Just when you thought you'd heard it all from the 2015 Oakland Athletics this season, along comes the hundredth game of the season and with it, maybe their biggest head-scratching fail yet. After playing an incredibly solid game recovering from Kendall Graveman's abbreviated start and the hole he dug, the A's looked in prime shape to complete the comeback in the ninth inning as a walk and a single put two on with no one out. The A's were going to tie the game, right?
If you thought the A's would score there, you clearly have not been watching 2015 A's baseball. It wasn't the question of if they would muck it all up, but rather, how this promising start would be ruined. And, oh, you hadn't seen anything yet. First of all, I am always okay with choosing not to bunt. There's a fairly solid argument to be made for Phegley to bunt with two on and no one out. I wouldn't have done it; he's not a bunter, not fast; at most, the A's tie the game, and after an entire day of bullpen work, the A's likely need to take the lead to win the game anyway, Semien was on deck, and I'd rather see Phegley hit. Of course, his strikeout didn't help the cause at all, but that's not what ruined the inning. What lost the game was Jake Smolinski missing a sign? straight stealing third base? involved in a botched hit and run? and being thrown out by 10 feet at third base for the second out. I just can't. How does that happen?
Today was not the day for Graveman as he recorded just one out in the second inning before his departure, allowing seven hits and two walks in 1.1 innings. All four runs the Giants scored were his, and he left the bases loaded in the first, and only a double-play by his replacement, Dan Otero, prevented more. Otero, Scribner, Pomeranz (perhaps putting his Wednesday start in doubt?), and O'Flaherty combined for just five more hits, no walks, and no further runs, giving the A's a chance to come back.
Of course, they wouldn't. Josh Reddick scored on a wild pitch after his second-inning double for the A's first run, and Zobrist (single) and Davis (ground-rule double) were scored by singles by Lawrie and Butler in the fourth to bring the A's within one run. Where they would stay (see: ninth inning summary).
We next join the A's in Los Angeles, as they pay a visit to Dodger Stadium. Which means I'll be there live for Sonny Gray and Brett Anderson. Heaven help me.