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Game #144: A’s Annihilated by Astros

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics designated hitter Khris Davis (2) reacts after a pitch during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Fiers was going into this game chasing a record. Heading into this game, Fiers was unbeaten in his last 21 starts so he was poised to chase a record. This record dates back to 1973 and Catfish Hunter. Hunter holds the record for most consecutive wins in Oakland’s history: 13 in 1973. This is not to be confused with the overall franchise record held by Lefty Grove of 16 consecutive wins in 1931. If Fiers won tonight, he would have tied Hunter’s record and added to his achievements of 2019 that began with his no-hitter in May. Unfortunately, It was clearly not meant to be, and this was obvious in the first inning. Before unveiling the bad news, the good news is that the A’s are still in second place in the Wild Card race despite tonight’s loss.

Let’s get this pain over with quickly. “Lit up” is the best way to summarize Mike Fiers’ first inning. Alex Bregman with a three-run home run put the Astros up 3-0. Yordon Alvarez followed suit, sending one deep into the right field stands to put the Astros ahead 4-0. With Aledmys Diaz singling to get on base, Robinson Chirinos took the ball deep for the third home run of the inning and a 6-0 lead for the Astros. Fiers left the breaking balls flat and the fastball in the wheelhouse and it was batting practice for the Astros.

Melvin allowed Fiers start the second, and the damage just continued making it obvious that he needed to come out. Home runs were launched by Altuve and Brantley to put the Astros up 9-0 and bring in Paul Blackburn. Fiers’ line: 1 inning, 9 hits, 9 earned runs, 1 strikeout and 5 home runs.

With Blackburn in, one would hope the bleeding would stop. But Blackburn immediately gave up a towering shot by Yordon Alvarez who picked up his second homer of the night. Second homer, second inning, 10-0 Astros. Oh but wait, it doesn’t stop there...an RBI single by Chirinos led to an 11-0 lead.

It would be nice if it all ended there but alas it did not. The good that can be said is that Paul Blackburn did what was needed and hung in there through 5 innings, leaving in the 7th. His line, however, is not pretty either: 5 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 1 walk and 2 home runs. Lou Trivino closed out the 7th by striking out out Kyle Tucker on a foul tip (97MPH fastball) and then getting Garrett Stubbs to hit into a double play. The seventh ended with the Astros on top 15-0 on 17 hits. Buchter was able to keep the score and total hits the same in the 8th.

Final score: Astros 15, Athletics 0. The win to Greinke and the loss to Fiers. The Athletics only had three hits, two singles (Herrmann, Davis) and a double (Pinder).

There’s always tomorrow, and Tanner Roark will be on the hill.

You can find today’s threads here:

Thread 1: https://www.athleticsnation.com/2019/9/9/20857926/game-thread-144-as-at-astros

Thread 2: https://www.athleticsnation.com/2019/9/9/20858066/game-thread-144-2-as-at-astros