Hot take: Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is the worst hitter in the Blue Jays lineup.
Okay, not really. But today, that was true. With “just” a walk and two strikeouts — I bet most of the A’s hitters would be happy with that stat line — Brett Anderson and Co. were able to keep Vlad “Best Prospect Since Trout” Jr. relatively quiet.
However, every other hitter in the Blue Jays lineup had at least one run scored or driven in. For whatever reason, the A’s just cannot get Yankees castoff Brandon Drury or former Oakland fan-favorite Eric Sogard out (I guess having four eyes really helps with your batter eye).
The problems all started with — who else — today’s starter. Brett Anderson, who’s actually been the team’s second-most reliable pitcher this season, was completely out-of-whack tonight. He threw nearly half off his pitches for balls and allowed 12 baserunners throughout the first 5 innings of the game. Given that he’s thrown pretty well so far this year and is being paid like a No. 5 guy, we should give him a mulligan, even with two bad starts in a row.
And it wasn’t all his fault. Oakland’s lineup, once again, couldn’t string any hits together. There was a moment in the top of the 5th when it looked like they could open the game back up. Aaron Sanchez, throwing ball after ball, was clearly on his last legs, the top of the lineup was coming up, and it seemed like the A’s were getting all the right breaks.
After Ramón doubled and Profar walked, Hundley grounded into what was supposed to be an easy double play (really, Nick?). But Sogard, with Profar quite clearly sliding into him at second, threw the ball into the ground. Justin Smoak, who couldn’t pick it, instead flipped it into the air and allowed Ramón to score the only run of the game for the A’s. Profar’s slide was reviewed but surprisingly upheld, a bit of cosmic justice after the Blue Jays scored two runs on a Profar throwing error induced by an even more egregious Randal Grichuk slide.
“RALLY TIME,” one might’ve thought. Well, think again! Following another walk to Grossman, Semien failed to keep it going with a shallow flyout to right field. Then, Big Daddy Chappy (new nickname, make it happen) came up and scorched a fastball to left-center — exit velocity: 107 mph — but Teoscar Hernandez just barely made the running catch.
Other than that, another quiet night for the A’s that drops them to 0-5 against the Blue Jays this season. Who knew they would be the AL East powerhouse that the A’s wouldn’t be able to quiet? The fate of our Canadian reputation now lies in Chris Bassitt’s hands. Save us, eh!