The confidence in Brett Anderson and the A’s taking the swing game of this three game set was palpable as all of AN collectively celebrated the idea of today’s game being cancelled. This line of thinking wasn’t unfounded, though perhaps uncouth, considering Anderson surrendered nine runs on ten hits in three innings (with three walks and zero strikeouts) in his second start with his OG team last time out. Going against Anderson was Luis Severino, who, entering today’s game, had given up fewer baserunners than innings pitched, to go along with earning more than a strikeout per inning and a 2.21 ERA. He also has the highest average fastball velocity, for good measure.
It wasn’t too hard to predict how this game would end.
With both teams over-the-toply adorned in pink, for Mothers’ Day, because all women like pink, yanno, the game got started just short of three hours past its original start time thanks to some poor weather in the Northeast. It did not start well. The A’s showcased some patience but were ultimately rebuffed in the first inning, but in the bottom of the frame the first four Yankees’ reached base in a multitude of different ways and in the blink of an eye, New York was up 3-0.
The difference in ability between the young buck Luis Severino and the elder curmudgeon Brett Anderson was on full display this afternoon. The Yankees’ righty pitched six innings and gave up just one run while allowing just five hits and notching seven strikeouts. His fastball was consistently hitting 96-97 MPH with excellent command, and he used his offspeed stuff at the most opportune moments, keeping A’s hitters off balance all game. He was excellent on the mound, and sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opposition. Anderson, on the other hand, pitched five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, with two walks against four strikeouts. Anderson’s command left something to be desired and the Yankees appeared prime to score in almost every inning. Anderson’s overall line was hampered by his horrid start against the first four batters of the game, three of which scored, but his start was still underwhelming as a whole.
To their credit, the A’s offense did make some noise in the top of the fifth inning when the game was 3-0 and still well within reach. With two outs, the A’s had runners on first and second base thanks to singles from Jonathan Lucroy and Marcus Semien and the heart of the A’s order was due up at the plate. Jed Lowrie smacked a line drive into center field that scored Lucroy with a significant lack of controversy at home plate to draw the A’s within two runs.
Khris Davis followed that RBI single with a long blast to straight away center field, momentarily duping all the A’s announcers into thinking the ball was gone and giving the A’s a 4-3 lead, but disappointingly the ball was caught on the warning track in front of the wall, and all the A’s hard work resulted in just the lone run.
In the bottom half of the inning, it took one swing from Giancarlo Stanton to undo all of that hard work.
Over the final three innings of the ballgame, the A’s did next to nothing at the plate against a strong Yankees’ bullpen, while the Yankees tacked on a few meaningless runs off of Casilla and Font. The A’s lost by a score of 6-2, thanks to a fruitless but nifty Mark Canha solo home run in the ninth.
For what it’s worth, Dustin Fowler worked himself a walk. This is a moment that seems worth celebrating on a day like today.
The A’s lost the game and the series, but will seek to try and pick up the pieces tomorrow as they take on the Red Sox. The A’s seem primed for a sweep. It has been a while, and there are few better places to pull that off than Boston.
Have a lovely Mothers’ Day, AN.