With one on in the first and the Indians up 1-0, Carlos Santana launched a ball deep into the Coliseum night. Before the Santana crossed the plate, the Indians had scored the winning run.
Things looked pretty dire from the start. Jason Kipnis opened the game with a weak basehit past a pulled in Brett Lawrie. Kipnis was quickly erased on a slip induced TOOTBLAN, but the next two hitters followed with a single and a double/fielding error by Fuld, plating the Indians first run. Up stepped Santana who rocked a no doubter to left centerfield, and the score was quickly 3-0.
Honestly, it was a bit of a tough luck inning for Bassitt. Two of the four hits were groundballs and with the double mixed in, Bassitt didn't find his groove until it was too late. A better start, and who knows what happens? Well, I do, the A's lose in a more frustrating way. But whatever.
The A's showed some life in their half of the first. Billy Burns bounced an infield single up the middle, a play that showed just how much his speed affects the game. Sam Fuld, batting second for the inexplicablest of reasons, struck out on a 1-2 pitch in which Billy Burns stole second base. So props to you Sam, for not hitting a linedrive. We can always count on you for that.
It was wonderful to see Burns snag a bag, even if it was late in the count. As this lost season progresses, and the A's lose more games, it'd be nice to see them actually get something out final 59 contests, like working on Burns' stealing. More on that later.
Josh Reddick followed with a double down the rightfield line, easily plating the speedy Burns and getting the A's on the board. Reddick continued his recent surge, topping Stephen Vogt as the most valuable position player per fWAR. His average is up to .292, and even as the year has progressed, he has continued to look like a different and awesome player.
Now, let's get bleak.
Reddick stays hot, doubles home Burns to put the A's on the board. 7-for-10 since Tuesday.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) July 31, 2015
Notice the time stamp on this? 7:25pm. This is the final time the A's got a basehit.
Now check out this one, and spoiler alert for those of you who don't know how this one ended.
Oh, the game's over. A's lose, 3-1, to Indians They went 0-for-26 with a walk after Reddick's first-inning double.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) July 31, 2015
The A's went a shade under 2 hours in a game without a single hit. Reddick's double with 1 out in the first, was their last. That's 26 outs without a baserunner who truly earned a bag. Welcome to 2015, people.
The story of the night was Carlos Carrasco, a hugely talented pitcher who has shown flashes of brilliance, but has been plagued by some bad luck this year. Tonight, he went all 9 innings, giving up the single run, just two hits, striking out seven and walking one. Even his walk was impressive, as it came against the ever-impatient Brett Lawrie. Even Lawrie was erased by a weird double play off the bat of slumping Stephen Vogt.
Carrasco didn't break a sweat for 8 innings, he allowed just three balls hit in the air after the first, and just a single one of those reached the outfield. He was dominant in his location, his slider was absolutely filthy, and this meager A's lineup was unable to do a single thing after inning #1.
The bright spot for the A's was their pitching as well. Chris Bassitt threw yet another quality start, lasting 7 innings and giving up just the 3 spot in the first inning. Bassitt showed control and command that can elevate his consistency, making him a serious candidate for the 2016 rotation. If mulligans were a part of baseball, Bassitt could easily have thrown 8 innings of shutout baseball.
Chris Bassitt's are what make losing seasons tolerable. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that these losses really don't matter, the A's aren't giving auditions to guys who need it most. Sam Fuld started in left and batted second over Mark Canha, whose spotty playing time is telling us nothing. Possible closer of the future RJ Alvarez threw just two pitches before giving way to Fernando Abad. Bobbbb!
Your A's are back at it tomorrow night against another studly pitcher in Danny Salazar. Let's go Oakland!