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


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

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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.

A's issue statement regarding Oakland's plan for Raiders stadium

A's issue statement regarding Oakland's plan for Raiders stadium

On Friday, the city of Oakland released a detailed framework for a planned stadium for the Raiders.

A day later, the A's issued the following statement in response to Oakland's plan.

"Oakland is an incredible sports town that deserves world class facilities. We wish the Raiders the best in their stadium quest. Our work is independent of theirs. We are focused on building a ballpark in our hometown for our fans."

On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on a term sheet for a stadium proposal designed to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

Rewind: With another close loss, clock is ticking for Kings in 2016-17

Rewind: With another close loss, clock is ticking for Kings in 2016-17

SACRAMENTO -- Carmelo Anthony missed a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining in the Kings-Knicks game Friday evening at Golden 1 Center. DeMarcus Cousins, like he had done most of the night, gobbled up the rebound. The Kings All-Star big took a couple of dribbles and then launched a majestic 52-foot shot that was right on target.

Instead of sliding through the net to force overtime, the shot caught front iron and careened off the rim. Cousins fell to the floor, acting out the despair that so many Kings fans in attendance felt. Kings lost by a final of 103-100.

The plan was laid out by coach Dave Joerger in the first week of training camp. First learn to how compete and then learn how to win. It was always going to be a process, but after another tough loss, this time on their home floor, the Sacramento Kings are becoming the poster child for “close, but no cigar.”

“We didn’t make a shot in the last minute, minute ten seconds,” Joerger said following the game. “It’s nobody’s fault. Nobody’s trying to miss. We executed and got where we wanted.”

Sacramento got the stops they needed, although they still gave up a few tough offensive rebounds down the stretch. The game came down to their inability to finish on the offensive side of the ball.

Down one with 21.9 seconds remaining, Cousins cut through two Knick defenders and stood all alone at the basket. His two-footer somehow rolled off the rim and into the hands of the Knicks.  

With 3.9 seconds remaining and Sacramento trailing by 103-100, Rudy Gay missed a contested 3-pointer that would have tied the game. Again, no one tries to miss a game-tying shot.

You can’t ask for much more if you are Joerger. His best two players had the ball in their hands repeatedly down the stretch. They even had open looks, but sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce the way you need it to.

“It’s tough - frustrating loss,” veteran Omri Casspi said following the game. “Basically it comes down to down the stretch, making plays and knocking down shots. I felt like we had good shots, we’ve just got to make them.”

Sacramento shot just 7-of-21 from the field (33.3 percent) in the fourth quarter, but the ball movement stopped late in the fourth, especially when Ty Lawson left the game at the 5:19 mark.

The Kings did a nice job of defending the Knicks down the stretch, but it always comes down to a missed layup, a slow rotation or an offensive rebound by the opposition that does them in.

“We competed throughout the whole night, it’s just small mistakes,” Cousins said following the loss. “We’ve got to correct those or we’re going to continue to lose close games.”

The clock is ticking for Sacramento. With the loss, they have now lost four of their last five and sit at 8-14 on the season. Their schedule to-date was considered the second toughest in the NBA and it doesn’t get any easier Saturday night when they travel to Utah to take on the Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back.

“We don’t have a lot of time,” Darren Collison said. “We can’t sit there and say that we’re going to figure it out and lose these games because the West is not going to wait for us. We’ve got to be able to play - play the right way.”

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Kings. They see improvement, but they just can’t seem to get over the hump. They have been within in striking distance late in games in each of their last four losses, but the process of finishing games has been a difficult one.

“I think we’re in a good place, we’ve just got to continue to grow, keep our heads up, stay positive,” Cousins said. “I think we’ll be fine. Hate to say it, but it’s a learning curve.”

Sacramento will be tested on what they learned against the Knicks when they face a well rested, but injury riddled Jazz team that plays extremely hard under coach Quin Snyder.