With the world in a fervor over the best athletes globally competing against each other in run down stadiums, it is highly likely that this game between the A's and the Cubs will not be one that is often revisited. The Cubs would wind up victorious, 4-0, in a game that featured absolutely no drama or anything really noteworthy occurring beyond an absolutely dominating performance by Cubs' staff-ace Jake Arrieta against the A's former staff-ace Sonny Gray.
From the start, Gray didn't look good on the mound, a sight that has become unfortunately all too familiar for this team this year. Despite retiring all batters that he faced in the first inning, the final two batters each smoked deep fly balls to left field that would be caught by Coco just a few feet from the wall. Gray would dance in and out of danger in his second inning of work, in which he stopped giving up hard contact, but found himself making high-stress pitches all inning after two quick singles opened up the frame. Quick thinking and good defense from Ryon Healy to gun down a runner at home plate kept the game tied at zero through two innings, but Gray couldn't shake the soft contact and immediately got back into trouble in the third. With runners on second and third with two outs, with two strikes against Ben Zobrist, it appeared as though Gray would escape danger yet again, but Zobrist hit a soft line drive up the middle to drive in both of the Cubs' first two runs.
Gray would then retire the next seven batters he faced, all rather efficiently. The soft hit balls started to find gloves and Gray was starting to match Arrieta's dominance. Then, to open the sixth, despite just being at just 72 pitches, Gray was removed from the game and replaced by Liam Hendriks. After much speculation, it was revealed that Gray was taken out due to soreness in his right extensor muscle. Gray will soon be reevaluated to determine whether or not a trip to the disabled list is necessary.
Hendriks was rudely introduced to the dominant Cubs' offense, with two doubles and an infield single leading to two more Cubs' runs to double their lead to 4-0. Schuster and Axford would successfully close out the game without causing any further bleeding, but with Jake Arrieta on the mound opposite of them, their performances were rendered moot.
Though he only struck out four total batters, Arrieta was able to limit hard contact with ease. After Yonder Alonso hit a slow fly ball double to right-center field in the second inning, the A's only managed two softly hit singles and one walk for the rest of his appearance. While Alonso, and, later on in the fifth, Semien, would get themselves into scoring position, Arrieta remained unfazed and induced slow ground balls and pop flies to get himself out of danger. Though he would ultimately give way to Travis would to pitch the ninth inning, Arrieta was clearly channeling the spirits of the starting pitchers of yore, who would regularly have outings of eight innings or more week in and week out. Despite a Khris Davis single to give the A's the most minor of rallies in the bottom of the ninth, the A's would yet again fail to score, and dropped the game and the series.
And despite all that, the love for baseball and the craziness (or Krazy-ness) that continues to pervade throughout Oakland remains. While the A's lost a fairly non-competitive game in the dog days of summer during a disappointing season, this game still remained a celebration of the near unmitigated success of the Oakland Athletics' franchise during its long and storied existence. From the throwback uniforms to the callbacks to greener pastures to the vintage 1980's baseball broadcast, today showed that A's baseball has always been something special and likely has countless untold success stories down the road.
Even if the game played today put you to sleep.