It was a good night to be an A’s fan, Bassitt dogged the Brewers through two thirds of the game, Khris Davis hit his first homer since June, Blake Treinen seemed to be back to his dominating ways, and Matt Olson hit a beautiful walk off home run to dead centre field in extra innings.
*** Revisit Game Thread #1 | Game Thread #2 | Game Thread #3 | Game Thread 4***
Lorenzo Cain got ahead of Chris Bassitt early, with a flare over Semien’s glove into left. Christian Yelich tried to go big by swinging at the first pitch, but he chopped a grounder off of a broken bat, hitting into a double play and making it a much better first inning for Bassitt and the A’s. Bassitt sat Yasmani Grandal down next with his first K of the night, catching him swinging on a high sinker.
Houser started things off shakily against the A’s, missing his curve high and in enough to scrape Semien’s jersey and start off with a baserunner. Chapman battled and hit a ball to the outfield, but it settled in Cain’s glove for the first out. Olson swung through a fastball to strike out. Mark Canha saw 4 balls in roughly the same part of the plate, and grounded the last one straight to Hiura catching Semien out and ending the inning.
Mike Moustakas teased power off the first pitch, hitting it to deep left, but Robbie Grossman read it well and caught the fly right in front of the track. Hiura grounded out on a gift pitch from Bassitt, 95 in the centre of the zone, but rolled right to Semien. Bassitt tried to strike out Thames with a looping curve, but Thames locked in a drove it to right. Chad Pinder made a phenomenal running, diving catch to shore the ball in near the foul line and retire the Brew Crew.
Our bench just cleared!— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 31, 2019
...To give Chad Pinder high-fives after this incredible catch!!#RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/uBQ0zb8FjW
Khris Davis grounded out on his first pitch, Herrmann struck out on three pitches, and just as Houser thought he would have an easy inning Robbie Grossman nailed a liner to the outfield grass for a single. Chad Pinder was sat down after seeing 4 pitches with a strikeout looking. While the A’s got their first hit, it did not amount to much for the inning.
Bassitt started the third off by powering three balls in the zone with to strike Travis Shaw out. Arcia singled to right, then after two called strikes and a foul, Bassitt sailed a curve through the zone and retired Gammel swinging. Cain popped out to Olson at first, and Bassitt had cruised through another inning.
Another bottom inning, another leadoff batter, as Profar gets walked to get on. Houser got another strikeout, catching Semien looking at a fastball low in the zone, and another with Chapman watching a fastball creep into the outside corner. Matt Olson watched one pitch before belting a perfect liner through left-centre for an RBI double, getting Profar to score from first, and giving the Athletics the lead.
Can't stop watching this swing— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 31, 2019
⭐️ @mattolson21 ⭐️#RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/QO7fBXFfEQ
Houser bounced a curveball wide and by the time the ball had finished rolling up the first base foul line Olson had moved to third, but that was quickly rendered irrelevant by Canha swinging through a better located curve to end put being the third Athletic to strike out during this inning.
Bassitt continued to keep Yelich off the bases, getting him to strike out on three pitches. The Hound continued locating his pitches, getting Grandal to fly out to left, and Moustakas to ground out to Marcus to move the game along.
Khris started off the 4th with a liner up the middle, Hirua’s throw went a bit wide of first, but was snagged by Grandal before it could reach the dugout to advance Davis past first. Herrmann rolled the ball up the infield, looking like a ready made double play, but Hirua missed picking the ball up and his error let Herrmann reach safely and moved Khris to second. Grossman popped out to Arcia running across the left foul line, and Pinder grounded up the centre of the infield, this time the Brewers successfully turned this double play keeping the A’s scoreless after a busy inning.
Hiura chopped his first pitch of the 5th to bounce high and straight to Chapman, throwing him out handily. Thames battled, but watched a slider roll through the bottom of the strike zone to get him out looking. Bassitt got ahead of Shaw early, with a cutter and a curve both watched, before Shaw popped out to short.
Profar tagged a couple foul balls hard, but the one he kept between the poles hit the ground and rolled to first for an out. Marcus grounded out to the left side of the infield, and Chapman grounded to Houser to end the inning quickly.
Arcia started the 6th with a grounder to Semien that he managed to beat out to end up on base. Bassitt threw a low change that Herrmann couldn't hold onto, moving Arcia into scoring position. Gamel hit a low ball up the infield, but Marcus caught it on a hop and lasered a throw to Olson to hold Arcia at second and get the out. Bassitt walked Cain on 4 pitches, making it his first AB without hitting his locations. Yelich hit two fouls and Bassitt had a long wait before tossing a low fastball to get the strike out. While pitching to Grandal, Arcia stole third, but Yasmani grounded out to Profar and Bassitt got out of his inning, working hard.
Junior Guererra was called to take over pitching for the Brewers in the 6th. Olson had a quick groundout to third, and Canha did the exact same thing. Khris Davis responded to the previous two ABs with a quick double, deep to the gap in left-centre. Herrmann watched two strikes, but then Gerra lost the zone, throwing 4 straight balls to put Herrmann on. When it looked like Grossman would come up big to get some more runs in, Lorenzo Cain made a great dive to end the inning instead.
New Athletic Jake Diekman was brought out by Bob for the 7th. Marcus Semien did his thing, grabbing onto both Moustakas’ and Hiura’s grounders and tossing them to Olson for easy outs, including a blazing hit from Hiura. Diekman took Thames to a full count but walked him on a close set outs pitches low and away. Braun was brought in to pinch hit, but he drilled it right to Canha in centre and the A’s made it through another half inning unscathed.
Marcus Semien's defense this season? Legendary! #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/TMK7rbKR0X— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 31, 2019
Matt Albers was now pitching for the Crew, and Chad Pinder decided a one run lead wasn't enough leading off the A’s half with a ringing double to the corner in left. Profar had a productive out, getting a bloop for the force out at first, but allowing Pinder to move to third. After some close takes, Marcus couldn’t hold up on an inside fastball, striking out on a not-quite-checked swing. Chad Pinder didn’t get another chance to add to the lead like he wanted as Chapman was called out on a sinker on the outside corner to retire the A’s
With a tight lead and innings running out, Yusmeiro Petit was called on to pitch. Arcia bounced the first pitch past a diving Semien, getting a quick single. While doing his best to try and pickoff Arcia, Petit fooled Gamel on three changeups to earn a swinging strikeout. Cain flew out to Canha in centre and with Yelich up in the order, Petit was swapped out for Buchter. Yelich hit his first pitch up the right infield and moved Arcia to third. 4 outs away with the lead on the line, the A’s made another pitching change, this time for Liam Hendriks. Hendriks’ first pitch to Grandal was lined through the left side of the infield, allowing Arcia to score and moving Yelich to third. Grandal took second base during Moustakas’ at bat, but Hendriks K’d Mostakas leaving the game tied.
Olson started off against Alex Claudio, and after reaching a full count he hit a bullet up to first that Thames managed to hold on to before it bounced. Freddy Peralta was brought in, throwing above Canha, but Canha grounded out to third. Too bad for the Brewers though, that KHRIS DAVIS IS BACK. Smacking a solo dinger to left field, KD gave the A’s back the lead and hit his first homer since mid-June.
Davis with the tiebreaker pic.twitter.com/DJ6m94Npgr— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 31, 2019
Herrmann struck out after, but Khrush gave the A’s the late lead with their closer on the mound.
Hendriks got his first out of the inning with a Hiura strikeout, but Thames tied the game on a high fastball, with a solo shot to right-centre. Hendricks caught Saladino swinging at a slider, and did the same to Arcia. Liam notched four strikeouts on the evening, but he gave up the lead in consecutive innings.
Robbie Grossman played patiently and watched five pitches, four of which were outside of the zone, putting the winning run on base. Pinder struck out swinging at three fastballs, but Peralta seemed to lose his command again against Profar, though Profar flew out to left field. Semien battled and Grossman stole second, but Marcus ended the 9th by flying out to Yelich in right. Onto Extras we go.
Treinen was Bob’s choice to start off extras, and did so beginning with a Gamel strikeout. Cain grounded out to Semien with Blake throwing some pitches with nasty movement. Yelich got struck out swinging for his third K of the night, and Trinen had a solid inning of work.
Josh Hader had been saved for this moment, up against the strongest part of the A’s lineup. Matt Chapman held off the 2-2 pitch to work the count full with a checked swing, but whiffed on the next fastball he saw. Up next was Matt Olson...
.@mattolson21 says 'Goodnight' #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/FDE23seImR— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 31, 2019
Bassitt had a fantastic outing, pitching through an even 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and no earned runs. Chris was spot on with his pitch mixing and location, and was on top of the Brewers, especially through the first 5 innings. You have to wonder if at only 83 pitches if Bassitt couldn’t have been used for part of 7th inning, saving Diekman for Yelich in the 8th, if Bob was still inclined to make that move.
Diekman had a great first appearance as well, pitching the 7th complete with only a walk issued. Hendriks had some choice strikeouts, but the earned runs he gave up almost did the A’s in.
It’s a good thing that Khris Davis looks to be returning to form, going 3-for-4 with a dinger and a double. Of course, the win all comes down to Matt Olson and his 403 foot tater out to dead centre field.
With today’s win the Athletics move to 61 and 47. The win also puts the A’s in sole possession of WC2, 2 games behind Cleveland. The series against the Brewers continues tomorrow with Brett Anderson leading the A’s.