So much for a repeat of last year. The Indians were the ones doing the hammering tonight, swinging free-and-easy en route to a 7-3 victory over the A's. The main culprits were Jarrod Parker and Chris Resop, with an assist from Umpire Angel Hernandez. Parker allowed four solo home runs in five innings, including a mammoth 466 foot shot by Mark Reynolds, and again failed to pitch deep into the game. Resop issued two free passes on nine straight pitches out of the zone, then an intentional walk to Carlos Santana. Left to clean up his own mess he wilted under pressure, allowing a searing line drive to a 42-years-young Jason Giambi in the 7th inning, and the rout was on.
Apparently Parker left the game with a neck strain. Is this the answer we are looking for in the every-fifth-day "What is wrong with Parker" discussion?
The small but punchy crowd of 9,514 at Progressive Field were treated to quite the fireworks show by the Indians offense: four homers and two doubles out of 10 total hits.
As Trainman pointed out in the game thread, the A's have allowed a whopping 94 runs over the last 17 games, which comes out to over 5.5 runs per game. The A's simply cannot expect to win with this terrible level of pitching and defense.
Yes, the strike zone tonight was bad. Actually it was terrible. But somehow Ubaldo Jimenez figured out how to take advantage of that while Parker and Resop missed their location repeatedly and either served up fat pitches to the middle of the plate or pitches so far out of the zone that even Angel Hernandez couldn't give them the corner. The zones were consistently huge for both teams (click the pic to enlarge):
One of those outside strikes was a called strike 3 to Josh Reddick with the bases loaded. Regardless of how awful the strike zone was, Reddick needs to adjust his approach to bases loaded situations. After his struggles last year he is hitting a buck fifty with the bases loaded in 2013. This trend needs to stop.
Yoenis Cespedes did hit a no-doubt homer in the 4th inning, giving him now 6 home runs and 18 RBI in just 19 games, and the name of at least one yet-to-be-born child of an AN member. Josh Donaldson continued his torrid start to the season, with a nice play at third that saved multiple runs (Parker owes him a beer) and tacking on another RBI. But those two can't really save the team when the pitching is this horrid.
Same bat time, same bat channel tomorrow. Hopefully different result. Please?