(deep breath) Buckle up, kids. It’s the first Friday drinking thread of the season for baseballgirl and as predicted, the wine bottle is empty, our voices are hoarse, the run totals are into the double-digits, it’s the wee hours of the morning because nothing about this game was fast, more than half the A’s lineup homered, including the trio of Matts, defensive gems were made by both Matts on the corners, yet none of it was enough to overcome the pitching, nor one excruciatingly crucial error. Despite being staked to a 6-0 lead, the A’s lost the game 13-9.
I shouldn’t have to state the obvious, but in a game when your offense jumps out to a 6-0 lead early, hits five home runs, and manages to score nine runs, you have to win the darn game. But in true early-2018 Oakland Athletics fashion, the A’s not only squandered the 6-0 lead, but also the 8-5 and the 9-7 lead to boot. It was ugly in grand fashion from the entire pitching staff and excruciating to watch.
If I had to guess, Boog Powell might come up hurt too, crashing into the fence in a futile effort to stop the final crescendo of the Angels 3-run home run to seal the loss for the A’s. His two hits were nice, but his TOOTBLAN erased some of the good feelings. Scratch that, there are no good feelings left after this game.
Okay, the five home runs were nice; all of them coming with two outs, even. Those are the big hits the A’s have been so desperately searching for and even when they all showed up in the same game, it wasn’t enough. Seeing the Matts shine was nice. Seeing some crisp defense was nice. And it’s true, the A’s have been in every game this season. But they cannot seem to put it together; they do just enough wrong to consistently lose.
I honestly don’t even know where to start with this game. Jed Lowrie kicked off the scoring in the first with his home run, giving the A’s the early 1-0 lead. They exploded in the second. A one-out single by Chapman and a double by Lucroy put two runners on, and a wild pitch scored the second run, followed by a sac fly by Piscotty for the third. Back to back homers by Joyce and Semien staked the A’s to a 6-0 lead and it should have been a fun game from there.
Trouble really snuck up on starting pitcher Daniel Gossett. Allowing just a solo home run to Ohtani in the first three innings, it seemed like a five-run lead would be good enough. Until it wasn’t. Back-to-back singles and a ground rule double scored the Angels’ second run, and a subsequent single brought in two more, knocking Gossett out of the game. His replacement, Yusmeiro Petit, allowed his fifth run to score and just like that, literally in the blink of an eye, the game was 6-5.
A huge home run by Matt Chapman following a two-out single by Matt Olson in the fifth gave the A’s some breathing room at 8-5, but a parade of singles, some bad fielding by Petit and a bases-loaded walk to Ohtani gave the Angels two more, and at 8-7, it felt like the A’s had already lost. The rest of the game was a mere formality.
Olson made a valiant effort at an insurance run in the seventh, giving the A’s the 9-7 lead, but it all fell apart in the bottom of the inning, despite Melvin throwing everything he could think of at the Angels, including the closer.
The Angels started the seventh with a single and a double and only a great play by Olson at first recorded the first out and only a great play by Chapman at third recorded the second out. In a bold move, Melvin went to his closer and it almost worked. It looked like for all the world that Treinen had Cozart struck out, but instead, the ball was ruled foul tipped and on we played, right into a big hopper to third, with plenty of time to throw, and Chapman threw it wildly, allowing the tie game. The subsequent three-run home run was foretold.
And if you like more TOOTBLAN fun, Lowrie, who fights so hard for every single at bat, no matter the score, has a terrific at-bat, singles, and then is thrown out as the ball comes backdoor to first to end the game. No. more. words.
It’s late and it’s Friday, and you’ve already wasted four hours of your life on a extremely frustrating game. The one where the A’s score ALL THE RUNS and still lose.
We hope for better things tomorrow. Triggs vs. Ramirez. 6:05PM. We’ll see you back here. Welcome to Friday nights in 2018.