The big question for the A's going into tonight's game was, "Would Jesse Hahn be able to bounce back against the same Astros team that stomped on him less than a week ago?" The answer was a clear "No" as Hahn was once again stomped by the loaded Astros line-up (sorry A's team mascot Stomper, but the term is the best word I could come up with to describe what the Astros have done to Jesse Hahn over the last week).
On a evening when the Astros were celebrating a "Game of Thrones" themed promotion, Jesse Hahn made sure it would be a "Game of Groans" for A's fans (this is a cringe worthy but brillant quote from a commenter named "monkeysuit" in tonight's gamethread comments).
For everyone who isn't voting @YonderalonsoU for A.L. All-Star 1B. pic.twitter.com/mxrZFMmpFq— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
***View tonight's lively GameThread here***
Things unraveled quickly for Hahn as Astros lead-off hitter, George Springer began the Astos 17 hit attack with a lead-off homerun. 3 hits later, the Astros would plate a second run in the bottom half of the first before Hahn was able to barely escape to see another inning.
In the top of the 2nd, the A's offense showed they were up for a fight when Khris Davis launched the first of his two homeruns on the evening (Davis sits fifth overall in HR's in all of MLB after tonight's game as he makes a late push to be included on the AL All-Star roster to be announced this coming weekend).
Khris Davis going vitamin c ya later. 20th of the season. #Salute— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
Watch the game here: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z pic.twitter.com/VcjsNXuejR
In the bottom of the 2nd, the Astros would answer off of Hahn, who wasn't fooling anyone, as the Astros would plate 2 additional runs on 3 hits.
In the top of the 3rd inning, the A's brought us a brief moment of joy as Jaycob Brugman and Matt Joyce lifted soft singles in front of Houston's outfield to put runners on with one out for hometown kid, Jed Lowrie. Lowrie singled to left, scoring one and cutting the lead in half to 4-2. Then the aforementioned Khris Davis strolled up to the plate against Houston starter, David Paulino and deposited a 1-1 fastball into the Crawford Boxes in leftfield. All of the sudden, the A's had new life, up 5-4!
Houston, you have a problem... and his name is Khris Davis.— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
kHRushed X2! #Salute #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/DUwt5OiQpR
;Hahn couldn't take advantage however and in the bottom of the 3rd, he and reliever Josh Smith, would combine to give up 6 hits and 5 runs to give the Astros the lead for good 9-5. Hahn's linescore once again was ugly, 2 innings (faced two batters in the 3rd), 9 hits and 6 earned runs. Smith didn't do Hahn any favors in his one inning of work, as he allowed 2 of Hahn's inherited runners to score and allowed 4 hits and 3 runs on his own. I predict both pitchers will be sent east to Nashville after tonight's game rather than accompanying the team back to Oakland this weekend.
The A's offense continued to batter around Houston's Paulino as Ryon Healy and Matt Olson would come up in the 4th and 5th innings and hit solo homers to close the Astros' lead.
.@athletics answer back w/ a @rchealy25 solo ding-dong.— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
Watch the game here: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z pic.twitter.com/sQdG3dW4QQ
AND IT'S A 2-RUN GAME!!!— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
Watch the game here: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z pic.twitter.com/KvhuBG7hCH
Jed Lowrie would add his 9th HR of the season off Astros reliever Will Harris in the 7th.
1, 2, 3, 4, FIF! 5 homers for the @athletics tonight.— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
Watch the game here: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z pic.twitter.com/kehOTYnJyQ
Unfortunately, the A's couldn't manage to get any runners on base ahead of the blasts as Houston pitchers combined for a staggering (even by A's standards) 17 strikeouts tonight against the Athletics offense.
The Astros would add insurance runs in the 6th and 7th innings. The run in the 6th inning was especially brillant if you were rooting for Houston as Josh Reddick singled against the shift, stole 3rd on a delayed steal making A's catcher Bruce Maxwell (and the A's front office who refused to give Reddick a 4 year extension in 2016) look especially foolish and then scoring with a great slide at home on a sac fly. I sadly miss Reddick in the green and gold.
The other important note to include about tonight's game is the right knee "contusion" that Yonder Alonso experienced after fouling off a breaking ball while batting in the 8th inning.
.@YonderalonsoU gives up an update on his knee.— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 29, 2017
Watch Postgame Live now: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z pic.twitter.com/DMdxT5o8vM
Tomorrow is a new day and the A's behind rookie right-hander, Daniel Gossett will look to take the series and finish the road trip 5-1.
"We go forward, only forward." - Stannis Baratheon, Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 7.