So here's the situation. You have a pitcher on the mound who is trying to make a comeback, but he is shaky at the start. He can't throw a pitch near the strike zone. One of his rare strikes lands in Rajai Davis' wheelhouse and he doesn't miss it; he rakes a double.
As a result, there is a speedy man on second with no one out. In the top of the first inning. Against a team that scores a lot of runs, specifically against you. You are a very patient hitter and you can hit. The pitcher is laboring. Here's your chance. What do you do?
If you picked (d), You bunt, that is ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT! You do NOT bunt! You let yourself walk. Or you wait for a meatball strike and you hit. You do NOT bunt! Particularly when the bases end up loaded and the inning ends with a double play, letting a struggling pitcher off the hook with only the one run scored! It's like a clinic for why you don't bunt in that situation. What could (and should) have been a big inning ended with a single run scored!
Not to mention, Davis is your fastest runner and your best base-stealer. You at LEAST give him a shot to get to third all by himself! Whether the decision was Barton's (stop, you're not fast) or Geren's (stop, go replace Joe Morgan), it was a terrible one and set the tone for eight inning's worth of nothing but absolute offensive frustration.
The A's scored their first run on a Suzuki single, their second run on a Fox single, and ironically, even with runners all over the bases, the A's found a way to score a single run on a solo homerun (Powell).
Through eight innings, the A's put on 17 baserunners (12 hits, 4 walks, and a catcher's interference). They even set up an eighth inning tease with two outs, as a Powell single and a Barton double threatened, but ultimately came up empty as Suzuki flew out. To add to the A's frustration, Powell is the only runner on the team that doesn't score on that double.
But luckily, a baseball game has nine innings to work with, and the A's weren't stymied forever. It took nine innings, but a one-out double, a walk, a HBP, an infield single, and a shallow sac fly gave the A's the two runs they would need to win the game against Cabrera's three homeruns, accounting for all of the Tigers' runs.
Sheets pitched very well, and if you take out Cabrera's homeruns (he had two against Sheets) he was spectacular, scattering five hits over his seven innings of work, while striking out six. Ziggy gets the win for his usual shutdown eighth inning, and although Bailey made it scary, he got the save.
We do it again tomorrow! Can you stand it?
Athletics lead the series 1-0
|Fri 05/28||5 - 4 win|
|Sun 05/30||10:05 AM PDT|
|Mon 05/31||10:05 AM PDT|