How long must we sing this song?
The Rays have been playing a lot of baseball lately. Perhaps too much baseball, as today was the team’s 21st game in the last twenty days, thanks to a double header in the middle of this tough stretch. Going back to their previous series against the Yankees, the Rays have looked tired and less focused, leading to sloppy play and poor results.
For the first two innings, this narrative was relevant.
The Rays swung early and often and made quick outs. The A’s were patient and put constant pressure on the opposing pitcher by having ducks on the pond. The A’s scored in the second inning after Willy Adames badly bounced a ball on a throw to first base that got by the first baseman with runners on first and second. They later scored a run because an outfielder fell down while fielding a ball in the gap.
Then there was the rest of the game.
After a six pitch first inning, things got a little dicey for Brett Anderson in the second after the Rays began the frame with back to back singles. Two ground balls later he got out of it. Anderson didn’t have such luck in the third inning, however, but thanks to one Matt Chapman, Anderson got out of the inning with just three runs allowed and not five or six. The Rays’ lineup continuing to swing early and often, a surprising walk to a sub-Mendoza line Mike Zunino immediately preceded a two run shot to straight away center field from sub-Mendoza line leadoff hitter Travis D’Arnaud.
Anderson’s issues got compounded when he walked the next batter and then allowed a bloop single that fell between three fielders. Cleanup hitter Avisail Garcia then doubled hard into the right field corner, scoring one more and placing Rays on second and third base. It was then that Chapman saved the day, using his incredible arm to gun down a potential run at home plate on a high chopper on one play and then making a sensational diving stop on a ball that was passed him.
Alas, t’was all for naught.
Anderson gave up four straight hits to start the fourth and was replaced by Brian Schlitter, making his 2019 debut after acting as closer in Las Vegas. He gave up three more hits before recording an out, and the Rays had scored five more runs.
As for the rest of Schlitter’s debut for the A’s, his first three batters were bad but he then settled down. His stuff didn’t look mind-boggling but he did well enough to induce two double play balls that prevented even more bad trouble.
All the while, the A’s offense made nary a sound. For the game, the team was outhit fifteen to six. Chad Pinder had half of the hits for the team.
Apparently, there was a whole ‘nother half of the game, but not much of note happened. Aaron Brooks looked pretty good in a couple of scoreless innings. J.B. Wendelken looked sharp in his couple of scoreless innings. Glen Kuiper and Dallas Braden looked at baseball cards and talked about better days.
It’s just another tough game on a Sunday. As Bono, U2 frontman, stated back in 1983:
“I can’t believe the news today.
Oh, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.
How long? How long must we sing this song?
Sunday, bloody Sunday”
Few people know he was actually presciently talking about the 2019 A’s gameplay on Sunday afternoons. Avid baseball fan, that Bono.
A’s lose 8-2. The guys are back in action on Tuesday, when they take on the Cardinals in Saint Louis.