Daniel Mengden, who grew up along with his 4 siblings being home schooled by his Mom, Beth, took the Tigers to his own school today in a dominating performance. Mengden came into the game fresh off a 9 inning shutout of the Phillies five days ago and continued right where he left off against the Tigers, throwing 7 innings of shutout ball (16 scoreless inning streak), scattering 7 hits, walking none and striking out 4 in the A's 3-2 victory. Mengden has established himself this month as a major contender for a starting rotation spot with the club in 2018.
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A's reliever, Ryan Dull, would throw a scoreless 8th inning to continue his impressive September as well, but in his second inning of relief found himself in trouble allowing a lead-off walk to Efrem Navarro and a double to Mike Mahtook, to put the tying run at the plate with nobody out in the 9th. Tigers pitch hitter, Tyler Collins came up next and Dull would dig down deep and strike him out for the first out of the inning. But Dull wouldn't be as lucky with the next hitter as Andrew Romine would single to Rightfield plating both runners and cutting the score to 3-2. That would end the day for Dull and bring in Liam Hendriks, substituting for closer, Blake Treinen, was who unavailable after pitching the last 3 days. Hendriks would first face Jose Igelsias and would induce a groundout for the second out of the inning. To add a little excitement to the game, Henriks would then wild pitch the tying run to second before getting Tigers Outfielder, Alex Presley, to strikeout, ending the game, securing the sweep and earning Liam his first save of 2017!
On the offensive side, the A's scored an early run, thanks to back to back doubles by Bruce Maxwell and Marcus Semian. The Tigers starting pitcher, Anibal Sanchez, pretty much matched Mengden pitch for pitch after giving up the 3rd inning run, but thanks to some patient approaches by A's hitters, found himself with a pitch count over 100 after 6 innings. Sanchez would give away to a beleaguered Detroit bullpen in the 7th and the A's or more accurately, Maxwell and Semian, would once again make the Tigers pay, as Maxwell's singled with one out and was followed by Semian's 7th home run of the season, a blast to left field.
The only downside in the A's victory was Matt Olson's consecutive games with a home run snapped at 5. Olson finished the day with 3 strikeouts at the plate, but the A's didn't need their offense to do much on a day when the storyline was the continued dominance of Daniel Mengden.
The A's fly home tonight, enjoy an off day tomorrow and begin their final homestand of the season this weekend against the Texas Rangers who are on life support (3.5 games out) in their push for the final A.L. wildcard spot.
On a personal note, today is my final game recap post of my inaugural season as part of the A's Nation roster and I want to thank my fellow brothers and sisters of A's Nation for putting up with my misspellings, terrible grammer and awkward photo croppings. It has truly been an honor to serve our community as a writer this season and be tutored by the legend that is Alex Hall. Enjoy this final week of A's baseball and since we are departing from Detroit, I leave you with this classic quote from the legendary and late Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell:
See you in 2018, A's Nation!!!