I watched the A's get swept from a seat in deep right field of the opponent's stadium. I was at least marginally more impressed with Angel Stadium than I was with the A's level of play (stadium review to come!), but did have to endure some Angel's fans trashing Oakland. I knew I was in for a real treat when I realized the Angels were going to shoot off flares for every batter when announcing the lineup. I guess it would be rude to only do it for Trout.
This game was over in the first inning, when poor Kendall Graveman gave up his only two runs of the night. He wasn't amazing and was getting hit hard, but wasn't awful. His final line was 6IP, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, and 4 strikeouts, with a rare 1-unassisted double play.
As per usual, Mike Trout got the scoring going early, but was otherwise pretty tame.
The A's failed to capitalize on a few key opportunities through the night, most notably a bases-loaded situation with Ryon Healy at the plate in the sixth inning.
We got our first look at former Angel Ryan LaMarre, who promptly took three huge cuts against David Hernandez and replaced the struggling Jaff Decker in center field.
BoMel pinch-hit Stephen Vogt for Trevor Plouffe in a last-ditch attempt to park some offense in the top of the 9th, to no avail.
While this certainly wasn't Graveman's best work, he seems to be back in his reliably solid form following his time on the DL. He got bad and and worse fielding and run support, respectively, and did not deserve the L in this game.
Graveman's 1-unassisted double-play was by far the highlight of this game. With Ben Revere on third and Cliff Pennington on second, Graveman nabbed a comebacker off of Juan Graterol, then ran to tag Revere on his way home. He and Plouffe had to play a little catch, but eventually Graveman got Revere back near third. He proceeded to trip over Revere and coincidentally land on Pennington, who for some reason wanted in on the action. Here's the play, the team's first of its kind since Blue Moon Odom did it in 1971:
Decker just does not look comfortable out in center field. He made a couple of funky plays today, and went 2-for-11 in the series. Unfortunately, with Rajai Davis still sidelined with the hamstring issue and Mark Canha struggling, Jaff isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Healy was up and runners on base twice in this game, and obviously neither went well. The first time, he struck out with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. The second time, he lined out in the top of the 9th with one man on base. He went 1-for-14 on the series, coming off a hot start to the season. This is a key bat for the A's that needs to get going.
The rest of this road trip will take place in Houston beginning tomorrow at 5:10pm, and will be a big indicator of where the team is at.
C.S. Lewis once said, "Failures are finger posts on the way to success," do with that what you will.