Final Score:7, A's 5
When the guy who HRs twice and hits a grand slam is named Miller there's a beer joke in there somewhere, but I don't really want to dwell on the Pabst. Brad Miller's 2nd HR off of Jarrod Parker was not only a grand slam but it was the 3rd HR Parker served up in 4.1 IP in which many of his changeups either bounced or lay out over the plate belt high.
What did today's game really do? Mostly it took two presumptions and cemented them. One was that the A's would fall short of "best record" and would wind up hosting the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. That is now a certainty. The other was that Bartolo Colon would get the nod over Parker for Games 1 & 5. The way Parker has looked since his stomach ailment, giving Colon the Game 1 start appears to be the most prudent course of action.
Parker was never really good today, surviving the 1st but throwing mostly 89MPH. Later his fastball got up to 93MPH, but he was hit hard for 7 hits, 7 ER, 3 bombs. The first HR came off the bat of Justin Smoak with a man on in the 2nd to give the Mariners an early 2-0 lead. The A's fought back with a run in the 3rd (Vogt double, Sogard single, Crisp sac fly) and then the middle innings belonged to Miller.
Miller's first HR of the day was a solo shot in the 3rd to make it 3-1 Seattle. In the 5th, Miller came up with the bases loaded and nobody out and pulled his grand slam just inside the RF foul pole. It was just Miller's 8th HR of the year but actually his 3rd "2-HR game".
If there is consolation to be taken from today's loss it's that the A's most certainly did not fold after falling behind 7-1. Oakland chased Brandon Maurer in the 6th with a Jed Lowrie double and Alberto Callaspo RBI single to make it 7-2. The A's wound up loading the bases, but pinch hitter Nate Freiman bounced to SS.
Then in the 7th against Chance Ruffin, Josh Donaldson walked with one out, Brandon Moss scorched a line drive HR (his 30th of the season), and Callaspo went back-to-back with a HR of his own. Suddenly it was 7-5. Fast forward to the 8th and the A's loaded the bases again, this time for Lowrie, only to have Lowrie watch a called third strike against Yoervis Medina. Danny Farquhar pitched a suspenseless 1-2-3 9th with a pair of Ks to formally match the A's up with Detroit.
Bring on the Tigers. Are Parker's recent stumbles a cause for concern going into the post-season? A bit. However, he may naturally get exactly what the doctor ordered with a week between starts. Hopefully the extra days will bring back consistent velocity, and with any luck Parker will have a feel for the changeup when he most needs it -- which figures to be one week from today.