A's blow it late, lose 7-4 to Mariners

Play of the game. - Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After the "Sunny" rookie exited in the seventh inning, the rare blue moon rose to wreak havoc on the A's.

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Everything was going relatively smoothly, the A's were coasting along with a lead the entire game, Sonny Gray had flashed his beautiful curveball time and again en route to 7 innings of two-hit ball, and handed it over to our well-rested back end "Game Over" relief corps.  And then everything unraveled.

Tonight is a rare blue moon.  If you have a chance, step outside and check it out.  Do something else besides think about this game.

The game started out great.  Sonny Gray rolled through the top of the first inning, and then the A's came to bat against arch-nemesis Joe Saunders.  Jed Lowrie led off the game with a double, moving to third when Mike Morse couldn't find the ball in the corner.  Derek Norris cued a ball down the right field line, scoring Lowrie easily.  And then Josh Donaldson brought the rain. 3-0 A's.  After a Yoenis Cespedes groundout, big Nate Freiman got his first homer against a non-Astros team. 4-0, and the good times were rolling.

Chris Young then followed the home run with a walk, and it looked like the A's might get a knockout blow against Saunders.  However, Young fell asleep at first and was picked off.  Just a plain old brainfart.  It was made all the worse because Josh Reddick followed with a walk, and then Alberto Callaspo singled for the first of his three hits on the night.  Would have been an RBI, and still one out.  Instead, with runners on first and third with two outs, Saunders got Eric Sogard to harmlessly fly out.

That turned out to be crucial as Saunders did not allow a run over the next five innings, keeping Seattle very much alive.

Sonny Gray did not look like an overmatched rookie.  He had a lot of trust in his fastball and curveball.  He seemed unafraid to throw the breaking ball in any count, and on a couple of occasions threw it three times in a row in the same at-bat.  He only made one mistake, which was  a floating changeup that Nick Franklin parked over the fence in the third inning.  Overall, though, seven innings, two hits, two earned runs.  Very nice start.  He exited with a 4-2 lead, and his start would be wasted.

While the A's offensive ineptitude continued against Brandon Maurer, who they have hit well in his short MLB career, the Mariners' bats were revived against Sean Doolittle in the eighth inning.  Do you really want a recap of this?  The eighth inning could not possibly have gone any worse than it did.  Seriously.

This was the worst inning of the season:

  • Michael Saunders led off with a solid single.
  • Henry Blanco hit a solid line drive to left field.  Cespedes made a long run to get to the ball, only to have it bounce in and out of his glove.  Enjoy your gift "double" old man.
  • Brad Miller knocked in Saunders with a solid line drive.
  • Nick Franklin singled to left field on a ball Cespedes may have had a chance on if he laid out, but probably not as he was running in to try to pull the ball off the grass.
  • Keeping score here? 4-4. Doolittle allowed two runs on four hits. Still no outs.
  • Ryan Cook came in to try to stop the bleeding, but immediately walked Kyle Seager to load the bases.
  • And then he uncorked a wild pitch slider that Derek Norris may have had a chance to block, but didn't. 5-4 Mariners. Still no outs.  And crucially, the bases no longer loaded.
  • Kendrys Morales sent a routine grounder to Alberto Callaspo, who made a good throw home to try to nail Nick Franklin.  This would have been either a double play ball or a force play to home, were it not for the wild pitch.
  • Instead, Norris unsuccessfully tried to block Franklin from reaching the plate.  He got in ahead of the tag.  Both Norris and Franklin left the game with an injury. Norris with a broken toe, Franklin with a cleat-torn leg (and maybe worse). Still no outs, 6-4, but now our starting catcher has a bad back and a fractured toe.
  • Cook stayed in and walked Raul Ibanez, but finally the A's recorded an out as he struck out Justin Smoak with the bases loaded.
  • Of course, the brief reprieve was followed by ANOTHER wild pitch, scoring Seager...and that was it for Cook.
  • That's right, our premier setup guys combined for four earned runs in 1/3 of an inning.
  • Journeyman cast-off Jesse Chavez, on the other hand, actually displayed some chutzpah, coming in and getting out of the 2 on, one out jam unscathed.  Kudos to him for showing up and getting the job done.

Of course, the A's didn't do anything else and lost.

Looks like Vogt is catching for the next bazillion days because even Luke Montz is injured.  The A's have no catching depth right now with Jaso, Norris, and Montz all out.  Reports are saying that it is possible that Norris will not hit the disabled list, but seems unlikely.  I can't imagine the pain of catching with a broken big toe.  Regardless he definitely won't play in the immediate future, which includes a crucial road trip against playoff contenders that might make or break the season.......

Breathe, AN.  One game at a time.

Just watch this video a few times and we'll figure out this sh*t tomorrow.

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