The losing streak continues. Oakland dropped their seventh straight game today, losing 12-2 and getting swept by the Cubs. They lost every game this home stand. Owch.
It was a special day at the Coliseum as top pitching prospect Mason Miller made his major league debut. A leadoff single ruined the chance of a debut no-hitter but Miller showed why the team brought him up after only 28 2⁄3 innings in the minor leagues. He got a line out double play to escape the first, then struck out the side in the second inning in impressive fashion. His first career K? Former MVP Cody Bellinger:
1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣— Oakland A's (@Athletics) April 19, 2023
Mason Miller lights up the radar for his first career strikeout pic.twitter.com/S72UiohwpL
That final K of the inning was filthy too:
102 at the top of the zone is absolutely UNFAIR #Athletics #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/h3EDWaLa7g— Uprooted (@uprootedoakland) April 19, 2023
Chicago tagged him for a run in the fourth inning with a walk and RBI double but he was still pumping out 100 MPH pitches with ease. I think we have something special in him.
There was a bit of controversy in the bottom of the inning. Aledmys Diaz seemingly hurt his thumb on a swing and stepped out of the box. Thanks to the addition of the clock this year, Diaz was given a strike 3 for taking too long, bringing Mark Kotsay out and having, let’s say, a word or two with the ump:
Mark Kotsay lost it after Aledmys Diaz was called for a pitch clock violation pic.twitter.com/5ADSJNNWVY— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 19, 2023
The offense didn’t take kindly to that and promptly got that run back in the bottom half of the frame. Oakland had their own walk and RBI double to tie the game, courtesy of backup catcher Carlos Perez:
Pérez said pic.twitter.com/jljT28nEcK— Oakland A's (@Athletics) April 19, 2023
Chicago retook the lead in the fifth after Miller gave up back-to-back singles and a sac fly. That ended Miller’s day as Kotsay turned to the bullpen and brought in Chad Smith to finish the inning.
-Mason Miller: 4 2⁄3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 81 pitches
Mason Miller's debut has come to an end pic.twitter.com/fZWFtnFkhT— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 19, 2023
The team will take that from a MLB debut. Oakland has struggled in the pitching department all season but Miller’s performance today gives hope that things can turn around. He was on a soft cap of 80 pitches today. He hit that mark, kept the A’s in the game and racked up five strikeouts. He’s a permanent rotation member moving forward and everyone will be hoping he can build off this.
Oakland got Miller off the hook for a loss when they scored in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff walk from Tyler Wade brought up Jordan Diaz. The freshly-recalled fellow top prospect took the fourth pitch he saw and smacked a pitch to right field. Chicago’s outfielder misplayed the ball, allowing Wade to score and tie the game:
Jordan Diaz ties the game pic.twitter.com/aKQcUF0H9l— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 19, 2023
Things fell apart from there for the Green & Gold. The Cubs scored 4 in the sixth, 1 in the eighth and 5 in the ninth to really blow this game up. Right Adam Oller, only just recalled from Vegas, was torched for five of those runs bringing his season ERA to an unsightly 10.43. How long of a leash are they going to give him this year?
The bats didn’t do much else after the Diaz double, collecting just two more singles the rest of the game courtesy of Esteury Ruiz and Kevin Smith. Wade put the team out of their misery with a strikeout to end the game.
So that’s seven straight losses for the club and the squad is now 3-16 after three weeks. Mason Miller had a solid day and showed off his amazing fastball, and Jordan Diaz had one of the biggest hits from the offense today. Both those guys are probably going to be sticking around for a while and it was good to see them both have their moments today in their first appearance of the season.
Oakland has a day off tomorrow to clear their head of this home stand before heading out on a road trip to Texas then Anaheim. Maybe getting away from the Coliseum can get them back on track. Fingers crossed.