Well, it seems to be par for the course whenever the A's play to a full house; they find some way to cease being the exciting, fun team we've watched this week. Gio was positively pedestrian tonight; barely lasting five innings. He gave up nine hits and five runs; one was unearned, but it was his error, so still kind of his fault. Believe it or not, Willingham himself would have tied the game had Wuertz not been the pitching replacement, and it's likely that the A's would have led the game had anyone but DeJesus been hitting sixth. The 2011 A's beat themselves; tonight was yet another example.
Gio started off the game by giving up a two-out two-RBI double to put the Twins on the board 2-0 in the top of the first inning. The A's would counter in the bottom half; after a single by Crisp, Willingham absolutely crushed a 3-0 pitch to tie the game. The A's had a meltdown in the top of the third; Sizemore made an error to put the first runner on and Gio made an error to put the second runner one. To no one's surprise, the Twins would score a run on the next play.
The A's would get a double from the red-hot Matsui to open the fourth (he would go 3-4 on the night), and Willingham would get him to third, but just as the A's looked poised to score the tying run, DeJesus would ground into a double play to end the inning and kill the rally. In case you missed it, he would repeat the exact at-bat two innings later. David DeJesus has been the single-most frustrating and disappointing player for me in a season that has had a lot of competition; he has been one of my favorite players for years, and I honestly cannot understand why he has struggled so much this season.
Also rapidly becoming par for the course is the embarrassment that is Suzuki's arm; teams are starting to run wild, correctly sensing that he can't seem to throw anyone out. A stolen base would lead to another Twins' run in the fifth. Pennington would extend his 13 game hitting streak in the A's half of the fifth; he would single with two outs. Weeks would follow with a single, but Coco would pop up to end the inning.
Gio would load the bases and walk in a run in the sixth inning for the Twins fifth run. He would be replaced by De Los Santos, who would get out of the inning without further damage; it helped that Pennington finally threw home with the bases loaded and less than two outs.
Down 5-2, the A's would have another chance in their half of the sixth. After Matsui singled and Willingham walked to open the inning, Jackson tried hard to be DeJesus, but was only able to make one out. Luckily, DeJesus was up right behind him; he would finish the inning, making his fourth out in two at-bats.
I strongly suspect that Michael Wuertz is hurt. He gave up one run on a double and a single, and he gave up a huge three-run homerun to Cuddyer for the fourth run of the inning, which effectively ended the game. Willingham's second homerun of the game came in the eighth, and would have, should have been an exciting, game-tying, three-run shot, and instead was an afterthought.
Final score 9-5. We do it again tomorrow night.
Twins lead the series 1-0
WP: Francisco Liriano (7 - 8)
LP: Gio Gonzalez (9 - 8)
|5 - 9 loss|
|Sun 07/31||1:05 PM PDT|