This game was kind of interesting, but not too interesting, like winning baseball interesting, because we definitely wouldn't want that. That being said it was interesting enough to write about, I suppose.
The A's took an early lead on a very poorly executed rundown on a potential sacrifice fly by Billy Butler. Billy Burns hit the brakes on his run home, drew a throwing error and scored easily. The Angels do not look like a playoff team.
Felix Doubront wasn't good, but he did his job, which was to go at least 5 innings. He made it to 6 looking positively mediocre. Somehow he got out of a jam by getting Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to pop out though. I have no idea how he did that. On the flip side he allowed Pujols' career homer #558. 6 innings, 4 runs. A palatable steroid-era line...but pretty much tank-worthy in 2015.
When the Angels took the lead in the third, 2-1, it seemed like they were going to blow it open. But Doubront limited the damage, and then Marcus Semien tied it up with his 14th homer of the season. The Angels took a 3-2 lead, but the A's came back in the 6th. They were still fighting. Billy Butler's double to the opposite field set up runners on second and third with one out. Brett Lawrie scored on a sacrifice fly, and Butler moved to third. Semien walked and then Coco Crisp, pinch hitting for Gentry knocked in Butler. Semien tried to go first to third on the bloop and was thrown out on a nice throw by Kole Calhoun. The A's did get the lead, 4-3, but they might have had more if Semien didn't make the last out at third.
Immediately the Angels tied it up on the aforementioned Pujols homer and both bullpens were effective. Fernando Rodriguez, Daniel Coulombe, and Edward Mujica managed to combine for two scoreless innings.
In the ninth, the A's threatened with a Coco Crisp leadoff base hit followed by a very nice sac bunt by Bryan "Jesus" Anderson. Unfortunately Coco languished on the bases and the A's failed to score.
Edward "Tank Commander" Mujica had already uncharacteristically gotten two outs in the eighth. But no worries. In the 9th he took charge and rallied the troops to another loss. He got a little creative though. After a leadoff single he coaxed a grounder off the bat of David Freese. Rather than throw him out at first, Mujica fielded the bouncer and threw the ball at Freese. Innovative. That gave the Angels runners at second and third with no outs. BoMel called for the intentional walk to load the bases, then made the most pointless pitching change of the night (in a game featuring Mike Scoscia even!) by sending in Fernando Abad to do what he has done so many times this year. Presumably Mujica had trained his troops to get the job done. Mercifully, Abad didn't waste any time, allowing the game-winning hit to David Murphy, the first and only batter he faced. Mission accomplished.
Also, this likely will be my last recap of the season, so I want to thank all the members of Athletics Nation and the rest of the front page crew, who make this gig really freaking fun. I would have no interest writing if it wasn't for the great discussions and hilarious comments that keep me going all season (and offseason). I haven't experienced a non-playoff year as a writer on the site, and there's an unmistakable feeling that the season is ending prematurely. But by the same token I'll enjoy a stress-free postseason and hopefully an active offseason...you never know what Billy Beane has in store.