Archive for Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chavez can’t make big play for Oakland

October 12, 2006


— Eric Chavez's glove hasn't exactly been golden in the AL championship series.

His bat is nothing special, either - and those are two reasons the Oakland Athletics are in big trouble.

Chavez went 1-for-4 with a solo homer and two strikeouts in the A's 8-5 loss in Game 2 on Wednesday night, dropping him to 4-for-17 in the playoffs.

Postseason hitting problems are all too familiar for the A's five-time Gold Glove third baseman - but his average play in the field has been a shock to fans accustomed to seeing his casual brilliance every day for six months.

Chavez had chances to curtail Detroit's decisive rallies in both of its victories - and both times, he couldn't come up with the remarkable plays he usually makes. Yet he shrugged off the plays, still confident in his ability to change games with his glove.

"You don't get to be a top third baseman like I am without taking some chances," he said.

With Oakland holding a 3-1 lead in Game 2, the Tigers loaded the bases on two hits and a walk in the fourth inning. After Craig Monroe's short single to center scored just one run, playoff newcomer Alexis Gomez hit a one-out chopper toward the hole on the third-base side.

Chavez got to the ball, but couldn't get a grip on it to start a double play. The hit squirted into shallow left field, and both Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez scooted home to put Detroit ahead for good.

"It was just in a tough spot," Chavez said. "I knew the only chance for me to do anything was to try to cut it off. It was just too far to go. If it was a little bit closer, I would have got it."


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