Gutierrez: A's Cahill in a galactically-bad funk

June 15, 2011, 6:32 am
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comOAKLAND -- When he woke up on May 10, Trevor Cahill was looking like the leading candidate to start the All-Star Game for the American League. The right-hander was sitting at 6-0 with a ridiculous 1.72 ERA in his first eight starts.Now? Cahill should have to buy a ticket to watch the Midsummer Classic ... on some old-school closed circuit showing of the game in someone's garage. Oh yeah, and Cahill should have to supply the red cups for the adult beverages.The erstwhile Darth 'Dactyl has been that bad, and getting progressively worse since his otherworldly start to the season.Consider: the Star Wars fan has been getting diced up of late, like Darth Maul by Obi-Wan. Like Jango Fett by Mace Windu. Like Anakin by Obi-Wan. Like Obi-Wan by Vader. Like Luke getting his hand chopped off by his pops.After being uncharacteristically wild in the A's 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night at Coliseum, Cahill is now winless in his last seven starts, going 0-5 with a 5.67 ERA in that stretch.RECAP: Cahill floundering, A's fall 7-4 to Royals
Whither the Force?"In the second and third inning, I was just trying to throw the ball down the middle, and I couldn't even do that," Cahill said. "I knew it was going to be a long night."A long, and strange one, indeed.Cahill lasted but 4 13 innings, and needed 96 pitches to do that. Plus, only 47 of those pitches were strikes as he gave up four runs on four hits and a career-high seven walks. It was only the third time in his career Cahill, who also had two wild pitches, did not have a strikeout in a game and he became only the second starter in Oakland A's history to walk at least seven batters but not strike one out, joining Mike Norris, who actually won his such game in 1979.A's interim manager Bob Melvin has seen the worse of Cahill.A'S INSIDER GALLERY: The wild side
In his last start, Melvin's debut with Oakland, Cahill lasted only 2 23 innings at Chicago and was roughed up for six earned runs by the White Sox. Before that, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees pounded Cahill."Maybe he's trying to do a little too much," Melvin said. "He needs to let it go and just trust it."He's just a little frustrated right now, because it's gone on a little longer ... he's trying to muscle it a little bit, pulling the pitch."Of course, with how drastically different Cahill's results have been since May 10, and with the injury bug ravaging the A's rotation, you have to wonder if something more than mechanics or psychology is eating at Cahill."Nah," he said when I asked if there was anything physically wrong. "Just in kind of a funk."Call it the Dark Side of the Force for Darth 'Dactyl. It's a team-wide phenomenon.