Sean Doolittle is one of baseball's most cordial and engaging ballplayers, always available to answer questions about himself and his team with eloquent and original thoughts.
It's not always easy.
"I've been talking to you guys a lot, huh?" Doolittle asked reporters who approached his locker after the A's were handed a rare 4-1 loss by the White Sox on Saturday.
The A's have dropped two of their past nine games, and Doolittle's fingerprints were on both. He was summoned in the eighth inning Saturday and quickly turned a 1-1 tie into a three-run deficit, continuing a disturbing trend that covers five outings in which he has yielded 10 earned runs.
Doolittle wasn't as bummed about this one as much as the others. Not that he wasn't upset with the result, but he said it was more about the White Sox stepping up than him melting down.
Especially on the hits that produced the runs on back-to-back pitches: Alex Rios' RBI single and Paul Konerko's two-run homer. Doolittle said the pitch to Rios was "up and away, exactly where I wanted it, and that's a ball a lot of guys pop up or foul off or swing through." The pitch to Konerko "was pretty much off his shoe tops."
As a result, "I feel I made my pitches. I feel I just got beat. Maybe other times, I wasn't really doing myself any favors."
In the manager's office, Bob Melvin still thought of Doolittle as his eighth-inning man but would prefer not to use him Sunday only because of the lefty's recent workload. What frustrated Melvin most was a call on Chicago's first batter of the inning.