Game #5: Opening Day Comes Four Games Late; A's Lose to Felix Hernandez

Thearon W. Henderson

Ho hum; another game against Felix Hernandez, another A's loss. The A's showed absolutely no signs of life until the ninth inning, and a would-be-game-tying home run came up a few feet short; such is the season so far for the A's.

I'm not sure we're trained to expect anything else in a game like this. When Felix Hernandez takes the mound against the A's, they usually lose, and look bad doing it. Felix completely owns this team, and it's hard to judge our players so far in this early season by their performances in today's game. They had exactly one chance at a rally before the ninth inning, but it never really felt like they were going to score.

Obviously last night's game postponement was a complete screw-up in many ways, but the very worst thing about it is that it pitted Dan Straily against Felix Hernandez instead of Chris Young. The A's had a chance to take a game against a much easier pitcher, and their grounds crew let that one slip away; the Mariners will have their complete rotation back before the make-up game. Of course they didn't want to play a doubleheader today; and why would they?

The A's didn't knock Hernandez out of the game until one out in the ninth inning. He allowed just 4 hits, while striking out 8, through his first eight innings. The A's recorded their first hit of the game in the fourth inning, as Jaso singled with two outs, and Moss doubled. Both runners were left. Coco Crisp would triple in the sixth with one out, but Donaldson struck out to not score the run. Jaso would single again in the seventh. That was the entirety of the offense until the very last inning.

Meanwhile, Dan Straily was much better than his line score. He had 3 bad pitches; unfortunately for him, they were all in the same inning, and two of them went over the fence. He allowed 6 hits in his 6 innings, while striking out a nifty 7 of his own, but a double and two home runs put the A's down 3-0 in the fifth inning. To Felix. Which meant they would lose. Pomeranz, Johnson (I know! He also struck out two in the inning!) and Scribner would all have a scoreless inning to close the Mariners' chapter, but the damage had already been done.

The A's put on a valiant teAse in the ninth as Lowrie led off with a home run to get the A's on the board. Moss singled, but after coming this close to tying the game, Cespedes flew out, knocking Hernandez out of the game. Rodney would strike out Jaso on a questionably low strike (that the catcher dropped), and of course Reddick struck out.

It's hard to draw any conclusions in a game against an elite pitcher who owns your team, but there are going to be some black holes in the lineup the way the A's have it set up, and I'm not sure I wouldn't downgrade the defense in favor of the bats.

So the four game series has been turned into three, and the A's try to win the rubber game tomorrow. Same time, same place. We'll see you right here!

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