So...you guys. My face when tonight's lineup was posted. It wasn't pretty. Let's be honest, I've had a season full of games like last night, where the A's don't even have the courtesy to lose in regulation; instead, they drag out the inevitable loss over the entire night, forcing the poor recapper to wait through 14 innings before employing the standard "A's recap template for 2015". Therefore, you'll understand if I was somewhat underwhelmed by the following to begin the night:
Sam Fuld - CF
Marcus Semien - SS
Josh Reddick - RF
Mark Canha - 1B
Billy Butler - DH
Max Muncy - 3B
Josh Phegley - C
Eric Sogard - 2B
Jake Smolinski - LF
But this is baseball, and there's a reason that we play the games. I mean, not an actual reason for either of these teams in game 145 of the season, but you really do never know the outcome until the game is played. And for poor Jeff Samardzija, this game certainly meant something. Unfortunately, that something probably was to the tune of millions of dollars walking out the door as he gave up 10 earned runs in three innings to the Oakland Athletics' "B" lineup, but still.
Every A's starter with the exception of Max Muncy collected at least one base hit, many had two, and the rest, three. Here's what happened: The A's jumped all over the ball from the very first batter as Sam Fuld opened the game with a double. With one out, Josh Reddick and Mark Canha both walked to load the bases, and the suddenly-out-of-nowhere red-hot Billy Butler singled in the first two runs of the game. With two outs, Josh Phegley doubled in the A's third run and moved Butler to third. Eric Sogard singled in the A's fourth run and Jake Smolinski doubled in the A's fifth to close out the inning. Funnily enough, that great inning was only half as good as their best inning tonight.
Aaron Brooks looked for all the world like he would give it all back in the first (which would have been no surprise to this recapper), allowing a single, a walk and a single to plate the White Sox' first run. Another single scored the second run, and a one-out walk loaded the bases for the White Sox. But a well-timed double-play ended the scoring at 5-2 in the first inning, and Brooks managed to keep it there through the next two innings.
A Phegley walk and a Sogard triple added to the A's lead in the third, but they saved all the real dynamite for the fourth, sending fifteen batters to the plate, and scoring ten runs. Semien opened the inning with a single and scored on Reddick's home run. Canha singled and scored on Butler's double, and subsequently knocked Samardzija from the game. Muncy and Phegley both walked to load the bases with no one out, and despite a Sogard popup, the A's scored runs 10 and 11 with help from a White Sox error. Fuld singled in run #12, and after Semien walked, Reddick singed in lucky number thirteen--and fourteen for good measure. Canha singled in the fifteenth run, and after another pitching change, a Muncy force out scored the sixteenth run for the A's.
Not really needing a shutdown inning, per se, up 16-2, Brooks allowed three singles for the White Sox' third run in the fourth, and a single and a home run in the fifth to bring the score to 16-5. Semien hit a home run for the A's 17th run, and Alexei Ramirez nailed Brooks for a homerun to end his day. Right before Ramirez himself came in to pitch the ninth. Meanwhile, the A's bullpen saw Coulombe pitch two scoreless innings and Alvarez one to end the game.
Meanwhile in Texas, the Rangers beat the Astros for the second straight night to take over first place in the AL West. Dramatically, I'd like to add.
We'll do this all again tomorrow night as the A's throw Cody Martin against the White Sox. We'll see you right back here. I invite you all to read the thread and wish a Happy Birthday to one of our ANers.