Yeah, you knew Yoenis Cespedes would be the hero for at least one of these games. There was really no way he wasn't going to hit a key, game-changing homer. Josh Donaldson is going to hit a walkoff homer when we're in Toronto, Brandon Moss is going to singlehandedly score every run when we play Cleveland, and Derek Norris is going to throw out at least ten potential base stealers when we play San Diego.
It's destiny, and it's the price we pay for our hubris.
This game was incredibly boring, in the certain way your 2015 Oakland Athletics have perfected. Were there excellent performances? Sure, Stephen Vogt hit a triple (and it was majestic), Sean Doolittle struck out two, and Billy Burns came about a foot from hitting a home run. Were there teases? Yup, especially when the A's scored a run and stranded the tying run at second in the 8th inning. But these are the 2015 A's, and even when they're trying their danged hardest, they're not really going anywhere.
The game started off as a pitching duel between Scott Kazmir and... Alex Wilson, who is a pitcher apparently. He's usually in the bullpen, but the originally planned starter for today, Alfredo Simon, had to go on the bereavement list. Their replacement starter, Kyle Ryan, had some flight issues and ended up missing the beginning of the game. So, Alex Wilson.
Neither pitcher allowed a hit in their starts. Of course, Alex Wilson was pulled after 3 innings because he is not a starting pitcher, and Scott Kazmir was pulled with shoulder tightness after 3 innings. You can read more about that here, and yeah, it's pretty scary. Kazmir's start was very weird, regardless of the shoulder issues - 3 walks and 4 strikeouts over three innings. Those three walks all came in the same inning, the second, when he walked the bases loaded. But no damage done.
There was really no excitement in today's game until the fifth inning, when, following an Ian Kinsler double and a Miguel Cabrera intentional walk, Yoenis Cespedes unloaded on a 2-2 pitch. The A's really know how to tempt fate, intentionally walking the guy before Cespedes. Seems like even the Athletics' rational minds would know that that was going to anger the baseball gods.
The A's ended up getting two of those runs back in the 7th and 8th innings, when, after leadoff triples from Marcus Semien and Vogt respectively, the A's managed to drive them in with sacrifice hits. The A's have struggled with this very, very basic facet of baseball in the past few weeks, so I'm chalking this up as a moral victory.
The A's managed to teAse again in the 9th inning, but nothing came of it. Vogt singled and Canha walked to put two on with one out, but back-to-back Ks from Lawrie and Semien sealed the A's fate.
Another one-run loss, and another loss where the tying run was left in scoring position. This team is ridiculous, and I honestly have no idea what to think about it. Other than the fact that this stretch of baseball is some of the most frustrating I've ever seen.