So it appears that Houston isn’t the rally killer. The Giants aren’t the rally killer. The Texas Rangers, deep in the heart of the land of sweltering summer nights, only helped the A’s. But it’s Friday night, and nothing has brought the A’s ineffable weekday rallies to a screeching halt quite like a baseballgirl game thread to open the weekend. Four Friday night games in the month of July, four losses. To add insult to injury, in the last three losses, the A’s have only mustered one run. Tonight, this held true even in Coors Field.
If it’s any consolation, the A’s have quite the tradition to lose on Friday nights, yet win both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games. And if that appears to be the trade-off, then I, for one, am okay with the sacrifice: You win every series, you win the Division.
The silver lining tonight, even as the A’s break their 6-game winning streak with the loss, is that the Astros lost to Texas to keep the A’s 6 games behind, and the Angels are currently tied with Seattle 3-3 (in the eighth, at the time of this writing). The other silver lining is that despite the early exit for Sean Manaea (thanks to the stupid NL pitcher batting rules) the A’s didn’t have to use any of their “A” pitching staff; everyone had a much-needed day off.
The scoreboard may have shown that the A’s lost 3-1 tonight, but that barely scratches the surface of the barn burner that just couldn’t get started, and that description applies to both teams. The Rockies hold an expert degree in running into, or giving away, outs, and the A’s failed in nearly every inning to get the big hit. The A’s mustered 9 hits and 6 walks, but could not put them together into even some semblance of a proper rally.
The first inning was no exception. Chapman was issued a one-out walk, and with two outs, Davis joined him on an error. Piscotty was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs (the first of several chances), but in this one, Matt Olson lined out to end the inning, and the threat.
Sean Manaea earned his first hit of his career in the second inning, shooting a crisp single to right field.Semien singled right behind him, but Matt Chapman was called out at first on his hit, and it was upheld during the subsequent challenge.
Meanwhile, the Rockies scored one in the second, but it should have been piles more. Their first two singles put runners on first and third, and a bunt single (I believe previously called an error on Olson, but there was no way that was standing) scored the first run of the game. After the first out via strike out and instead of, I don’t know, trying to score more, the Rockies bunted again. To Lucroy. Who threw to third. And, scene. Rockies lead 1-0.
The A’s seemed in business again in the fifth inning, as leadoff singles by Semien and Chapman put two on to open the inning. After Lowrie lined out, Semien took third, and up came Khris Davis with runners at first and third with one out. To his credit, and almost despite himself, he walked. It turns out that Stephen Piscotty was not actually who I wanted up; he grounded into an inning-ending double-play.
The A’s would pay for that as the Rockies led off their fifth with a double, an RBI “single”, running into the arms of Semien at second base for the first out of the inning, making the subsequent home run a solo. With the 3-0 lead, the Rockies headed to the sixth, where the A’s chose to pinch-hit for Manaea after Lucroy laced a two-out double. The pinch-hitter Pinder struck out.
J.B. Wendelken was a bit wobbly early, but scoreless in his two innings, and the A’s wasted their best chance in the seventh. First of all, in usual Coors Field, Marcus Semien’s deep fly ball goes out. Instead, the warning track power was simply the first out, which haunted the A’s as Chapman and Lowrie knocked back-to-back doubles to score Oakland’s first--and only--run. Both Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty struck out to end the threat.
But they weren’t quite done wasting baserunners. One-out singles by Canha and Lucroy, and a two-out walk by Semien loaded the bases for Matt Chapman, but he struck out, with an assist from the home plate umpire, and ended the last A’s threat of the night. They were outpiched tonight for sure, and outhit, almost despite the Rockies best efforts, and it flat out just wasn’t their game, which is a shame considering that it was a Manaea start. (and won’t someone think of baby baseballgirl!)
I guess you really can’t win them all. But here’s to hoping.
The A’s try to bounce back tomorrow in yet another 5:00PM night game; Brett Anderson vs. Antonio Senzatela.