With the month of September quickly passing us by, the Oakland Athletics entered tonight with just three more chances to add to their feather-light win column. That’s now down to two.
Opening their final series of the season, the A’s didn’t show much of their late-season progress on any sides of the ball. Offensively, Brent Rooker knocked in the first and only A’s run of the game with an RBI double in the 3rd inning. After that, it was mostly crickets out of the team’s lineup.
On the pitching side, Ken Waldichuk started things off with some solid Ken-ergy, pitching a quick couple of innings. In the 3rd, he loaded the bases with no outs, mostly via walks, and nearly blew the game there. Instead, he barely escaped via a strikeout, an infield popup, and a flyout. His luck ran out in the 4th, however, when he allowed a quadret of singles, the last of which was bobbled by JJ Bleday in left field and then thrown past third base. Counting as 2 errors charged to the young outfielder, it allowed the third run of that inning to score and ruined things on the defensive end for the A’s tonight.
The next frame saw Waldichuk give up another pair, this time via a two-run homer Angels centerfielder Mickey Moniak. The rookie southpaw ended his final outing of 2023 giving up 5 runs (4 earned), 7 hits, 3 walks, and striking out just 3 batters, a letdown following a stellar scoreless start.
Adrian Martinez and Francisco Perez cleaned things up well, pitching three shutout innings to close the game. But the damage was done and the A’s ended the game with a 5-1 deficit. They’ll hope to come back tomorrow ready to definitely prove they’re no longer the worst team in the AL West.