For the third straight day, the A's lost the game in the second inning. Really, it's sort of considerate of them. You get a taste of what the team has, but can enjoy the rest of your day or evening without missing a single important baseball play. So, thanks, I guess.
The day started off with some gifts from the Blue Jays defense followed by some gifts from the A's offense. Billy Burns opened the game with what looked like a double down the left field line. Unfortunately, the call was overturned on replay and Burns made his way back to the batters box. I wish replay could do a replay on itself to show how stupid it is. In New York, the Yankees had two ground balls which looked foul remain fair, due to them being ineligible to review on replay. Today, Burns the crew in New York deliberated, which I imagine looks something like this but with baseball outcomes, and the call was reversed. F@#$ replay.
Burns ended up walking on somewhat of a gift call. Still, it's great to see Billy walk, especially against a crafty and commandful lefty like Mark Beuhrle. Mark Canha followed with a "single" to center, an easy popup that center fielder Kevin Pillar lost in the sun. Amazingly, it wasn't his worst play of the day, and the A's were in business with runners on first and second.
Here is a run matrix: it tells you on average, how many runs are scored in specific baseball situations (in 2011, but whatever). Again, this is on average. The A's are not average. The A's are outliers in the worst possible way right now. With runners on first and second, the average is 1.4 runs scored, or one Billy Butler.
Lawrie stepped to the plate, and against all odds came through with RISP! He crushed a ball like a bucks off the right field wall, advancing the A's fastest player from second to...third. I don't blame, Billy Burns for not scoring, it looked like Jose Bautistsa, an accomplished fielder would catch the ball. He did not, and the runners could advance a mere base. So, bases loaded, 0 outs, and our best hitter, Danny Valencia coming up against the better half of his platoon. Things are looking good! But alas, A's baseball.
Back to that run chart: the average runs scored with the bags loaded and 0 outs is 2.2, or the equivalent for one game for the A's. Valencia stepped up and took a mighty hack first pitch, sending a ball an astonishing 60 feet to the best fielding pitcher in baseball. Buehrle easily cut down Burns coming home and Dioneer Navarro flipped to first to complete the inevitable double play.
The A's had a final chance in the frame, as Josh Phegley hit a ball up the middle that looked like a surefire basehit. But the baseball gods quickly remembered, A's, and Buerhle nicked the ball to second baseman Cliff Pennington, who threw out Phegley at first. Like that, the A's were out A's were out of a fine rally with a combination of ineptitude and luck.
Per the lede, the second was yet again the downfall for the A's. Jesse Chavez, replacing Sonny Gray and his bad back, looked better today, his stuff more electric and his command existent. Unfortunately, a brief lapse in this lost the A's the game. Chris Colabello, Dioner Navarro, and Justin Smoak singled back to back to back with one out to take a 1-0 lead. Ryan Goins, who might lose to Eric Sogard in arm wrestling, followed with a dinger to deep right, and like that the score was 4-0. The ball jumped all series to right and I doubt it gets out of any other stadium, not named Yankee. Still, the three run dinger fired up the crowd and sunk the A's.
That would do it offensively for the powerful Blue Jays. Chavez was impressive outside of that four batter sequence in his spot start, striking out 9 Blue Jays, walking none, and looking more like the Jesse of old than the Jesse of new. If you're looking for a silver lining, that may be one. He is still a long ways away from a major league starter you can count on from Game 1 through Game 162, but a brief reemergence of stuff bodes well for 2016. He also looks like a legend in his high socks.
I love a good high sock look, but Jesse Chavez should probably stay away from it. pic.twitter.com/lsGknKrtB2— Comiskey Park Hitmen (@CPHSox) August 13, 2015
The A's got on the board in the 8th, and of course they couldn't do it without some help. Marcus Semien started the inning with a solid single. He's looked fabulous in this short month, a welcome site after three dormant months of hitting. Burns followed with a line drive to center. Blue Jays' centerfielder Kevin Pillar charged and dove for the ball, which passed just inches under his glove. The ball rolled to the wall allowing Burns to advance to third, and scoring Semien. I immediately had flashbacks to Mark Kotsay's inside the park dinger in the 2006 ALDS. If anyone can find video of Kotsay's, please post it in the comments so we can enjoy some baseball this month.
By the way, this was a horrible play by Pillar. Up 4 runs, he took a chance on a ball that ultimately cost his team two, and knocked Buehrle out of the game. Honestly, it seemed like a very Billy Burns play.
Canha scored the A's final run on a groundout up the middle to a deep playing Jays defense. It wasn't a spectacular at bat, but got the job done in the situation at hand.
The A's hit some balls hard in the final frames, a Butler deep fly out and a Reddick double made the ninth entertaining, but ultimately the A's lack of offensive ability was too much to overcome.
Some more positives, cause we need them dammit:
-Coco had a hit today, and his average is slowly climbing back to the .100 mark. He also had a loud out to end the game, and in a world where good things are elusive, it gets me excited.
He also had to battle this gem, which, jeez.
-While Buerhle escaped unscathed, the A's did a good job of getting baserunners against the lefty. With 7 hits and two walks, the A's had their chances, which were of course cut down by ill timed strikeouts and a few double plays. Thankfully, none came off the bat of...
-Billy Butler didn't GIDP! He did have a groundout, but had the presence of mind to not do it with anyone on base. Hooray, Billy!
Let us sweep. pic.twitter.com/CSsaysTQRJ— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 13, 2015
At least we got to enjoy Canadian culture! Look at them with their triangular corn husks. Such a different and beautiful land.
Sonny Gray will not go tomorrow, so the A's will have another spot start! It's not looking like Zito, but let's Beatlejuice this until he appears. Zito Zito Zito!