So, the A's didn't end their two-team road trip breaking even, could not take it to the NL East. Even with pretty good outings by the eighth and ninth starters, the A's could not break even on this East Coast swing. Why?
On this Sunday, Roy Halladay was just too good. After spending a good chunk of the past few years "taking our hat off to those guys," the A's legitimately must take off their hats to Halladay, and thank their collective gods that he enjoys playing in the National League now.
Halladay got his tenth win, his fifth complete game and was a Coco-manufactured run away from another shut-out. He had 113 pitches and lowered his ERA to 2.40. And he destroyed the A's chances of a .500 road trip versus Josh Outman today.
Offensively for the Phillies, the top of the lineup - Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco - did their job, setting the table with six hits and all three runs scored.
Offensively for the A's, well, it was few and far-between.
In the first inning, Philadelphia matched their output the previous two games. First pitch swinging, Rollins ripped a shot into left, only to be outdone by certified-A's killer Polanco, who ripped a double to left. Shane Victorino followed suit, blooping a single into shallow left, scoring Rollins. Eight pitches, three hits, all to left. Outman then induced Ryan Howard to ground into a double-play, scoring Polanco.
Although the bottom of the second provided more base runners for the Phillies, the A's defense held. The top of the fourth would provide the next run, as Coco Crisp led the inning off with a bunt single that Halladay could do nothing with but hold onto. Crisp went to second when Hideki Matsui grounded out, and scored on Ryan Sweeney's swingle to shallow center.
In the bottom of the fifth, Outman got into trouble again. Rollins hit a weak grounder to Cliff Pennington who had no play. A's-killer Polanco singled to center, and Howard walked on a star-friendly check-swing walk to load the bases. Ben Francisco then dribbled a little come-backer to Outman, who had no play and Rollins scored. Carlos Ruiz then hit a bullet to center that Coco managed to wrangle to end the inning.
The A's were not without their chances. In the top of the second, Conor Jackson led off with two hits: Conor Jackson with a double, and Sweeney with an infield swingle. Scott Sizemore followed this with a double play to third and Landon Powell grounded out to end the threat. Then, in the top of the seventh, the same crowd gathered--Jackson led off with a single through the middle. Sizemore doubled deep into right field, but was not quite deep enough to score the run. Landon Powell then popped it up to second, and David DeJesus pinch-hit for Outman, struck out looking to end the inning.
- Outman pitched well, especially considering he gave up three straight hits to start the game.
- Brad Ziegler pitched two innings of scoreless relief. He faced both left and right-handed pitching and managed to escape unscathed.
- Coco's manufactured run in the fourth was quite pretty.
- Conor Jackson had three hits and appears to be living up to NewBob's belief that he is good. Coco and Swooney also had two hit each. The problem, as the A's are a station-to-station team, is the rest of the team had one hit.