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Game #157: Miami Connection

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The young A’s weren’t enough to overcome the ex-A’s. Oakland loses 6-3 and drops its 8th straight to Seattle.

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Click here for today’s game thread

Go watch Miami Connection. It’s the best B-movie ever. It has a ninja motorcycle gang and songs about taekwondo.

Oakland falls to our former brethren from Miami, Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia. Their two home runs fueled 5 of Seattle’s 6 runs in tonight’s 6-3 loss — Oakland’s 8th straight defeat at the hands of the Mariners.

Mengden Meng-decent

While Daniel Mengden couldn’t continue his streak of scoreless starts, he still put together a decent performance whose box score is made somewhat worse by Oakland’s bullpen. He gave up a few walks throughout the game, including back-to-back free passes to ex-A’s and Miamians Alonso and Valencia. But ultimately he was mostly able to hold it together through his first 6 innings, yielding only 2 runs on a home run by Alonso in the 4th. He was bound to get bit at some point, considering he allowed baserunners in each of the first 4 innings.

After his initial struggles, he started to look more confident and managed an 8-in-a-row streak following Alonso’s home run. But when he was given some extra leash in the 7th, he couldn’t get it done. He gave up a leadoff single and a walk before getting pulled for Ryan Dull. Ryan Dull is not having a good year. With two strikes, Danny Valencia did his thing, hitting a high fastball for a painful 3-run home run. Dull gave up another single before being pulled for Daniel Coulombe, who gave up a flare that landed to make it 6 for Seattle.

Despite the walks, Mengden looked alright. He was able to use pretty much all of his pitches effectively at some point in the game, and I especially enjoyed his curveball which made for some great double plays. But he’s still young and he’s still learning, which involved some location mistakes that the experienced Seattle lineup was able to take advantage of.

A’s Can Homer Too

Oakland’s offense was also defined by home runs. In the 1st, Marcus Semien just kind of flipped a pitch over the wall in left field. It didn’t seem like the hardest-hit ball off the bat, but it certainly got the job done. I guess we see a lot of those these days.

The bats remained quiet for the next several innings. Healy managed a couple of singles, bookending Paxton’s own streak of 8 straight outs. But other than that, the A’s were quiet until the 6th.

With one out, Lowrie singled and Khrush hit #42 of the year, tying his personal best set last year. Paxton was knocked out of the game, already on a restricted pitch count as he recovers from his injury. But the A’s could not figure out Seattle’s bullpen, failing to do much for the rest of the game. The Mariners did their work in the top of the 7th, and that was it offensively for both teams.

Defense

Probably the most exciting part of this game was the defense. We got a little bit of everything. First there was incompetence from Canha in the 1st. He took about 10 seconds to react to a flyball, then failed to catch it on the dive. Then shortly thereafter, partial redemption as Canha made a cute little hop to catch the ball for the final out of the inning, up against the wall.

Matt Chapman initiated not one but two slick double plays, including in the 8th when he caught a line drive and then lasered the ball back to first before Zunino could get back. And Marcus Semien showed off some nice footwork in a double play as well.

Finally, Gordon Beckham made one of the best tarp catches I’ve ever seen, then turned it into one of the weirdest double plays I’ve ever seen. Renato Nuñez stopped between first and second for an eternity to watch Beckham fall before confirming his decision to steal, allowing Beckham to make a flat-footed throw from behind the tarp to get the out (after a challenge — for once, Angel Hernandez made a bad call in our favor).

The A’s fall 6-3, with one final chance to snap their losing streak against the Mariners tomorrow.

As this is the final Tuesday game of the season, this will be my last recap for the year. I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to write for this site and to engage with the great community we have here. I wish you all the best as we head into the offseason and hope to be more active on here as we all track our progress towards possible contention and a shortened rebuild in 2018. Go A’s!