This is the part of a non-contending season that gets tedious. It's before rosters expand, so we don't get prospect debuts, and there is absolutely nothing to play for. The roster is filled with, to put it gently, non-MLB quality players. Right now, the team's going through the motions. After a small hot streak versus the Orioles, the A's are back to being who we thought they were going into this month – a team with two good starting pitchers, a pretty promising offense, and a whole lot of chaff around the edges.
A's pitching: pretty bad!
Zach Neal's last time out, he went 5.1 innings with one earned run. This time out, he went 5.1 innings with five earned runs. In true Zach Neal fashion, he only struck out one, only walked one, and allowed eight hits. That's all you really need to know about his outing today. Hittable, didn't miss any bats, but at least he was efficient.
I'm reminded of the Sean Nolin experience from last year, when the rotation completely broke down and the A's were forced to start a guy who threw 86 MPH fastballs and walked a billion people per game. The Zach Neal experience is infinitely more watchable, which is certainly a credit.
In the second inning, Neal allowed a pretty ridiculous second-deck dinger to Adam Lind (at that point, Lind went to 3 for 3 against Neal with three HRs). After that there was just a steady hit parade every inning – nothing else hit especially hard, but lots of singles and lots of line drives. Seattle scored two more runs in the third, and another in the fourth. After a clean fifth, Neal left with one on and one out in the sixth.
Daniel Coulombe was brought in, and... it went poorly. After a walk and a single loaded the bases, Kyle Seager had to go and be annoyingly good at baseball, and break the game wide open with a bases-clearing, three-run double. Enjoyably, Seager did his part to get out of the inning by getting caught in an embarrassing pickle between second and third base, but the damage was done by that point.
A's offense: pretty good!
The A's only got four runs today, but it was certainly an entertaining four runs. I suppose that's all you can really ask for at this point.
Ryon Healy absolutely murdered a solo homer in the second inning. Seriously, that's the farthest I've seen him hit a ball so far. If the kid can learn to take a walk, he could be special.
Khris Davis hit his 30th HR of the year in the sixth inning, a two-run shot to drag the A's back into the game. That caps off a weekend in which he hit a HR in every game. Dude has seriously turned into Mark Trumbo, and it's incredibly entertaining to watch. He definitely has the most pure, raw power of any A's hitter since... Giambi? I'd love to see him run up the score and get to, like, fifty on the year. Let's get weird.
Last but not least, brand new Athletic Brett Eibner launched a solo shot to bring the A's within three in the seventh inning. If there's a player I want to see get an extended look, it's Brett Eibner. Dude's probably a fourth outfielder, but he's technically a five tool guy, he can take a walk, he can play defense, and he destroyed the minor leagues. The A's have exactly two serviceable outfielders going into next year (And Smolinski's as pure a platoon player as you can get), and Eibner has nothing left to prove. Get him some playing time, and see if some magic happens.
Really, this was just a case of a good team beating up on a bad team. It's not fun. This will happen a lot in the final month and a half of the season. Appreciate the little things. Like Khris Davis doing unspeakable things to baseballs.