The A's had a somewhat B-squad out there today to face arguably the best pitcher in Major League Baseball and it showed. Any time a team can only manage two hits you deserve to lose. Coupling that with walking six guys and it is a miracle you only lose the game 3-1. The A's bats most definitely were enjoying brunch with their mothers today as only Seth Smith with a no-doubt solo shot to right and Josh Reddick with a bloop single in the fourth managed hits. Otherwise the A's bats were shut down to the tune of 11 strikeouts while only managing two walks.
Jarrod Parker was today's soreluck loser. He wasn't great getting into trouble and running up his pitch count with a rough first and second innings during which he was able to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard despite some shakiness. He settled in but his pitch count got the best of him and he left having thrown 112 pitches and with the bases loaded. Grant Balfour continued his poor pitching of late walking in the go-ahead run to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. That lead would hold under curiously Bob Melvin inserted Pedro Figueroa who has seldom been used and has been used in the least leverage situations as possible. Entering the game with awful peripherals masked by his 1.50 ERA he promptly allowed an insurance run. All was for naught as the A's went quietly 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the ninth against Tigers closer Jose Valverde.
Not much to write about in this one. The A's simply were outplayed. The A's got lucky with only surrendering three runs despite allowing six walks, and the Tigers just dominated when they were throwing the ball. A's take on the Halos tomorrow in sunny Southern California so if anyone else is going hit me up!
Also please check out my interview posted this morning with Jerry Blevins and Nico's great piece posted near simultaneously on how to field bunts it is a great read.