The beginning of this game didn't exactly have that much going on, as Felix Hernandez held the A's to one run in eight innings, striking out ten and walking none. Trevor Cahill had allowed two runs, and the A's were en route to mirroring their 2-1 loss last night.
And then the bottom of the ninth happened.
It all came down to Oakland's catalyst as of late, Jemile Weeks. Weeks led off the inning with a booming ground-rule double. He moved to 3B on a sacrifice bunt, then Coco Crisp lofted a shallow fly ball that was just out of the reach of a sliding Carlos Peguero. And just like that, the game was tied, and the A's, rejuvenated after being held down by Felix Hernandez, came back up to send this into extra innings.
And unlike in previous extra-inning affairs, manager Bob Melvin made the right call and sent his best reliever out for the tenth inning, Andrew Bailey. With the A's in good position to win the game, they were hit by one of the worst, most deflating runs of luck and bad defensive play in a long time.
- Franklin Gutierrez hit a slow groundball that was angled just enough to go past a diving Cliff Pennington.
- Andrew Bailey struck out Greg Halman. One out.
- Franklin Gutierrez stole 2B, after a bad, bad throw from Kurt Suzuki that bounced on the grass.
- Andrew Bailey intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki.
- Brendan Ryan hit a tailor-made double play ball. Jemile Weeks fielded it and flipped it to Pennington at 2B. Ichiro Suzuki slid into Pennington (even though Pennington was far away from 2B at that point) and airmailed the throw to 1B, allowing the run to score.
There was no argument by the coaches on the possibility of a runner's interference call on Ichiro Suzuki, but both of the A's TV announcers cried foul as soon as they saw the replay. The official rule states that the runner must be able to touch the base as he's sliding. Was he close enough to the bag? See for yourself. It sure doesn't look like it to me.
Mariners lead the series 2-0
WP: Michael Pineda (8 - 5)
SV: Brandon League
LP: Brandon McCarthy (1 - 5)
|1 - 2 loss|
WP: Brandon League (1 - 4)
SV: Jamey Wright
LP: Andrew Bailey (0 - 1)
|2 - 4 loss|