Lou Trivino has had a tough year. Today wasn’t entirely his fault. But it was partially his fault.
On a sunny Fathers’ Day afternoon, the M’s pull away on a sneaker, by the score of 6-3. After holding the lead for much of the game, a shoddy relief performance from Trivino and a missed catch error from Mark Canha in right field led to the A’s downfall.
For Oakland, starting pitcher Tanner Anderson was tasked with holding the Mariners at bay, needing to tame a mighty offense that has scored the third most runs in the game this season. He looked pretty danged good in the effort. Anderson pitched for a total of 5.1 innings, and allowed just two runs along with three strikeouts and just one walk. Over the course of the start he got twelve ground balls outs in just twenty total chances. Only one batter reached on a walk, and only three reached on hits, as Anderson used his strong stuff to induce a lot of weak, insignificant contact that the Mariners couldn’t do anything with.
Anderson really only made one mistake, which occurred in the top of the third inning. With one out in the frame, Austin Nola, brother of Aaron Nola, got his first big league hit on a ground ball into right field, which turned the lineup over to Mallex Smith. After Smith took a ball outside, a changeup floated too close down the heart of the zone and was crushed over the high wall in right field for a two run home run.
Fortunately, the A’s offense managed to do more damage while he was on the mound. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough damage to come away with a win.
The second inning began with Khrush Davis depositing a hanging knuckle curveball just over the high wall in right center field. It was Davis’ 15th home run on the year.
The A’s offense wasn’t done yet, however. The very next batter, Mark Canha, hit a tough ground ball to third base that Kyle Seager corralled after leaving his feet, but Seager’s throw skipped passed the first baseman and Canha was able to scamper over to second base. The throwing error proved costly, as Robbie Grossman slapped a line drive over the head of the shortstop J.P. Crawford for a run scoring double in the very next at bat.
In the fourth inning, Ramon Laureano expanded the A’s lead after blasting a floating sinkerball over the left center field wall.
Despite the home run happy offense, it wasn’t enough.
The wheels came off in the 8th inning. Lou Trivino, who has been battling some demons all season long, entered the game to try and turn things over to Blake Treinen in the 9th. Trivino’s appearance began with a single to right field on a fastball that caught far too much of the plate, however, the baserunner, Smith, got himself thrown out on a stealing attempt just a couple of pitches later. Crawford then worked a full count before walking to replace Smith on the basepaths.
Domingo Santana lofted a lazy fly ball into medium deep right field, where Canha lost the ball in the sun, and the ball clanked off of his glove for a gift baserunner. A four pitch walk from Trivino to Dan Vogelbach compounded the error to load the bases just one batter later.
After falling behind 1-0, Trivino left a fastball right in Seager’s wheelhouse and the third baseman ripped a double that scored two runs, giving the Mariners the lead. Yusmeiro Petit was brought in to relieve Trivino, but he couldn’t stop the bleeding. A sacrifice fly and a triple expanded the Mariners’ lead by two runs, and the away team ended the inning with a 6-3 lead.
A couple of rallies fell short in the 8th and 9th innings, and the A’s lost the game and the series. The team has a chance to pick up the pieces and salvage the home stand against the Orioles and Rays later in the week.
Is this team good or bad? Impossible to say.