For some of the guys who have gotten the A's to 38 wins -- for example Sonny Gray and Josh Donaldson -- it just wasn't really their night. And for some of the guys who have gotten the A's to, now, 24 losses -- for example the much maligned Jim Johnson -- well it wasn't his night either.
Sonny Gray had great stuff tonight and that was quite possibly the problem. He had so much movement on his fastball that he had little idea where it was going. For 4 IP he was virtually unhittable, surrendering just a solo HR to Adam Jones in the 1st inning and no other hits, before the dam broke.
The A's got that run back when Coco Crisp pulverized a Kevin Gausman 0-2 pitch into the RF seats in the 3rd, and as a result we went to the 5th 1-1. From there it was just a struggle for Gray, who surrendered 3 runs in the 5th, charged with another in the 6th, and wound up with 4 BBs and 5 ER on his ledger for just 5.1 IP of work.
Meanwhile, Josh Donaldson's line was simple: strikeout, strikeout, strikeout, strikeout. A golden sombrero for the golden child with the golden locks. Hey, it happens. Twice (2nd inning, 6th inning) the A's put the first 2 men on only to be turned back. As a result the Orioles jumped out to a 6-1 lead after 6 innings.
The Orioles capped their scoring for the evening when Gray left with a runner on in the 6th and the score 4-1, turning the ball over to Jim Johnson. It was exactly Johnson's second pitch that David Lough crushed into the seats for a 2-run HR. Welcome home, Jim. It used to feel as if Johnson just couldn't pitch at home, but now it is feeling as if he can't really pitch in anyone's home. The velocity is there, the sinking action there only sometimes, the command non-existent. His days in Oakland are almost surely numbered as he and the A's have just not been a good fit.
The A's will battle you to the last out and battle they did. In the 8th Eric Sogard singled, Coco Crisp doubled, and off the bench Kyle Blanks singled them both home to make it 6-3. In the 9th with 2 outs Stephen Vogt singled but Alberto Callaspo could not get the tying run to the plate. He struck out to run his current streak to 0 for 19 and as a result the A's endured, for just the 7th time in 62 games, failing to tie, lead, or get the tying run to the plate, in the 9th.
Ultimately, it was just kind of "one of those games": The kind you just lose. Scott Kazmir will try to get the A's a series win tomorrow morning against Ubaldo Jimenez while a group of about 25 ANers head down to Stockton to watch Addison Russell (beginning a rehab assignment) and the rest of the Ports. It's supposed to be 101 degrees in Stockton tomorrow, so wherever you are tomorrow be grateful if the temperature is only "double-digits".