(deep breath) I think that everything negative about this team has been said in one of the three game threads today. Obviously, the A's are playing some craptastic baseball, absolutely no one is really hitting the ball consistently, and more concerning, most players are having just awful at-bats when they are at the plate. The outfield combination of Cespedes, Reddick and Crisp are sinking the A's quickly, as the A's will see their 6 game lead evaporate tonight when the Rangers beat the Angels at 7:05. For all his dramatic flair, Cespedes is batting .228/ .299/.428 on the season, and the suggestion of sitting him down for 48 hours and having him watch all the times he takes hittable pitches while flailing wildly to strike out at bad ones is not the worst idea I've ever heard. Meanwhile, Reddick is even worse, batting .205/.289/ .330. Those are pitcher's hitting numbers. I'm not positive, but I bet Tommy Milone could hit right around there for a full season. And the A's aren't going to win a lot of games where their leadoff hitter is a consistent 0-4 or 0-5 at the top of the lineup (he was 0-5 today, securing the 5th at-bat due to the hits by Moss, Donaldson, Callaspo and Sogard, all of whom had 2 in the game).
Also, National League baseball is a waste. There, I said it. Absolutely no one wants to watch Bartolo Colon at the plate, especially when he was either a) sick or b) his non-pitching arm was hurting a bit, both of which we heard as reasons for his early departure from today's game. Seriously, if someone who had never seen a baseball game tuned in for his at-bat, they would be convinced that this is the dumbest sport on record. Thank goodness that this is the last at-bat of National League baseball up to and including the World Series (ha!).
So, even though Reddick and Cespedes thoroughly managed to end the A's rallies, the offense did put together five runs. The Reds scored in the first inning; the A's tied the game on Josh Donaldson's home run in the second. Then everything fell apart for the A's, and Colon allowed 4 more to give the Reds a 5-1 lead. The A's put up a rally in the fourth on a Moss single and a Callaspo double, and Moss scored on a Vogt single, but Callaspo was thrown out and injured on the play at home.
With the score 6-2 after the Reds got one off Chavez, Lowrie doubled to open the sixth. After Cespedes popped up (I wasn't kidding about his day), Moss singled, and Josh Donaldson singled, bringing in the A's third run. Then Sogard tripled in two more, and suddenly, the score was 6-5 with a runner on 3rd with one out for the A's. But they don't score those runs lately. Norris grounded out, and Sogard was thrown out at the plate. And then Reddick struck out with the runner on second.
The A's would put one runner on in the seventh, but Cespedes struck out in a terrible at bat, and two more runners on in the eighth; the last chance to score before Aroldis Chapman, but Reddick flew out to end the threat. And that's all she wrote.
All that to say, if I told you at the beginning of the season that on August 7th, the A's would be tied for first, you'd take it. And you should. Which is exactly where we are right now. True, this team is struggling in the worst way, but they are tied for first. And there are games left to right the ship. The A's hail from Toronto on Friday night; we'll see you back here!