Well, I didn’t see that coming. In 118 pitches, with just two hits and zero runs allowed, Daniel Mengden comes out of nowhere to hurt a complete game shutout, facing just one batter over the minimum. It was awesome. Backed by two two-run home runs by the Matts (Olson and Joyce), the A’s taken the opener easily 4-0.
But the real number of the night is Mengden’s game score (which I confused for the pitch count because it’s so much higher than usual). His game score from tonight is 97. Considering the maximum is 114, 97 is as amazing as it sounds.
Meanwhile, the magic has finally ended in Cleveland as the win streak is stopped at 22. Congratulations to the 2017 Cleveland Indians for holding the record until the 2018 A’s break it.
To be fair, the Phillies are not the Astros; I’m just getting that out of the way. But I don’t think that takes anything away from Mengden’s magical start; he was locked in from moment one in this game. And although I joked about it in the game thread, he did actually help himself; his first major league hit in his first at-bat tonight put him on base for Matt Joyce’s home run.
For all intents and purposes, this game was over in the second. The A’s hit a two-run home run in the first and one in the second and neither team would manage another run in the seven subsequent innings. Call it the curse of the two-out rally; Jed Lowrie reached base on a walk in the first and was driven home by a bomb by Matt Olson; the ball was crushed. Mengden, also batting with two outs in the second, notched his first major league hit (a solid single off the shortstop’s glove) and was on base when Joyce hit his.
Staked to a four-run lead, the game went something like this: three ground-outs, one strikeout, two ground-outs, two ground-outs and a sac bunt around one single, three strikeouts to strike out the side, a ground-out, a pop-up, another strikeout, a single, a fly-out and a double-play, two ground-outs and a fly-out, two fly-outs and a ground-out, and a ground-out and two strikeouts to finish the game with a flourish. All total, zero walks, seven strikeouts, and only one base-runner left in the entire game. It was a gem.
I’m on a roll; I recapped four games of the last eight and the A’s won all four. The A’s look to duplicate their awesome weekend with wins tomorrow and Sunday. We’ll see you here tomorrow at 4PM with all the action.