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Game #62: A’s lose Sunday Morning Baseball

First pitch 8:30 a.m., final score 6-3 Cleveland

MLB: JUN 12 Athletics at Guardians Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today’s Oakland A’s game was sacrificed by MLB at the altar of a sponsorship opportunity.

The game was not televised on its normal channel, but was instead shown exclusively on the Peacock streaming service that costs a few extra bucks for signup. Furthermore, as part of a new Sunday Morning Baseball program, first pitch was 8:30 a.m. here in the Bay Area. In other words, they took the game hostage to pressure you into signing up for a new thing you didn’t otherwise want, even though you’re already a paying customer who bought cable and/or to see the games.

It’s a crappy strategy by MLB, and I happily obliged by not watching, just as I skipped the AppleTV+ broadcast back in April. This forced upselling is incredibly disrespectful to their customers, who have already donated an irrational amount of loyalty in recent years. Making today even worse is that Peacock and NBC Sports are both owned by NBC, so the same parent company was still airing the A’s game, just in a different room behind an extra toll booth.

*** Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread! ***

Anyway, on the field, Oakland lost 6-3 to the Cleveland Guardians in their series finale at Progressive Field.

In customary recent fashion, the A’s scored first today but then the lineup mostly went quiet while the opponent took over the lead and held on to it.

Oakland got a solo homer from Ramon Laureano in the 1st inning!

... but Cleveland answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Starter Cole Irvin settled down for a while after that, but the Guardians struck again in the 6th and 7th to add some insurance.

  • Irvin: 5⅔ ip, 5 runs (4 earned), 3 Ks, 1 BB (intentional), 6 hits, 80 pitches

The lefty got knocked around for some hard contact in the 1st inning, and again in the 6th, but in between those rallies he retired 13 straight batters. The bullpen bailed him out of his final jam, and then limited Cleveland to one more run in the final frames.

Unfortunately, that was too much offense for the A’s to keep up with today. After Laureano’s dinger, they didn’t score again until the 8th inning. Back-to-back solo homers by Christian Bethancourt and Seth Brown cut into the lead, but it was too little too late.

Brown has now homered in each of the last three games. Bethancourt wrapped up a monster series in which he went 9-for-17 with three homers, three doubles, five RBI, and only two strikeouts. The positive takeaway for today is that the lineup is beginning to show some power.

Otherwise, it was a rerun of the same loss we’ve been watching the past couple weeks, and MLB made it extra difficult to watch.