Tough end to the season. Oakland dropped their sixth straight game tonight as the club lost to the division rival Mariners by a final of 7-2 in a tough game. That’s now 105 losses for this lost season.
Right-hander Paul Blackburn got the start for the home team tonight and last year’s All-Star was solid for most of the evening. Seattle tagged him for a quick run in the second inning thanks to a couple back-to-back hits but Blackburn limited the damage to just that. For a Seattle team still clawing for a playoff spot, Pauly B came to play.
The bats on the other hand did not. Facing Mariner’s ace Luis Castillo, the Oakland bats had no answer as the club only racked up three total hits against the Seattle ace over the first six innings in tonight’s contest. It took all the way until the seventh inning for the club to finally break through against Castillo but by then Seattle had built up a lead. The Mariners snagged an extra run against former All-Star Pauly B in the fourth thanks in part to an RBI single but that would have been enough. The offense didn’t show up today and you can’t win baseball games without scoring.
Seattle really broke this game open in the top of the seventh against the Oakland bullpen. Rookie pitcher Easton Lucas was absolutely lost tonight as the right-hander got torched for four runs in the seventh inning off of four hits and a pair of walks. With the entire bullpen essentially up for grabs next year this was not even close to a good night for Lucas. Luckily for him this club is in rebuilding mode. The organization can tolerate these growing pains. Especially from their rookies.
The bright side from tonight came from a couple of the young guys as Castillo was clearly wearing down. Starting catcher Shea Langeliers got the A’s on the board thanks to an RBI triple (rare triple from a catcher) and fellow backstop/top prospect Tyler Soderstrom brought him in from third base with a sacrifice fly. Two runs, yes, but just not enough tonight. That was as much as Oakland could manage against the Seattle pitching staff as the Athletics earned just one more hit against Seattle (an 8th inning double from, yes, Zack Gelof). The Mariners looked like the more motivated team tonight and who could fault them? They’re on the cusp of the playoffs.
The club is on a bad streak right now. Tonight’s loss marks six straight losses for the A’s as the club limps into the offseason. Tomorrow marks the end of the season series against these Mariners but the A’s can still play spoiler. On the bright side of things, pitching prospect Joey Estes makes his MLB debut tomorrow afternoon in the series finale. Yes, it’s a late-season game when the club is out of contention but still. Estes! He’s made it to the big leagues and he should help the club next year. Get his feet wet now.