Strategy of "Take Strikes, Swing At Balls" Produces Meager 2-0 Loss

Apparently, this is what opposing pitchers look like right now to A's hitters. - Harry How

The A's have scored 1 run since last Sunday. So...Yeah, that's not good. Don't worry: There's yet more expert analysis to follow.

Perhaps the A's were shocked that C.J. Wilson kept throwing strikes early in the count because he rarely does that. Wilson had better command than he has had for a long time against the A's, and the result was a lot of "called strike, called strike, slider in the dirt swung on and missed". Wilson needed just 45 pitches to get through the first 4 innings and retired 18 consecutive batters from the 2nd all the way until the 8th.

As with last night's game, the Angels scored a run in the bottom of the 1st and never looked back. With one out, Dan Straily hit Mike Trout with a pitch. Straily made an 0-2 pitch too good to Albert Pujols, continuing A's pitchers' recent "0-2 pitch" woes, and Pujols singled to RF allowing Trout to swim all the way to 3B. Trout scored on Josh Hamilton's sacrifice fly. The second run off of Straily came in the 7th courtesy of an Alberto Callaspo HR.

Meanwhile, the A's offense was Jed Lowrie's two-out double in the 1st, a funky Nate Freiman chopper up the middle in the 2nd, and Lowrie's single in the 9th. There were a couple walks in the 8th inning -- two if you ask Phil Cuzzi, three, if you ask Josh Reddick -- and unless you want descriptions of some ground balls, some fly balls, and a few bad luck liners, that pretty much summarizes the A's offense this evening.

The good news? Texas lost again, 7-4 to the Orioles, so the A's maintain their 2-game lead in the AL West. The Angels are now 9 games back, 8 in the loss column, so the might want to -- and I'm just thinking out loud here -- beat them sometime soon. Like perhaps tomorrow, when Bartolo Colon squares off (rounds off?) against Jerome Williams in a 12:35pm start.

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