The A's felt good about their chances heading into tonight's contest as game #2 of the weekend series pitted struggling Met's righthander, Zach Wheeler against the hot hand of A's lefthander, Sean Manaea.
***Tonight's GameThread + Comments can be found here***
The game went true to form through 5 innings as the A's offense got to Wheeler early and often to set-up a 5-0 lead after 3 innings. Highlights included a lead-off homer from Matt Joyce (#13) a clutch double from Bruce Maxwell to drive in one run and set up yet another and a monster 3rd inning homerun from Matt Chapman....
.@sweetswingin20 with a solo bomb to give the A's a 1-0 lead! Watch here: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z’ pic.twitter.com/6vEVpirPkb— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 22, 2017
.@bruu_truu13 rips a RBI double to make it a 3-0 A's lead! Watch here: https://t.co/1MQ3C9DH2z’ pic.twitter.com/2NadtBaX9L— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 22, 2017
Absolutely smoked! Matt Chapman goes into the upper deck for his 3rd career home run! A's up 5-0 Watch the game here:https://t.co/lgtm0lNVeC pic.twitter.com/Jq9ViwgHbo— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 23, 2017
Sean Manaea kept his end of the bargain as well tossing 5 innings of shutout ball.
Sadly for the A's, the bottom of the sixth inning happened. The Mets roared back to score 4 runs in the frame, knocking Manaea out of the game. There were some agonizing moments in the inning, including a catchable ball hit to left field by Jose Reyes that Khris Davis misplayed for a triple. In Davis' defense (no pun intended, well okay maybe just a little), he was playing about 5 steps behind the infield when Reyes hit the ball to the warning track, so his ability even to get close to the ball was impressive, but this is the Major Leagues and it should have been a ball that was caught. Mets lead-off hitter, Michael Conforto, last night's hero with two homeruns, would also factor into this game with a double that fell just inside the left field foul line that would plate another run (aided by a throwing error on the relay throw by Matt Chapman and a overturned replay call at 3rd base). On a side note, why are the A's so terrible at winning replay challenges and why does it seem like every challenge by the opposing team seems to be won when they are playing the A's?!
Meanwhile the A's offense sputtered after putting up a 5 spot through 3 innings and were held scoreless for the next 6 innings. Many of us have blamed the A's defense and relief pitching for where the team stands right now, but the blame for the 2017 season has to begin with the offense (ranked 28th out of 30 MLB Teams with a .237 team average) and inability to drive in runners in scoring postion (ranked 29th out of 30 teams with runners in scoring postion with a team average of .230).
The Mets would get the tying run in the 8th via a double from Travis d'Arnaud off Liam Hendricks (can you remember his last clean inning of relief work!?) and a base-hit from pitch-hitter, Lucas Duda, off A's lefty reliever, Daniel Coulombe, allowing d'Arnaud to score to tie the game at 5-5.
The A's would be held scoreless in the 9th to set-up the Mets theatrics in the bottom of the inning as Wilmer Flores homered with two outs in the inning off of A's reliever, SImon Castro (why was he pitching in this frame?) to seal the comeback victory for the home town team.
On a night when the Mets where celebrating "Noah Syndergaard as Thor" Bobblehead Night it seems appropriate to sign off with a quote from the 2011 "Thor" movie:
"You know not what your actions would unleash. I do. Go now, while I still allow it."
(Laufey in Thor, 2011).