In a surprise pitcher's duel, Andrew Triggs and Carlos Carrasco went toe to toe on a clear Oakland night in game one this three game set. The lone run scored tonight came off the guitar of Carlos Santana whose blast in the eighth sent the Indians to a 1-0 victory.
A's offense, non-existent
Carlos Carrasco is very good. The Oakland offense is very bad. Watching the two square off is a rare peek into a world without evolution. The neanderthal A's, knuckles scraping against the earth, unable to even find the right batter's box are no match for Carrasco, his opposable thumbs and his nasty slider.
The Indians' starter dominated all night long, either inducing weak early count contact or getting ahead of A's hitters before striking many of them out. Carrasco's eight inning domination was no fluke, no bad BABIP luck. Just good pitching and bad hitting marrying for a rather boring offensive night.
In what can only be described an Athletics specific defense mechanism, I was actually asleep for the better part of innings 1-5 cause nothing happened. A cursory look at the box score tells me that Ryon Healy singled twice on two groundballs, and while they weren't the most impressive hits, they were hits and we'll take it.
Tank commander Clint Fagan
In the sixth, the A's threatened. With one out, Coco Crisp hit a double but was called out at third trying to stretch the play to a triple. A replay review clearly showed that Crisp was safe, but the replay crew in New York, apparently craving some Monday night drinks, claimed the call stood as called on the field and Coco was sent back to the dugout.
It was a truly pathetic call. Replay crews lean on the "standing" call like a crutch, an easy way to avoid making tough decisions on questionable calls. Only this wasn't a tough call, it was an obviously screwed up decision by third base umpire Clint Fagan and not even HD video could remedy the baseball injustice.
Not even the worst replay review in A's/Indians history. Replay can go ahead and fall off Mount Davis.
Andrew Triggs, serviceable starter
Yet again, Andrew Triggs went out and pitched a downright great game. He finished six total innings, throwing 89 pitches, striking out six and giving up three hits. He did give up a few balls that could have had an argument to be hits in a friendlier stadium, but overall, he was just a very good pitcher. His command was pinpoint and when it wasn't, he missed out of the zone. It's a tough recipe, but it's the best one for success for guys who don't have obvious starter stuff. It worked, and Andrew Triggs dropped his ERA as a starter down to 2.29.
Can we take a second to appreciate what Triggs has done? This year, he started as the commuter reliever, going from Nashville to Oakland on a seemingly bi-weekly basis. Then, the A's rotation imploded and innings were abound to be eaten. Triggs has stepped up, has unequivocally not been named Eric Surkamp, has thrown strikes, and has just done a job.
He's obviously not the ace his ERA as a starter would indicate, but there's serious value to a guy who can function part time as a number five. The A's will always have pitcher injuries, they'll always need a guy who can occasionally step in to take a spot start. It's not unique, the very best teams in baseball occasionally trot out a receptacle full of flammable liquid just because baseball is an almost everyday activity.
Only Triggs hasn't been a gascan, he's been a decent pitcher who figures to be a bullpen piece going forward. Thank you, Andrew Triggs.
Liam Hendriks has T-Rex arms
Seriously, they're very short.
Nice job escaping your own jam tonight, though.
Carlos Santana, dinger
In the eighth, Ryan Dull left a fastball over the plate that Carlos Santana sent deep into the Oakland night. Dull has been masterful this year, but his stuff just isn't good enough to miss spots by anything more than about a baseball. This particular fastball was about a foot away from his spot, and he paid.
Ryan Dull's given up three homers in his last 7.1 innings.— Mark Chiarelli (@Mark_Chiarelli) August 23, 2016
Dull has been a bit rough lately, and that very well may be due to a bit of a tired arm. He's not at his innings maximum, but he's certainly been call upon mucho this season, so allow yourself the my-team-is-terrible stress free belief that this is just a short phase. After all, 15 year olds like Dull go through lots of phases.
Unfortunately, that run would be all the Indans would need. The A's were shut out for the
120th 13th time and a nice night by Andrew Triggs was all for naught in a very predictable way.
You win some, you lose a lot more.