What did I do to deserve this game? Sure, I pushed an elderly lady into traffic this morning but she was clearly in my way. I might have texted while driving this afternoon, but I can't possibly be held responsible for something I was doing when I was clearly drunk. And in any event, none of this warrants subjecting me to a game like this.
Sonny Gray came out and got this Friday the 13th going in style by allowing singles to each of the first 3 batters in the game. He limited the damage to 2 runs, but then picked up where he left off allowing 3 more hits and another run to put the A's in an early 3-0 hole. Gray settled down big-time, though, retiring 12 in a row and finishing 6 IP with just the 3 runs on his ledger.
Meanwhile, David Phelps was making his first ever start against the A's having worked 5 IP in relief against them allowing 1 hit and 0 runs. He did that again, allowing 1 hit and 0 runs through the first 5 IP. He didn't give up a base runner until John Jaso walked with one out in the 4th. He didn't give up a hit until Derek Norris lobbed a broken bat single over 3B in the 5th. And for his 6⅔ IP he did not allow a run. No matter that Phelps had lost 4 games in a row, or had a season ERA of 4.88 coming in. He dazzled the A's with ... his "ok" stuff.
Trailing 3-0 going to the 8th Bob Melvin opted, for no discernible reason, to go to his long reliever who also happens to be an aging soft-tosser trying to get by on a combination of slow curves and prayer. Turns out Jeff Francis actually leads all active big league pitchers in something. That's right, Francis has given up 6 HRs on Friday the 13th in his career. He didn't give up a HR in the 8th, but he did manage to give up 5 hits and 4 ER in an inning typified by Francis failing to field a routine comebacker by Ichiro Suzuki, a ball that if Francis had just missed it entirely would have resulted in an easy force play at 2B.
Let's see, what else? In the bottom of the 8th, Coco Crisp desperately dived out of the way of a pitch headed for his foot and was called out for the bat crossing the plate as he hit the deck. In the top of the 9th Jim Johnson hit the first batter and walked 2 others, but thanks to a DP ball in between pitched a scoreless frame.
Oh, Josh Donaldson went 0-4 to put him at 0/25 since he sparred with Manny Machado. Fun!
I'm just glad there are no superstitions associated with Saturday the 14th. And to the elderly lady I ran over earlier today, I just want to say: Sorry, grandma.