Is there anything better than beating the Angels?
The story behind an 11-5 win is obviously the offense. Staked to a 3-0 deficit, the A's put up a five spot in the third thanks to a serious two out rally. Josh Reddick doubled to open the frame and found himself at third with two outs. Angel's starter Hector Santiago lost all control, walking Mark Canha and Brett Lawrie on eight straight balls. With the bases loaded, Danny Valencia doubled down the left field line, plating Reddick and Canha. Josh Phegley followed with another walk to reload the bases, and Jake Smolinski, masher of lefties and protector of insurance claims smashed another double down the left field line, plating all three runners with a little O.Co help.
The A's tacked on a run in the fifth thanks to an error and another Valencia double. Valencia has kept up his hot hitting, and remains a great option for 2016.
The A's put up a three spot in the sixth. Billy Butler doubled, Reddick walked, and Marcus Semien singled to load the bases. A strange, TOOTLBAN-y double play (which we'll address below) almost ran the A's out of the inning, but rookie sensation Mark Canha came up big again, crushing a 2-1 offering from lefty Jose Alvarez deep into the Oakland night. It was Mark's first homerun off a lefty, which weirdly is kind of a good thing, as he's sure to improve there next year. Canha leads AL rookies in RBI in spite of limited playing time. RBIs are a stupid stat unless they're being used to describe something positive about the A's, in which case they are awesome.
The final two runs came in the 8th, as Semien knocked in Butler with an RBI single and Mark Canha's second homerun bid came up short, ending as a sacrifice fly.
The pitching today was pretty meh, but was successfully masked by the slugging A's. Felix Doubront got the start, which pretty much explains why the game lasted 4 hours. Felix Doubront is the result of Drew Pomeranz falling asleep in a tanning bed for six hours. They are the same pitcher. That said, Doubront did a fine job battling through a persistent inability to throw strikes, managing to complete 6 innings. With the A's set for a bullpen game tomorrow, it was crucial that Doubront eat some innings. It wasn't pretty, but eat he did.
The game started off ugly, with Doubront walking two of the first three Angels he faced. An Erick Aybar single put the Angels on the board. I hate Erick Aybar.
Doubront settled down from there, walking just two more hitters in his final 5 frames and allowing three runs, a few of which aren't entirely his fault. While the dude can be frustrating to watch, he's got some talent, and with Chris Bassitt, Kendall Graveman, and Ike Davis injured, it's likely you'll be seeing a lot more of the A's new lefty.
While there are lots of positives from today, the A's had their share of horrendously stupid baseball as well. A win against the Angels is great, but some growth in either the baseball IQ or maturity department would be a delight to see.
The first incident happened in the third. With the A's down 2-0, the Angels put runners at first and third with 2 outs. Shane Victory stole second on a not particularly close play. Josh Phegley's throw was a good half-second late, but more importantly existed, allowing CJ Cron to score from third. Apparently, Josh Phegley never played little league, as the Angels executed every 10 year olds favorite play flawlessly. As the season winds to an end, the mental mistakes show no signs of slowing, which is mildly concerning.
At least Phegley has a cannon, even if it's not always put to good use like here:
It gets worse, as Billy Butler may have had the TOOTBLAN of the year. The good news is every TOOTBLAN requires getting on base. The bad news is Billy Butler.
In the sixth, Butler found himself on third with the bases loaded and no outs. As you already know, Mark Canha would save the day with a three run bomb, but things could have ended much, much worse. Billy Burns hit a groundball to third baseman Kaleb Cowart who stepped on third for the first out, but threw wildly to first, missing the speedy Burns. For some reason, Billy Butler ran home, where he was thrown out by 15 feet by Albert Pujols. Because Cowart tagged third, Butler's force was no longer in order, and he could have stayed at third. Instead, he ran directly into a crucial out. It should also be noted that Butler messed up twice on the play, originally darting back to third on the groundball, when he should have immediately headed home. Should he have acted correctly, he likely scores. Should he only mess up once, he's standing on third base, but nah.
By the way, Butler had a decent game, with a double and a walk. But holy TOOTLBAN.
What is a fence delay you ask? A fence delay happens when the fence breaks. Yup, that's pretty much it. Is anything more A's than a fence delay?
Go A's. pic.twitter.com/rcoCBu4EYZ— Tim Fong (@teckertfong) September 1, 2015
I haven't seen a fence that bad since the A's defence! Ha-ha! Ah, I hate myself.
By the way, since it's football time, the rest of the field isn't looking so hot either. The outfield is brown like a good California lawn, preserving the water for more deserving causes. You may notice none of the other California teams are helping to solve the drought; just another example of why the A's are the best.
Beat the Angels
The A's have two more contests with their rival, and they look to take home another win tomorrow in a bullpen game. That's right, the entire game will be pitched by the bullpen! What could possibly go wrong?