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Game #88: Wasted Offense and Shaky Pitching Sinks A’s

The one where the A’s wasted all the chances and then gave up all the runs

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Relive the Friday night game thread action here.

Well, call this one the game of chances, because of the chances. The A’s had chances virtually every inning in this game to score, but they only were able to scratch across four runs. I say “scratch” because when you should have had 10 runs and end up with 4, it’s a bit disappointing. Especially, in a game where a win could have set the whole tone for a winning road trip and instead, you’re playing from behind from the very first game.

All this and the game started out so nicely too! A lead off homerun in the very first at-bat of the game by Dustin Fowler gave the A’s the early 1-0 lead; a lead they would double with Matt Olson’s 19th homerun of the year in the second inning to give the A’s the 2-0 lead.

Cleveland got the run back in their half of the second inning as Blackburn allowed a lead-off single to Encarnacion, who reached second on a Lucroy error. He would later score on a single.

Cleveland scored three times in the third on a single, two doubles and a sacrifice fly to give themselves a 4-2 lead.

After the A’s third ended with a strikeout of the side, they mounted a rally in the fourth. Lowrie was hit by the pitch to put a runner on and Davis singled him to second. With two on and no outs, Olson hit a deep fly ball to center to move Lowrie to third. With first and third and one out, Piscotty grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

The A’s picked up right where they left off in the fifth, with a one-out single by Semien, who moved to second on a groundout by Lucroy. Dustin Fowler singled him in, scoring the A’s third run and closing the gap to 4-3. Canha singled to put two on, but the center fielder ran down Lowrie’s ball to end the inning.

Blackburn’s last two batters of the game would both get on (and both score) as Cleveland led off their half of the fifth with a single and a double, immediately scoring their fifth run. Petit replaced Blackburn and gave up a sacrifice fly to increase the deficit to 6-3.

Khris Davis struck out to open the sixth inning, and Matt Olson nearly homered, but instead, was thrown out standing up at second base, the call overturned by replay. They made one last stand in the seventh, before the wheels came all the way off.

The inning started with back-to-back singles by Chapman and Semien to bring the tying run to the plate where Lucroy (not his game) popped up for the first out. Pinder also popped up in the same situation, for the second out. Canha did not. He doubled down the line, right over the third base bag, scoring just one run, somehow. Even with two outs, Semien was unable to score from first.

Cleveland correctly decided to pitch around Jed “All Star” Lowrie (walked on four pitches) and pitch to Khris “swing for a grand slam with two strikes and two outs instead of the single we needed” Davis, who did just that; just missing the 2-1 hit-me-grand-slam pitch and subsequently striking out on a high fastball to end the inning. Sigh.

And there go the wheels.

This time, Pagan was responsible, allowing four more runs, not helped by Lucroy throwing to second as the runner on third steals home on the play. Sigh.

It was ugly.

In the scoreboard watch, Houston won again, but Seattle is losing 6-0 in the sixth. The A’s try to right the ship tomorrow at 1:05PM, Edwin Jackson with the start.