The official time of game for Friday's 9-0 loss to the Astros was two hours and fifty nine minutes. In reality, the game ended about 20 minutes after it started thanks to some bad pitching, some worse defense, and a very solid Astros team. At the end of the day, it's a 12-2 loss to the streaking Houston Astros.
Astros score touchdown in the first
After the A's went down quietly in their first possession, the Astros marched onto the field and into the end zone with ease.
It started annoyingly enough, an 0-2 fastball down the middle turned single by George Springer. Then a walk to 5'5" Barry Bonds knockoff, Jose Altuve. Carlos Correa struck out, and we all started to think, hey, maybe this game won't end in the first inning!
Wrong. Colby Rasmus laced a single to center, scoring Springer. A wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third, turning a potential double play ball into a single play, and extending the inning. Said groundball by Gattis plated a second run. Again, we had hope for a bad, but not terrible inning with two outs and just two runs in.
Then Luis Valbuena walked and Tyler White singled, bringing soft hitting Tony Kemp to the plate with two on, two outs, and the score 3-0. Kemp knocked a flyball to deep right. It was a well struck ball, no doubt, but caught with ease by Josh Reddick, caught with some pain by Mark Canha. Chris Coghlan though? Nah. The ball popped out of his glove, rolled along the wall, had a tea party, and avoided Coghlan like they were the same pole on a magnet.
Kemp ended up on third, two runs were in, and maybe worst of all, the inning dredged along, like a horse drawn carriage pulling a murder of Billy Butlers through a sewage ravaged Coliseum. A few singles, a few runs, and a pitching change later, and the A's were back in the dugout, down 7-0.
Jesse Hahn was terrible
Just a special section to fully appreciate how bad Hahn was today. He pitched just 2/3rds of an inning, giving up seven runs. He probably should have completed the first with just three runs, but Chris Coghlan got in his way. Hahn probably would have been out in the second or third if that didn't happen, his stuff was missing, his command non-existent. Rough day for Hahn.
The inconsequential middle innings
When a game gets out of hand, the events following the blowout inning(s) become somewhat forgotten. Let's remember the lost at bats and plays of the middle, useless innings.
Marcus Semien's 18 pitch at bat
There are teams in baseball who have competent starting pitchers. It's a hard concept to grasp, but it's true. For those lucky squadrons, an 18 pitch inning would be a concern. Rather than worrying if their starting pitcher can make it through the first or avoid balls being hit to right field, these teams get to worry when a pitcher is slightly strained by a long inning.
Semien made Fister, who we hardly knew, throw 18 pitches in a single at bat. It was glorious, entertaining, and also ill placed in a game you kind of just wanted to end as fast as possible. But never forget, Marcus Semien's 18 pitch battle on the third of June.
Marcus Semien just had an 18-pitch at-bat against Doug Fister, who won the marathon with a 5-3 ground out pic.twitter.com/uXZR9heDb2— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) June 4, 2016
Nothing to add here. Even in a 7-0 game, it's nice to see Alonso smack a ball like he did so good.
Evan Gattis hitting a ball to the moon and admiring it like Jose Bautista in the ALDS
Poor Andrew Triggs. I guess I shouldn't feel that bad for a man paid buckets of moneys to throw a ball, but tonight he was handed the ball and told to go throw until he couldn't throw, no mo. It was only a matter of time before someone went yard against the sidearming righty, who is ill equipped to throw inning after inning as a long man.
I'm not judging Gattis for watching that dinger. I watched this whole game, so my viewing preferences aren't exactly flawless. He did crush the ball, but, I dunno, act like you've hit a two run dinger in a 10 run blowout before.
Evan Gattis looks like he was 10, maybe 15% through a strange science experience to turn into a wolf before the machine was unplugged and he was stuck as a mostly man, some animal creature. I'm sad he's not on my team.
Andrew Triggs was nothing short of very good tonight, even if his stat line won't reflect it. Truth be told, I fell asleep for half his outing, so half of this is made up. But Jesse Hahn was a live grenade and Triggs jumped on top to save the higher leverage arms from pitching in a useless spot.
Speaking of pitchers pitching in a useless spot, Fernando Rodriguez made his 22nd appearance tonight, coming in while the score was 12-0. The rationale there? Beats me. The A's still had JB Wendelken available. Maybe they're saving him for tomorrow, Kendall Graveman isn't exactly guaranteed to gorge on innings. At any rate, Fernando Rodriguez, who has been a total revelation this season, isn't exactly my first choice of pitcher to come in a major blowout. Neither is John Axford, who came in later in the game.
The Astros Scoring
For those of you scoring at home, the Astros plated five runs after their seven run, first inning outburst. Two came via Gattis's monster slam, the final three via hard hit singles by the meat of the Astros lineup. It's never fun to see the A's give up runs, but less concerning when they come in wasted innings in a big loss.
The A's scored two runs tonight. The first came on a Marcus Semien solo dinger. The man is having a fine season, a total bright spot for the A's.
In the eighth, Stephen Vogt launched a double to left center and Billy Butler followed suit, doubling to nearly the exact same spot. That would close the score to 12-2, but in spite of their worst efforts, the A's would never get closer.
Position player pitching alert
In the bottom of the eighth, A's fans patient enough to watch this monstrosity of a game were treated to the pearl of all blowouts: a position player pitching. It was just the second time it's happened this year, the first time being Josh Phegley's appearance in Baltimore.
Tyler Ladendorf was tonight's lucky winner. The jack of all trades, definitely not master of hitting did admirably. He threw strikes, ducked hilariously anytime anyone made contact, and toughed 85 on the radar gun. He did give up a hit and a walk, but didn't allow a run. He induced a few popups and recorded more outs than Jesse Hahn, gave up less runs, hits and walks than Hahn, and just wasn't Jesse Hahn.
Hat tip to Tyler Ladendorf, your Oakland A's player of the game!
It's but a single game
If you watched tonight's contest, I'm sorry. But don't get too down, blowout losses happen to the best in the business. It's more palatable coming off a five game winning streak, and the A's, even with their subpar record, aren't out of it by virtue of being demolished tonight. Tomorrow is a new day, and the A's can still take this series from a very good and very hot Astros team.