Recap: Tigers @ A’s Game 34
The A’s and Tigers battled tonight crazy to think they start this one with the A’s owning a better record than the Tigers. Couldn’t have been convinced that’d be the case my this time. The season is still young, the Tigers will find their rightful place atop the American League Central standings and hopefully the A’s can continue to defy expectations. I felt that if everything went right the A’s could be an 83 win team but currently they are on pace to win 86, so that’d be a nice surprise. It is a surprise already because everything certainly has not gone right yet the A’s are playing good baseball against good teams. The A’s won again 3-1 to improve to 18-16 on the year as the Tigers slumped below .500 to 16-17.
- Brandon McCarthy was the story in this one. Working on nine days rest as he was scrapped from his last start due to shoulder stiffness, the time of seems to help him fare well as he struck out 10 across seven scoreless innings, while allowing just four hits and walking no one. Given the high strikeout total he was incredibly economical with his pitches using only 91 with 66 crossing the plate as strikes. Great outing and this is the sort of stuff, along with him just being a cool guy, that make me hope the A’s will make an effort to extend him. He seemed to identify a shoulder issue, work it out, and come back and dominate. Great and exciting stuff if you are an A’s fan.
- The offensive output of the A’s was muted with just eight hits for three runs, but with the game McCarthy pitched that was more than enough. Jemile Weeks went 2-for-2 before he was replaced by Cliff Pennington who then added an RBI triple. Daric Barton hitting second went 1-for-4 with a double, while two of the hottest A’s hitters went 0-fer as Seth Smith and Brandon Inge went hitless.
- Brian Fuentes, who after the game was officially named closer, allowed one run in his inning of work that also included a hit and strikeout. Don’t like Fuentes as closer, but Balfour clearly was not excelling in that role either. The brightest spot in the bullpen continues to be Ryan Cook who pitched a scoreless eighth inning upping his scoreless streak with the A’s to 16 2/3 innings.
- Weeks left the game due to a rolled ankle he suffered running out of the batter’s box. He is day-to-day. Kila Ka’aihue also is day-to-day, he was a late scratch from the lineup with a sore right hamstring. Yoenis Cespedes was going to play and was also a late scratch in this one and ended up landing on the 15-day disabled list.