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Game #48: Chavez Twirls Gem, Loses on Unearned Run

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Another start, another hard-luck loss for Jesse Chavez, who didn't allow a single earned run in his eight innings, yet somehow managed to lose the game anyway. The A's offense had ample chances against David Price in nearly every inning, but couldn't get a single run across the plate. Both Butler and Fuld came up to bat in crucial situations and between the two of them, they racked up an 0-7 with 8 runners left on base until the ninth, when Fuld scrambled for a two-out double. Unfortunately, he was stranded to complete the A's night, a stunning 0-11 with runners in scoring position.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Chavez has made seven starts in the 2015 season. The A's have scored a total of 13 runs in games in which he started, capped off with the cherry on top that was tonight's. Normally, I'd blame David Price; whatcha gonna do, amirite, but this wasn't Price's night; the A's got to him all night, yet they couldn't push a single run across the plate.

Meanwhile, the A's committed their 50th error of the season (in their 48th game, which is pretty impressive) in the very first inning as Gose led off the game with a single, stole second, and Phegley threw the ball into center field, sending the runner to third with no one out. A sac fly promptly scored the only run of the game. Literally, the game was lost ten minutes after it started. For what it's worth, Phegley would go on to throw out three runners during the rest of the game, so he settled down nicely, but again, it was all for naught. Which means I can tell you as a side note that a nice diving, sliding play by Billy Burns in center field on a 3-0 pitch to Miguel Cabrera kept more runners off the bases in the first.

Speaking of Cabrera, don't miss the replay of his first inning deke, since you won't be watching highlights of anything else. He was hilarious tonight; after Billy Burns singled to open the A's half of the inning, Cabrera quickly tested the rookie baserunner. He made a nice catch on a throw over to first and tried to convince Burns that the ball had gone down the line. Body firmly planted on first base after sliding back in, Burns refused to move as Cabrera patted him on the head as if to say, "All in good fun, rookie". There's no love lost between the A's and the Tigers, but it was patently adorable. What is not adorable; however, is that Billy Burns is one of the fastest players in the entire MLB and just doesn't run. After his leadoff single, he never moved. And against Price, sometimes runners have to move themselves instead of waiting for others. Left-handed yes. Difficult to run on yes, but Burns owed it to himself to try to get an extra base or two; he was on base twice and should have had a second hit, except he tripped and fell running to first. A's Circus 2015.

Stephen Vogt singled to start the second inning and moved to second on a passed ball. After Canha flew out, Vogt was almost thrown out at third on a ground ball by Lawrie, but he was hit in the head instead, putting runners on first and third with one out. Phegley's fly ball wasn't deep enough to score the run, and Fuld didn't get a hit until two outs in the ninth inning.

Vogt made a gorgeous play in the third inning with two on to help Chavez, and the A's promptly stranded two more runners in the third after Burns was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Zobrist singled with one out.

Burns made a great catch almost up against the wall to end the top of the fourth, and the A's stranded another two baserunners after a Canha single and a Phegley walk. For those of you scoring at home, the A's put the leadoff man on in their first four innings, and added a one-out double in fifth by Zobrist, which should have been a home run in the day, and should have been a triple had it not bounced over the wall.

The A's offense, even with Reddick as a late pinch hitter, folded up and quit for the last few innings, cementing the loss for Chavez.

Another interesting note about today's starting pitching; the A's didn't strike out until Sam Fuld in the fourth inning, and Jesse Chavez didn't get his first until the fifth inning. Okay, that's not really interesting, but it was a 1-0 game and we lost to snap our winning streak. It's all I've got. The A's can still win the series; the rubber game features Kazmir against Simon tomorrow at 12:35. Let's hope the offense likes him better.