting was gone.
Tonight was just another perfect example of why Geren needs to be fired immediately.