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Game #120: A 9th Inning Rally Falls Just Shy Of A Win

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Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

It was a quiet first half of the game, with both Bumgarner and Anderson working through 4 innings scoreless. The A’s got ahead first, with Piscotty's homer in the 5th, but the Giants rallied with a trio of doubles in the 6th to get on top. Bum cruised through the rest of his outing, while the A’s bullpen gave up a sac fly. The A’s had a big rally in the 9th, but they ended just short of a win in a very tense Bay Area matchup.

*** Revisit Game Thread #1 | Game Thread #2 ***


1

The breeze in the bay helped the A’s immediately as Marcus hit a flair that looked like an easy catch in foul territory. Instead Austin Slater ran a few circles staring in the sky before the ball dropped in fair territory and Semien started off with a single. Chapman undid this luck though, by grounding straight into a 5-4-3 double play. Bumgarner pitched around Olson, but before he could draw a walk, Matt slapped the ball straight to Longoria for the third out.

While Anderson’s inning started out with Donovan Solano grounding out to Semien, The A’s were not able to do the same with Joey Rickard’s ball. It bounced up and Pinder did a great job to corral it in, but Rickard beat out any possible throw Pinder could have made. Anderson earned his first K of the night against Buster Posey, and quickly after Evan Longoria golfed a ground ball up the infield for an easy force out at second base.


2

Bumgarner barely threw anything higher than Canha’s knees, but Mark whiffed for a strikeout on the lowest of em all to start the inning. Pinder got caught swinging on a curveball down and outside, and Piscotty reached out to hit a cutter way outside of the zone, sending the ball bouncing to Solano long before Stephen could reach first.

Kevin Pillar started off the Giants’ half by hitting a ball up the gap between first and second. Austin Slater hit a liner right to Chad Pinder, and while it looked like Pinder picked off Pillar with a missile throw to first, replay overturned the double play leaving Pillar on first, and moving to second base on a wild pitch soon after. The A’s almost had Pillar tagged on a stolen base attempt, but he turned back to second while the ball was in the air from Anderson’s pickoff. Aramis Garcia grounded out towards Chapman, and Matt was able to hold Pillar at second. Brandon Crawford hit a dribbler that Brett had to run for, firing it off to Olson on a turn to end the inning without any major damage.


3

Robbie Grossman led off by trying to check his swing on a low pitch, but he went around enough to be called out on strikes. Birthday Boy Dustin Garneau was up next, but the only gift Bumgarner was willing to give him was a called strikeout on the inside corner. With a big swing by Anderson, Bumgarner struck out the side, getting through the A’s lineup once only giving up a wind assisted single.

Bumgarner came close to putting the Giants on the board with a big fly ball out to right field, but Piscotty nabbed it just in front of the warning track. Anderson came back to strike out Solano on three pitches, and Rickard on four pitches. Both struck out swinging and not a single pitch either of them saw was above 90mph.


4

Marcus connected for a weak grounder than ended up in Crawford’s glove for out one, and Bumgarner got ahead of Chapman for another called strikeout. Olson did a great job holding off on a pitch on the high outside corner, keeping his AB going and working into a full count before getting caught looking on the outside corner on pitch number 8.

Posey came and went again, this time even faster by hitting a chopper straight to Semien. Longoria watched a few more pitches than Posey did, but grounded out to the left infield just the same. Pillar got the third groundout of the inning by rolling it straight to Pinder, and Anderson had another easy inning, albeit in the complete opposite way than he did in the third.


5

Crawford’s throw got ahead of Canha running off a grounder, catching him for a quick first out. While Chad had a pretty patient AB, Bumgarner got him to two strikes and then caught him whiffing, adding another strikeout to the A’s woes. But the scoreless start for Bumgarner ended there, as Bay Area native Stephen Piscotty drilled the ball out to left field for a big first run of the game.

Grossman battled through an AB, but grounded out to Crawford to end the A’s offensive attempts in the 5th. But at the game’s halfway point, the A’s had a slim lead thanks to Stephen Piscotty.

Bouncing the ball just outside of a diving Pinder’s reach, Austin Slater reached on a quick single. Anderson had a battle with Aramis Garcia, but after 8 pitches Garcia had a big swing and miss for Brett’s fourth strikeout. While Oracle Park does not have the same ample foul ground as the Coliseum, Matt Chapman still managed to track down Crawford’s pop up near the bullpen. Anderson kept rolling with a shut down inning, by getting Bumgarner to ground out to Chapman and move to the 6th.


6

Two real quick outs started off the 6th, with Garneau popping out on his first pitch and Brett grounding out on his second. Marcus didn’t last much longer, connecting for a fly ball on his third pitch that was easily caught by Rickard for a fast half-inning.

Solano tapped the ball right back to Brett after a pair of hard hit fouls, giving easy first out to Anderson. While it’s strange to say that a play is both routine and Gold Glove affirming, that’s just what Matt Chapman does, running from the baseline to shortstop territory, then making a turn and a missile throw to beat Rickard to first by a step. Posey hit a high fly ball to the base of triples alley, but his catcher’s legs could only get him to second. Longoria hit a liner right above Chapman, who couldn’t nab it on a jump. the ball rolled all the way to the left corner, scoring Posey and giving Longoria a double. Pillar came up next, and barrelled a ball to left, bouncing off the wall right near Grossman’s glove, the Giants got their third double in a row off of Pillar’s RBI hit, giving them the lead. Slater grounded out to Chapman, but the A’s now enter the back third of a tight game down by a run.


7

Chapman sat on a few tough pitches to work a full count, but when he made contact it ended up being a high pop up right to second base. Almost an identical AB to Chapman’s, Olson also hit an infield pop up on a well fought full count. Canha did the same, with a 9 pitch at bat, ending in Bumgarner’s 9th strikeout of the game. While the A’s were unable to get past Bumgarner in this inning, they did drive his pitch count to the 100 pitch milestone with Canha’s K.

With a growing need to keep the Giants down, Bob Melvin called for Jake Diekman to come out for the 7th. Starting Garcia off with a 4-pitch walk, Jake then turned an 0-2 count into another walk, bringing up Bumgarner. As expected Bumgarner bunted to move both runners up, and that was the last batter Diekman would face. Yusmeiro Petit was brought in as replacement, and Scooter Gennett was brought in as a pinch hitter. Gennett batted for a sac fly, driving it right to Canha, but Garcia scored easily to pad the San Franciso lead. Mark Canha made an impressive play to save any more runs and end the inning by tracking Rickard's fly down to catch it while leaping into the warning track.


8

Chad was up against Reyes Moronta, the new San Francisco pitcher, and he struck out swinging on a slider. Piscotty came close to hitting his second dinger of the game, but the deep centre field of Oracle park meant that it instead ended up being a routine fly out for Pillar. Moronta tossed a variety to Grossman, but on a 3-2 count Robbie hit another deep fly to the warning track to give the A’s only 3 outs to work with.

Blake Treinen trotted out to take the bottom of the 8th against the heart of the Giants’ order. Posey got a walk off of an AB with a couple balls called tight to the zone. Longoria hit a one-hopper on a line to Semien, getting the A’s a smooth 6-4-3 to take the pressure off Blake. Pillar hit a fast bouncer to Semien, and while Marcus got his glove on the ball it was pushed forward and scored an error to put Pillar on. Garneau threw a gem to Pinder with Pillar taking off, and the tag was made in time to stop any further commotion by the Giants.


9

Dustin Garneau gave us all a birthday gift with a first pitch bloop to right to get on base. Khris Davis came up in the pitcher’s spot to be the second batter to face the Giants’ Will Smith, and Khris hit a liner up the middle for a single, advancing Garneau up 90 feet. Profar was swapped out for Khris as a pinch runner as Marcus stepped up to the plate. On a great and patient at bat, Semien ended up getting done in by a checked swing that wasn’t checked enough. Smith’s inability to hit the zone with his breaking balls gave Chapman a full count. Chapman had a ball land an inch foul in deep left field, then followed it by hitting a single to right on the next pitch, loading the bases with only one out. Olson got caught swinging on a high fastball to give the A’s one last chance in Mark Canha. a long battle with plenty of questionable calls on the corner ended with Canha watching an outside fastball for a walk, scoring a run. Pinder got two quick strikes on inside balls, and on the one outside pitch Smith made against Pinder, Chad swung through it to strike out and end the game.


Anderson had another strong start, this time with a bit less run support than his last start. With 6 innings pitched, 2 earned runs and no walks, normally this would be the exact kind of start you want to get out of Brett.

Petit and Treinen both had solid appearances, with Petit cleaning up after Diekman, and Treinen staying cool with the help of a double play.

Outside of Piscotty’s homer and the 9th inning, the A’s offence barely offered anything. 13 strikeouts, including Pinder with 4 is not a good look for a team trying to contend.

With tonight’s loss the A’s move to 67 and 52. The Bay Bridge Series continues tomorrow afternoon in San Francisco with Homer Bailey taking on Tyler Beede and the Giants.