The Oakland A’s lost a close one to the New York today at the Coliseum, falling by a final score of 3-2.
Right-hander Shintaro Fujinami got the ball today and had another good start to the game, putting up three scoreless innings to start the game (heard that before?) with four strike outs.
The A’s struck first, scoring on Mets starter Carlos Carrasco in the second inning. A Ramon Laureano single and Aledmys Diaz double put two runners in scoring position. Both would come in to score on a Conner Capel groundout and an Esteury Ruiz RBI single. They had staked Fujinami to a lead and Fuji seemed to be on his game. The vibes were good.
2-0 courtesy of Esteury pic.twitter.com/sAk0XC4MHm— Oakland A's (@Athletics) April 15, 2023
The Mets finally got to Fujinami in the fourth when Mets first baseman Pete Alonso tagged him with a solo shot to cut the A’s lead in half. But that was it for a while as Fuji locked in from there. He only allowed a baserunner in each of the fifth and sixth, finishing six innings with only one run allowed.
Oakland had a chance to add to the lead in the fourth when they loaded the bases but couldn’t cash in, then the bats went quiet for a while as Carrasco settled in and the Mets bullpen did it’s job holding Oakland down.
Fujinami had pitched his longest and best start of the year and Mark Kotsay rolled the dice, sending Fuji out for the seventh inning. It backfired as former Athletic Mark Canha took the fourth pitch he saw and drilled a game-tying home run to left field. Fujinami walked one more batter and that was it as Kotsay turned to the ‘pen and brought in Trevor May in relief.
-Shintaro Fujinami: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 92 pitches
Easily the best start of his early career so far. He’s struggled with going deep into games and his control but conquered both of those issues with a deep start with only two walks today. This is the Fujinami the A’s we’re expecting when they signed him and he delivered today.
May almost got out of the inning but a stolen base and a double from Brandon Nimmo gave the Mets the lead and suddenly the A’s were losing a game they’d been winning all day. It was almost worse than that but Laureano made an incredible play in right field to save a run and keep the deficit at just one:
Laureano with the incredible catch pic.twitter.com/IfKZPnyjdC— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 15, 2023
The A’s bullpen did its job from there as that Nimmo double was the last baserunner the Mets had today. May, Zach Jackson and Dany Jimenez all kept New York from scoring anymore and kept it a 1-run game.
Oakland put together scoring opportunities in each of the final three innings. They got the tying run to second in the 7th, then put runners on second and third in the 8th but in both instances couldn’t cash in. They even got a runner in scoring position in the ninth with only one out but sadly a Tony Kemp groundout and Kevin Smith strikeout on three pitches ended the game, ensuring at least a series loss for the club.
So that’s three straight losses and nine out of the last ten games. At least it was closer than yesterday’s drubbing. Today was probably the best chance at nabbing a win from the high-spending Mets but the series isn’t over just yet. They’ll have one more game tomorrow afternoon to avoid a series sweep. It’ll be on the shoulders of JP Sears to get the A’s back in the win column, but he’ll have a tough task facing off against Max Scherzer. Stranger things have happened in baseball!