First the good news: The A’s scored 3 runs off Alex Cobb, and one of them was Coco’s 5th homerun of the year!
Then the bad, which pretty much was the entire game: Three runs wouldn’t be enough to erase Brett Anderson’s 4 run first, and Scribner’s 4 run outing, and aside from the first inning, the A's couldn't seem to hit with a single RISP.
The A’s lose 8-3 in a game where they really only showed up for the first inning, despite the half-hearted teAse in the ninth. The A’s jumped to the early 2-0 lead, thanks to a Crisp double (who was 2-4 on the day with a walk), a one-out Smith walk, a Lowrie RBI single (he would go 4-4 on the day; the only bright spot), and a Moss RBI single. Inexplicably, Moss would be thrown out on the basepaths for the second out, and Chris Young ended the rally (as he did most rallies today; he would go 0-4 and leave 6 men on base).
Staked to a 2-0 lead, our "ace" pitcher should have taken the ball and set down the Rays, right? Wrong. I'll spare you the play-by-play details, but when the first inning was completed, Anderson had given up four hits, two walks, and four earned runs. He wouldn't come back in the second, citing a sprained ankle. The ankle isn't the concern. The four runs in the inning following his 7ER in Detroit is probably a bigger problem.
Evan Scribner was called in as the next pitcher, as the A's only trailed 4-2 at the time. Unfortunately, in his three innings, he gave up 4 runs of his own, blowing the game open and giving the Rays a 8-2 lead. The A's would collect a lot of hits, but couldn't ever get back into the game. The A's opened the fifth with back-to-back singles, but you knew it wasn't the A's game when Coco (in seemingly the only time he has been retired in the last week) hit into a rare double-play to kill the rally. The A's would collect two one-out-singles in the sixth, but Chris Young would pop up and Josh Reddick would strike out (he would also end the day 0-4 with 5 LOB).
Coco would homer in the 7th, but the A's could draw no closer than 8-3. They would put two more on in the eighth, but the Young/Reddick black hole wouldn't let another run score, and despite loading the bases in the ninth with no one out with Donaldson, Sogard and Crisp, the A's couldn't score. Jaso would strike out and Smith would hit back to the pitcher, closer Rodney. Instead of throwing the comebacker into center field, he smartly went home for the force to start the game-ending double-play.
I guess the other silver lining was the rest of the 'pen: Blevins, Neshek and Resop collectively pitched four scoreless innings to give the A's a chance to come back, but the damage had been done. Had the A's truly needed this game, they wouldn't have gone with the mop-up in the second inning. But you can't blow the bullpen in the first game of the series, and everyone, and I mean everyone, hopes for a resurgence from Jarrod Parker tomorrow.
We do it again tomorrow; same time, same place. BillyF will be your host with the most!