As I said in the preview, Sonny Gray's starts are one of the few things to look forward to as an A's fan.
When a Sonny Gray start gets ruined by an Eric Sogard error, that's about as frustrating as it gets.
Who wants to actually talk about this team as presently constituted? There are a lot of players on this team who would be lucky, very lucky, to be in the majors at all in 2016.
Despite Nico's desperate pleas for dumping the sunk cost, Billy Butler of course will find a job next year, with the A's, because he's under contract for two more years and $23 million. He hit into two double plays, including the game-ender. He's at 22 for the season but it seems that he's had at least 5 or 6 this road trip. His power has completely disappeared. He tried to ground into another one, but there were two outs. He also struck out. Not his best day, road trip, or season. I'm sure he is miserably frustrated with his performance, but he can soak himself in stacks of cash, strippers and bbq sauce all off season to console himself. Good on ya Butler for getting paid. It ain't your fault the A's foolishly paid you for your one RBI in August (it was August 1st).
You may be surprised to learn that Oakland actually struck first in this game. You probably would not be surprised to know that it was Danny Valencia doing some more damage, this time with a solo shot in the second inning. That was his fourth homer in his short stint with the A's, and his eleventh of the year. His new nickname is "lone bright spot."
The A's had as many errors as base hits. Sogard's was the worst, as it came with two outs in the fourth inning. He muffed an easy chance off the bat of the dangerous Chris Davis, and that cracked the door open. Jonathan Schoop singled to send Davis to third. Gray had Steve Clevenger 0-2 and looked as though he might get out of the inning, but a pretty fat 91 mph fastball (why not a breaking ball in the dirt?) was sent out. 3-1 Orioles. Game over. We all know expecting the A's offense to score more than three runs, AND expecting the bullpen to hold a lead is just too much. Hopelessness set in.
Mark Canha crushed a solo homer oppo taco in the top of the sixth to pull the A's within one. Unfortunately, I can't even fully enjoy his ninth blast of the season, because he committed a really bad error later on. It lead to no runs but it was pathetic.
Nevertheless, mild interest started to return with the 3-2 score until Gray gave up a run in the bottom half and was pulled after 5⅔ innings. Who knows what happens without the errors and the pitch count staying down? (My guess is another extra-inning loss, no-decision for Gray). Technically the three run homer was not earned so his ERA went down slightly. Hooray for silver linings?
Sam Fuld got ejected in the middle of the 5th on a weird play, running on the infield grass and called out for interference. Of course Fuld being ejected is pretty fine with everyone because Fuld does not deserve to play to begin with. Bob Melvin also got ejected arguing the call. It wouldn't have surprised me to hear that he changed out of his uniform and took a taxi straight to the airport to get out of Dodge.
Another good thing about Fuld's ejection was that Billy Burns robbed a homer from Chris Davis in the seventh inning. If the umps could eject Fuld, Sogard and Butler every game that would be great. Ike Davis too.
Seriously the A's offense and defense are just downright awful. They are zombies going through the motions for the rest of the season. The final was 4-2, and the A's had all of three hits.
It is time to stop playing unproductive veterans and give as much time to youngsters as possible. What's the worry? It can't get worse than losing every game. Give A's fans some hope and excitement for the future at least, because without that these next six weeks will be incredibly bleak. They are 7-17 over their last 24 games. This is very, very ugly.