The 2015 season just wouldn't be complete had the A's not found a way to lose another one of my games; a game in which they once held a 5-0 lead. The A's capped off a second inning rally with a flourish, but I've seen how this movie goes. I was chopping vegetables in the kitchen when the A's built the lead and knocked out starter Mike Montgomery, and I turned to the lettuce and said, "Don't worry; it's my night to recap. The A's will find a way to blow this game."
And did they ever. I'm not sure why the post-game crew felt particularly sorry for Jesse Chavez; not only were all six runs charged to his pitching line, but he actually gave them all up before being replaced himself. Meanwhile, the Seattle bullpen--or the inability or unwillingness of the A's offense to add on at any point after the second inning--shut down the A's for seven innings, keeping the score at five runs while Seattle mounted a comeback.
The game started out as promising as it could have for a team that is out of the race, playing another team that is out of the race; a disappointing 2015 campaign for both for sure. Due in large part to Billy Burns and his three hits, the A's would be able to start both of their rallies, but as always, Burns is completely and utterly hampered on the basepaths by whomever is in the dugout telling him not to run. The A's might have tied the game late had Burns run with one out as opposed to two. Burns is one of the three fastest players in the entirety of MLB; why he isn't running on the first pitch every time on base is simply beyond me. He's the only weapon the A's have right now; the A's aren't playing for anything except next season, why does this team hamstring him so?
Burns was thrown yet another first-pitch fastball, which he took up the middle for a base hit to open the game. Instead of stealing a base, Burns patiently waited on first for Canha to ground out, in what should have been a double play, had the third baseman, Seager, not bobbled the ball and barely recovered to throw Canha out at first. Valencia walked with two outs to put two runners on, and a single by Phegley scored the A's first run as Burns steamed around third and scored without a throw. BECAUSE HE'S FAST.
Chavez worked out of a leadoff double in the first, and the A's opened the game up in the second. Butler nearly homered to open the inning, instead settling for a double after the ball was not caught. Reddick doubled him in to give the A's the early 2-0 lead. Semien crushed a home run to score Reddick and himself, doubling the lead to 4-0, and and after Burns and Lawrie singled to put two more on, Montgomery headed for the showers. Valencia's sac fly put the A's up 5-0 and they wouldn't score again.
Meanwhile, Seattle picked apart Jesse Chavez like he was Prometheus, as Nelson Cruz homered to open the fourth, and with two outs, Jackson doubled and Morrison homered to cut the A's lead down to 5-3. The Mariners opened the fifth with a single and would later add a two-out walk, bringing up Robinson Cano. The A's got unlucky here for sure. Cano should have hit the ball to Lawrie, had Chavez not deflected it enough to distract the A's from the out, and in a blink of an eye, the A's lead shrunk to 5-4. However, it wasn't luck, just bad pitching, in the subsequent at-bats when Chavez walked the bases loaded and then gave up the single that both tied the game and gave the Mariners the lead. Despite four more innings played, that's how the game would end.
How did the A's fail tonight, you might ask. The A's put the first two runners on in the third inning and couldn't score them, a force-out ended the fourth inning, erasing a two-out single, a double-play ended another promising two-on, no outs in the fifth, a strikeout ended the sixth with a man on base, and the A's complete lack of trust in the speed of Billy Burns cost them dearly in the eighth. After Burns singled with one out, he was once again frozen at first during Canha's at-bat. It wasn't until Lawrie was at the plate that Burns finally ran. Of course, Seattle couldn't throw him out, and to add insult to injury, they threw the ball into center field, giving Burns third as well. Lawrie walked to put another runner on, but Valencia struck out to end the inning. As the last hope for the A's in the ninth, Sam Fuld had a nice at-bat, ending in a double, but Reddick flew out to end the game.
We look for so-called "Breakfast Baseball" tomorrow. IT IS NOT BREAKFAST TIME AT TWELVE FORTY. I DON'T LIVE IN HAWAII. We'll see you back here with all the action.