It happened again. The Oakland A’s had a win sitting right in front of them, but couldn’t quite capitalize.
This time the result was a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the last-place Texas Rangers, who have now beaten Oakland in five of eight meetings this year.
If you’ve been watching the last few weeks, then today’s game was that again. The A’s first batter of the game reached base but was doubled off on a lineout to right field. In the 2nd inning they put two runners on but lined sharply into another double play. In the 4th they loaded the bases but got only one run out of it, and that was thanks to a defensive miscue by the Rangers (the fielder could have thrown home to force the runner out at the plate). In the 7th they loaded the bases with walks but stranded them.
They did at least get one clutch RBI hit in the 6th, courtesy of a two-out rally by Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie.
On the other side of the ball, Oakland pitched seven beautiful scoreless innings but got beaten by one crooked number. Starter Cole Irvin didn’t allow a hit through the first five frames, but in the 6th he went single, single, HBP, single, and suddenly he was out of the game. Reliever Sergio Romo has been untouchable since late-May (17 games, 1.15 ERA, 16 Ks, 1 BB), but he allowed one more single to plate a pair of inherited runners before escaping the rest of the jam unscathed.
- Irvin: 5 ip, 3 runs, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 3 hits, 86 pitches, 81.9 mph EV
That was all it took. A brief slip by a starter who was halfway through a no-hitter, and one ill-timed single by perhaps the hottest reliever in the bullpen. All while the A’s lineup went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base. They played great defense too!
Oakland even won a replay review in this game. In the 6th, Chapman hustled a single into a double and was initially called out, but replay was so clearly decisive that even the booth umps couldn’t mess it up and awarded him the base. Oddly, earlier in the game Joe West made a good call too, reversing a Texas homer that had obviously gone foul without even needing to check the tape. Even getting the calls properly in their favor isn’t enough to push the A’s over the top during this slump.
Keep the fAith
Keep pitching this well and you’ll start winning games. Keep playing excellent defense and you’ll start winning games. Keep putting lots of runners on third base and you’ll start winning games. The A’s are doing just about everything right but losing coin-flip after coin-flip, which is still worrisome but not like if they were getting blown out nightly. This too shall pass, probably. Keep the fAith.