Just like we drew it up, present ace Trevor Cahill duked it out with past and maybe future ace Chris Archer, because baseball is weird.
Through the first five innings, Cahill threw only 59 pitches, allowing just two hits and striking out five. Archer threw 68 pitches in that time, allowing three A’s hits and striking out seven.
Don’t get me wrong: the A’s could have scored in those first 5 innings. In the fourth, Semien led off with a single, but got caught stealing fora strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play; Matt Olson followed Jed Lowrie’s strikeout with a double, which likely would have scored Semien from first. The A’s have now successfully stolen a base only 11 times this year, and have been caught stealing 12 times (tied with the Marlins for the fewest stolen bases in the majors).
It’s worth noting, however, that the White Sox lead the majors with 45 stolen bases, and have a .320 winning percentage – so base-stealing alone doesn’t win games.
Also burried in those first five innings of very little action was a yet another “routine” Matt Chapman play:
But alas, Cahill charged on. He retired Jesus Sucre and Mallex Smith to start the 6th, but CJ Cron followed with a single. Former Athletics Joey Wendle, of course, followed with a double to advance Cron to third. However, Cahill induced a groundout from Matt Duffy to get out of the inning unscathed.
The A’s looked like they might get something going in the bottom of the 6th. Jonathan Lucroy led off with a single, then Matt Joyce popped out. Semien and Lowrie worked back-to-back walks, loading the bases, by Matt Olson grounded into a double play, ending the threat.
Cahill came back out for the seventh inning, retiring the Rays in order, exiting with a stellar total of 87 pitches.
Former closer, “opener,” and now apparent utility reliever Sergio Romo took over for Archer in the bottom half of the 7th, cuing well-deserved pettiness from the A’s on NBC Twitter crew:
Chris Archer got taken out after only 88 pitches in the middle of a shutout ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/kjHcDmhppQ— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 28, 2018
Matt Chapman and Chad Pinder went down easy, then Stephen Piscotty singled – that was it for Romo. José Alvarado came in and induced a Mark Canha groundout to end the inning.
Then it was Julian McWilliams with the savage observation:
A's need Wilmer Font to enter this game.— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) May 28, 2018
Cahill was again perfect in the top of the 8th inning, and Alvarado retired the A’s in order in the bottom half.
Superb final line for Cahill: 8 innings, 4 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts.
Blake Treinen was once again perfect in the top of the ninth, and his ERA now sits at exactly 1.00.
Jed Lowrie led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, and Matt Olson followed with a walk. The Rays replaced Alvarado with Matt Andriese. Chad Pinder laid down a rare bunt, trying to advance the runners, but Lowrie was forced out at third on a fielder’s choice instead. With Olson on second and Pinder on third, Chapman popped out for out #2, and then Piscotty struck out looking to end the inning.
Lou Trivino took the mound in the top of the 10th, and retired the first two Rays. He walked Carlos Gomez, who stole second, but Trivino struck out Johnny Fields to end the inning.
Canha reached base to start the bottom of the ninth on an error, but then Jonathon Lucroy struck out and Matt Joyce grounded into a double play.
Yusmiero Petit took over in the 11th, retiring the Rays in order.
The A’s went down in order in the bittom half.
Chris Hatcher threw a perfect top of the 12th. In the bottom half, the A’s again threatened with Piscotty doubling, but did not score.
After retiring the first two Rays, Hatcher gave up three consecutive singles, allowing game’s first run to score. Despite a Marcus Semien walk, the A’s could not score in the bottom half.
FINAL: Rays 1, A’s 0.
Somone owes Trevor Cahill and the entire bullpen a drink, but I’m not sure who.