On a cold and overcast evening at the Oakland Coliseum, the A’s (25-24) couldn’t cool off the red-hot Mariners (29-19) dropping the second game of the series 1-0.
***Tonight’s depressing Gamethread can be found here***
A’s starter, Daniel Gossett, making his return to the big leagues after 7 games at AAA Nashville pitched solidly in 7 innings of work allowing 1 run (0 runs earned) on 4 hits and striking out five. Gossett effectively threw all his pitches for strikes (fastball, slider, change-up) and gives the A’s another encouraging option in the rotation, especially with Brett Anderson (left shoulder strain) and Andrew Triggs (right arm nerve irritation) currently on the disabled list. Gossett was helped out in the 3rd by A’s right fielder, Stephen Piscotty.
With a runner in scoring position in the 7th, Piscotty again saved a run for Gossett, making an incredible diving catch in shallow rightfield.
Unfortunately, Marcus Semien couldn’t pull a “Piscotty” and save a run for Gossett in the Mariners top of the 4th inning, as his fielding error with the infield drawn in allowed the Mariners to score the game’s first and only run.
On the offensive side of the baseball, the A’s couldn’t get much going against Seattle starter, Marco Gonzales. Jed Lowrie managed the only hit the first time through the A’s line-up against the M’s. In the A’s bottom half of the 4th inning, back to back walks to Chad Pinder and Jed Lowrie to begin the inning gave the A’s hope of breaking through against Gonzales, but a lineout to center (Matt Chapman), a strikeout (Mark Canha) and a flyout to left (Matt Olson) put an end to the A’s scoring chance in the inning.
Gonzales and Gossett traded zeroes in the 5th, 6th and 7th innings to keep the score 1-0, Mariners after 7 innings. In the 8th inning, both teams would turn the game over to the bullpens. The A’s would bring in Ryan Dull who could record two outs and a hit, but not before getting hit on his glove hand by an infield single by Guillemero Heredia. Dull looked to be in pain but stayed in the game to strike out A’s killer, Nelson Cruz. Lefty reliever, Danny Coulombe, would follow Dull’s appearance to get the final out of the 8th. In the bottom half of the inning, the A’s would get a one-out pitch hit single from Matt Joyce (5 for 11 pitch hitting this season), but the inning would stall after pinch runner, Dustin Fowler was thrown out attempting to steal second base on an incredible throw by Mariners catcher, Mike Zunino and Marcus Semien, tonight’s anti-hero, would strikeout.
In the top of the 9th, Santiago Casilla would do his typical thing, creating a terrible situation (bases loaded, one out) only to escape it by inducing a 1-2-3 (pitcher to catcher to first) double play. You gotta love ol Jairo Garcia.
This would leave the A’s with one more shot to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the 9th. Unfortunately for the A’s, the man standing between them and this goal was one Edwin “Sugar” Diaz. Diaz is having an unbelievable season so far, leading the league in saves (17) and striking out 45 batters in 25 1⁄3 innings. Diaz would make quick work of the lifeless A’s offense striking out Chad Pinder, Jed Lowrie and Matt Chapman to end the inning and the game.
Ughh...The A’s offense has disappeared in the first two games of this series, producing just 2 runs in 19 innings of play, off two starting pitchers for the Mariners who came into this series with ERA’s of 6.00 (Mike Leake) and 4.66 (Marco Gonzales). The absence of Khris Davis and the inability of anyone other than Jed Lowrie to get a hit has really hampered the A’s in the last 48 hours. Franklin Barreto was quiet in his return back up to Oakland going 0 for 2. With Davis out at least 10 days, Barreto or someone (anyone) is going to need to step up on this homestand to provide the A’s with an offensive spark. The good news is that the boys in green and gold don’t have to wait long to get back out on the diamond as tomorrow’s game starts at 12:35pm.
There is always tomorrow A’s Nation!