Recap: A’s @ Royals Game 52
Yoenis Cespedes returned to the A’s today with the A’s faithful hoping that with it returned some semblance of an offense. Alas that was not to be as the A’s dropped their ninth straight to the Royals forever reminding A’s fan there is an “A” in defeat. The A’s managed three hits as the Royals won 2-0 on a combined four-pitcher shutout. Tonight I was in San Bernardino watching the Stockton Ports take on the Inland Empire 66ers. The Ports lost 3-2 in extra innings, the second extra inning defeat of the Ports I have seen this week (I also saw them lose in extras to the High Desert Mavericks on Sunday) and it seems the A’s offensive woes are a top-to-bottom system problem. The Ports had the game in hand but an ill-advised trip home on a wild-pitch saw A.J. Kirby-Jones cut down at the plate. He may have made it but instead of an aggressive dirt-kicking up slide, he sort of stopped then reached in, game lost. Regardless, beautiful ballpark in San Bernardino, really worth a trip for anyone to go and check it out.
- Cespedes’ return was the big deal but he did not look sparkling in his return to the MLB field. He was pitched sort of interestingly, seeing steady diets of the same pitch yet with the same poor results in this one at least. In the end he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. In his first at bat, a six pitch effort, Royals starter Felipe Paulino show him five sliders getting him to swing and miss to end it. In his second at bat, a ground out, Paulino just showed him nothing but fastballs in his four pitches. The third at bat, also resulting in a ground out, featured four pitches (three two-seamers, and a slider). While in his last at bat against Jonathan Broxton, he took one ball, before Broxton just amped the speed up on him getting him swinging on a 96, then 98, and then 99 mph pitch to get him out. I would’ve thought pitching Cespedes you’d want to give him a series of different looks, speed changes, but the Royals seem to disagree.
- The three Athletics hits came from just two sources, Jemile Weeks had two hits a double to leadoff the game and a single his second time up, while Josh Reddick singled to lead off the fourth inning. That is it. No more A’s offense outside of that and therein lies the problem because…
- Bartolo Colon had a good outing. He went seven innings, throwing 101 pitches, 67 for strikes. He allowed just two earned runs, on eight hits, walking two and striking out three. Still not thrilled with the low K output but, can’t complain one iota about this outing. He put the A’s in a position to win, and most clubs can handle the act of scoring more than two runs – the Oakland A’s cannot.
- In a slightly higher leverage situation Bob Melvin went to Andrew Carignan to start the eighth inning, he walked one and struck out one getting two outs before giving way to Jerry Blevins who got the one batter he was tasked with facing, the left-handed Eric Hosmer, out.