Well on the bright side, at least it wasn't a one-run loss. In fact, the A's never really showed up for this game, as they were down early, down often, and ended up losing 8-2. The highlight of the game was a meaningless (but gorgeous) home run by Khris Davis in the bottom of the ninth inning, down 8-1. As far as I'm concerned, the real debate of tonight's game centers on why the A's hung their ace out to dry. Gray, who struggled in his last outing, struggled early today, was hit hard on multiple occasions and finally righted the ship; finishing seven innings allowing a fairly respectable four runs (all things considered) and was inexplicably brought back out for the eighth, for no real good reason except to add three more runs to his line.
There isn't a whole lot to share from this game. Gray walked the first batter he saw, and in between throwing a lot of early pitches, gave up a single and a home run in the third and a solo home run in the fourth to give Seattle the early 3-0 lead. The A's would cut the score to 3-1 in the sixth as a Burns single, a stolen base, and a Lowrie RBI single plated the first run.
After a single, a wild pitch and a fly ball put a runner on third with just one out in the seventh, Gray induced a pop-up to Reddick for the second out. The runner on third didn't even bluff, and just like that, there were two outs, with the score still a very manageable 3-1. But then another two-out single brought in Seattle's fourth run, and the ill-advised decision to bring Gray out for the eighth not only cost the A's, but perhaps Gray as well. Seven earned runs in even 7+ innings is not a line any ace pitcher wants to overcome during the season.
A double and a single put runners on first and third with no one out for the Mariners in the eighth inning. Gray induced a simple pop-up to left field, but the combination of Davis and Semien let the ball fall harmlessly to the ground; the ball should have been Davis' all the way, but it appears he failed to call of Semien, and because official scorekeeping makes no sense, the pop-up turned into a single, meaning, all the runs that followed belonged to Gray. Gray was replaced by Rzepczynski, who gave up a really long foul ball, which looked for all the world like a three-run home run, and then, on the next pitch, he gave up a fair ball, twice as far, for the real three-run home run to close Gray's night. It wasn't pretty.
Meanwhile, the A's anemic offense continued to sputter, and ended the night with a single, a stolen base, a RBI single, and a solo home run to show for their entire night of baseball.
The Warriors did win, in a thrilling, come-from-behind victory, that I hoped they showed at the Coliseum, because it was light years more interesting than this game.
The A's try to salvage the series tomorrow at 12:35PM. We'll see you back here with all the awesome Manaea action in his second start.