Cespedes' Monster Homerun Can't Overcome Poor Defense and Shaky Starting Pitching


So tonight's game started with McCarthy and Vargas trading outs. All was quiet until the third inning, when Brenden Ryan led off the inning with a double. In what was a good use of the bunt, Figgins bunted to Donaldson; who inexplicably threw the ball squarely into Figgins' back, nearly hurting Jemile Weeks in the resulting collision. The Mariners' first run scored on the play, and after another base hit, McCarthy loaded the bases by walking Ichiro. Cespedes called Coco off to catch a fly ball, and held Figgins at third in the process, but the next ball in the air was the sac fly. With two outs, McCarthy allowed a two-run single to increase the Mariners' lead to 4-0. It was not his best start, but it really wouldn't matter, as the A's sputtering offense didn't provide much help.

Bob Melvin nearly fired the umpiring crew in the third, as Jemile Weeks pounded a ball in the dirt, and ended up at third on the resulting errant throw. The home plate umpire thought it was a fair ball, but the first base umpire decided the ball hit the foot of Weeks. From 110 feet away. Words were exchanged.

McCarthy gave up his fifth run in the fourth (only two were earned), but the A's might have well been facing Felix with how little they could hit Vargas.

And then tonight's highlight happened. Gomes walked with two outs in the fourth, and Cespedes hit a BOMB to center field, nearly landing in a luxury box. It was a monster, jaw-dropping shot out into the cold night.

McCarthy would go five innings in his shaky start. Jordan Norberto, his replacement, had a terrible outing, allowing two runs via mental mistakes at first base, as Norberto and Kila couldn't connect on two different plays. Carignan was also less than super, but didn't allow a run. The A's would get runners on base, but succumbed to the awesomeness that is clearly Jason Vargas. They couldn't really hit Seattle's bullpen either. They did get two runners on to start the seventh, but couldn't move them, and also two runners on to start the eighth, but although Reddick hit the ball hard enough for a 3-run summer homerun, it's April in Oakland. With one out, Seth Smith pinch-hit for Gomes and singled in the A's third run with an excellent at-bat. Suzuki would end the inning, and the rally, with a strikeout, going 0 for 4 on the day. So the A's lose and drop to 1-2 to start the season. And the Rangers and Angels won, of course.

We do it again tomorrow; Colon vs. Felix, 6:00PM.

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