I'm not sure exactly what I expected from the weekend series. Maybe the A's would win the series and compete with the Royals, infusing the 2015 season with a sense of hope and purpose? After all, if the A's can beat the Royals, they can win against anyone, right? It turns out that the A's can't compete with the Royals. Really. I supposed it makes it things like Jarod Dyson jogging to first on a single and halfhearted efforts from the Royals' defense all that much more infuriating. The Royals don't really have to try and they can still play circles around the A's.
I'm sure this comes as no surprise to anyone, but Max Muncy can't play third base. And with Brett Lawrie as the everyday third-baseman, I think that the A's might have prepared more depth than that. Although, Eric Sogard has started nearly every game this year. That isn't a knock on Sogard; he's done everything the A's have asked of him and more this year, but batting first or second for a major league team? Today's lineup was scary from the start; yet it racked up 11 hits. However, those hits translated into just three runs, and one was gift-wrapped for them. It's a nebulous reason why the A's aren't very good; it's sort of everything and nothing all at once. And it's a shame, honestly, to waste the pitching performances we get daily from the A's quality starting staff.
Jesse Chavez was charged with three earned runs and the loss in one of the more gross stat lines I've ever seen. He pitched way, WAY better than his line showed, and deserved better than a loss to complete the sweep. This was a deflating--if not expected--weekend and the A's have to get right back on the field tomorrow against Colorado.
The A's jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Billy Burns (we missed you!) led off with a hit. But instead of stealing second base, he was forced out on Sogard's ground ball. I will never understand this, Bob Melvin. He's literally one of the three fastest players in MLB and you bat Eric Sogard behind him, a singles' hitter AT BEST. Why doesn't he run every time he gets on first? He should never be thrown out at second on a force play. After Sogard replaced Burns at first, Vogt singled him to third. Ben Zobrist sac fly scored the A's first run, and after Josh Reddick took a ball off his shin, he popped up. The Royals decided to spot the A's a run and dropped the ball in shallow left field, scoring Stephen Vogt.
The lead would last until the sixth inning where a lead-off double and single put runners at the corners with no one out. Chavez got the next batter to hit a shallow pop up for the first out, and induced a ground ball to Muncy at third for what should have been the second out. I don't blame Muncy for throwing home instead of to first. He had the runner cold at the plate. You know, if he hadn't airmailed the throw above the runner and forced Vogt to jump high in the air just to stop the ball. The play was ruled a fielder's choice and an error on the throw as the next runner went to third. The subsequent sac fly tied the game and gave Chavez his second earned run; the third would come on the single following. Because the play was ruled a fielder's choice, all the runs were earned, even though rightfully, none of them should have scored. Poor Jesse Chavez.
Mujica gave up the two run home run that changed the game from a 3-2 deficit to 5-2 in the eighth. The A's got one back on a Zobrist single and a Butler double in their half, but Muncy popped up to end the inning. After making another error in his two innings of work today, Marcus Semien doubled with two outs in the ninth to give the A's a chance with Vogt as the tying run, but Vogt had a terrible at-bat. He should have had a 3-1 count, but it almost seemed like he was taking the 2-0 pitch no matter what and swinging at the 2-1 pitch no matter what, resulting in a 2-2 count before eventually striking out to end the game.
Not much to see here, I'm afraid. We'll see you back here tomorrow night where Kendall Graveman hopes to get a bit luckier in his start.