“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.” - Tommy Lasorda
Unfortunately the A’s have spent the last six days adding to the 1⁄3 of games that go in the loss column as they dropped their sixth straight game today, 7-3, to the Red Sox in the matinee affair from Fenway Park. The victory completed the Red Sox three game sweep of the A’s.
Today’s Game Preview + Game Thread
The A’s scored first today to give A’s faithful a glimmer of hope. Their second inning run came on a lead-off single from Khris Davis, followed by a hit by pitch of Stephen Piscotty. After back to back strikeouts of Chad Pinder and Kendrys Morales, Ramon Laureano stepped in and on a 3-2 pitch with two outs, the A’s center fielder delivered a solid single to center to give the A’s a 1-0 lead off of Boston starter, Hector Velazquez.
And that folks is your A’s scoring for the day. One run. On four hits. Oh sure, the A’s did add two ninth inning runs on doubles by Matt Chapman, Khris Davis and Chad Pinder, but it felt like those runs were the equivalent of a guy hitting three point shots at the end of a 20 point basketball blowout. The A’s grand total of offense in the three games this week at Fenway was 8 runs. To say that the A’s offense is struggling on this road trip would be a grand understatement. Something needs to change (more on this later).
The Highlight of the Game for the A’s
The most interesting play of the game for the Green and Gold came ironically on a wild pitch from starter, Mike Fiers (2-3) with the bases loaded in the second inning:
Fiers gave the A’s five innings, allowing five hits and three runs with one walk and three strikeouts (on only 64 pitches). Not an outstanding performance, but certainly an adequate one if the A’s offense had anything to say. Fiers did allow a blast off the bat of “A’s killer” Mitch Moreland
Moreland has six homers in his past 16 games against Oakland and he's got 22 vs. the A's in his career.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 1, 2019
Boston starter, Hector Velazquez (from the same state in Mexico as Dodger legend, Fernando Valenzuela), gave the Red Sox only two innings today. With the starter leaving early, it seemed that the A’s had a great opportunity to score runs off the Boston bullpen. But one of the keys to success for the Red Sox in this series was their shutdown bullpen which threw 12 1⁄3 innings in the series and allowed only two A’s runs (both in the 9th innings of games already decided).
The A’s bullpen didn’t enjoy the same success in the series. It was nice to see Lou Trivino (injured thumb) make his first appearance in a week and a half. Trivino walked one and retired one in his 1⁄3 of an inning. Unfortunately, JB Wendelken and Ryan Dull weren’t as sharp. Wendelken surrounded three runs on three hits and two walks in the sixth inning to put the game on ice for the Red Sox. Ryan Dull came in for the eighth inning and surrounded a solo home run to Red Sox catcher, Christian Vasquez. Overall the A’s bullpen gave up 6 runs in the series.
Offensive spark plug heading A’s way?
The A’s now head into interleague play in Pittsburgh over the weekend (tomorrow is an off-day). Bob Melvin has already said the Khris Davis will play in left field for at least two of the three weekend games, with the DH being removed in the National League park. With the A’s only carrying three bench players thru this road trip and nine relievers, many speculate that the A’s will dip into Triple AAA Las Vegas for another position player. My hope is that this player will be Jorge Mateo. Mateo is batting .352 with 6 triples and 7 steals thru 23 games as a middle infielder for the Las Vegas Aviators. I believe this weekend would be the perfect time to insert Mateo into the A’s line-up at second base for the three games from PNC Park.
*Franklin Barreto is hitting only .205 with two home runs and six rbi over 22 games
**Dustin Fowler is hitting .253 with four home runs and fifteen rbi over 23 games
***Sean Murphy is hitting .324 with one home run and nine rbi over 19 games
Ramon Laureano Matt Chapman Highlight:
Good News! Baby A’s Pitchers and A Grizzled Veteran Will Be Here Soon...
Jharel Cotton began throwing to hitters a few days ago, big step in his progression from Tommy John. AJ Puk expected to do the same soon. Melvin said the next step would be a minor league rehab assignment: “It takes a while to get there, but they’re on the pace we expected.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 10, 2019
Jesus Luzardo -- #MLB's top-ranked LHP prospect -- has resumed throwing after a strained left shoulder sidelined him in March. More details on the #Athletics prospect & his timetable from @jonmorosi: https://t.co/LzXNiQS9eY pic.twitter.com/Cvoei5WPe5— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 24, 2019
Edwin Jackson is heading to Vegas tomorrow to start the process of making his return back with this club.— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) May 1, 2019
Be Encouraged Athletics Nation!
It is a beautiful spring day in the Bay Area, the Warriors are marching toward another title, the Avengers: End Game is playing at your nearby theater (although the A’s haven’t won a game since the movie was released last week), and as the legendary Hall of Fame pitcher, Bob Feller once said,
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”