Well, at least we got that one of the way.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s just appreciate Josh Reddick receiving his jersey for being voted a member of the 50th Anniversary Team. Good stuff.
Alright, here goes it.
It would have been cool for the A’s to keep the Astros in their “slump” and continue on what might be considered a hot streak, but it’s not particularly surprising things didn’t turn out that way.
Indeed, with Brett Anderson taking the mound for his second start after his solid re-debut last weel, we hoped that he would pick things up where he left off. And likewise, we convinced ourselves that Dallas Keuchel was in the midst of a downward spiral that would culminate in a barrage of A’s dingers — but who were we kidding.
It was indisputably the Brett Anderson and Dallas Keuchel you’d most expect on the mound for each team today.
Anderson left the game after 3+ innings, allowing 10 hits (including a 462-foot HR), 9 runs (7 earned), and 3 walks on 61 pitches. The hits that didn’t leave the park were still hit incredibly hard, as Anderson was simply serving them up. At least he has a sense of humor about it?
Anderson: "There were some good pitches that were hit for hits, and bad pitches that were hit for extra-base hits, and I don’t think Bob [Melvin] gives up that many hits in BP."— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 8, 2018
Keuchel, conversely, went 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 4 and walking 2. He looked basically like his pre-slump self, and ironically it didn’t matter because he was given beyond enough run support.
If you’re a visual learner, here you go:
Three of the Astros’ runs came from George Springer, who went 6-for-6 on the night, including the early-game monster homer. He’s the first Astro to get 6 hits in a 9 inning came since 1965. Five more runs came from Marwin Gonzalez, who went 3-for-6 with two singles and home run. Neither Anderson nor mop-up men Chris Hatcher and Wilmer Font could stop the onslaught, and discussion about which/how many of the three to demote should absolutely ensue.
Daniel Coulombe came in for the final out of the 9th, which he managed to do in 1 pitch.
In Hatcher’s case, he’s now given up 18 hits in 9 innings of work, allowing 9 runs – good for a 6.55 ERA. Why he is still on the roster, I could not tell you (his final line tonight: 3IP, 3H, 2R, 1BB – which lowered his ERA down from 9.0). Wilmer Font (2.2 IP, 7H, 5R, 2BB, 4K tonight) has also been underwhelming, but his only other appearance was also as mop-up man in a blowout against the Astros. He probably deserves a couple tries against not-reigning World Champions before we write him off for good.
A’s for the A’s lineup, Khris Davis drove in his 30th run on the year, Bruce Maxwell doubled, Chad Pinder picked up a couple hits including a double, and Jonathan Lucroy singled and doubled in a run. Mark Canha, of course, got lucky on a Derek Fischer misplay and ended up with a double as well. Jake Smolinski laid down a single in his 4th at-bat, raising his average to .121. Shoutout to the guys who got hits in the bottom of the ninth despite being down by 15 runs, I suppose.
Defensively, Matt Chapman left the game after the fifth to take his first innings of the year off, and Chad Pinder played his first MLB innings at third base – the guy can literally play anywhere. Matt Olson rushed a throw to second and threw it into the outfield, which was scored an error, and also couldn’t get back to first on misplayed a dribbler past the mound — though we can definitely put more blame on Chris Hatcher for bobbling the ball when he should have been able to grab it and beat-out the runner.
I hope fun times were had by all tonight, and remember: it’s the days like today that make the wins even more sweet.
Let’s hope that the Astros drained their offense tonight... because that’s how baseball works, right?