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Recap: Red Sox @ A’s Game 81

July 2, 2012

The A’s defeated the Red Sox today 6-1. There are records that we can all remember, home runs in a season or career (and whether or not you consider Hank Aaron and Roger Maris as the real record holders), Cy Young‘s 511 wins, Joe DiMaggio‘s 56 game-hitting streak, and so on. Then there are those MLB records that are so sort of meaningless, yet as they come up are touted constantly. Such is the record that Jarrod Parker tied today, becoming just the second pitcher since 1900 to give up one run or fewer in ten of his first fourteen career starts. The other member of this illustrious group? Former New York Giants pitcher Ferdie Schupp, who unlike Parker doing it with a start to end the 2011 season and string here in 2012, did it over the course of 1913 through 1917. Yawn?

  • Regardless of whether or not the record is a sound one, or a meaningful one, or even a record to celebrate at all Parker has pitched well. In today’s halfway mark game, Parker went six and two-thirds, allowing just one earned run, on six hits, three walks while managing three strikeouts. On the year he has thrown 80 1/3 innings, of 2.46 ERA, 3.57 FIP baseball with a decent 6.8 K/9, weak 4.4 BB/9 and great 0.3 HR/9 as he has earned 1.5 WAR. Parker needs to significantly cut down on the walks, but for a rookie pitcher he has demonstrated an ability to escape jams and a good amount of perseverance. So while his 81.4% strand rate may be unsustainable, he really has battened down when he has needed to.
  • Sean Doolittle came in for the final two and a third innings in this one and struck out three. He now has 21 strikeouts in just 12 2/3 innings (14.9 K/9). He faced the minimum seven, with an amazing 23 of his 28 pitches crossing for strikes.
  • Brandon Moss hit his ninth home run of the year, representing a new career high for him. Moss has a typical masher slash line: .247/.321/.658 but his ninth home run came in just his 78th plate appearance. It took 194 for him to get to his previous career high of eight back in 2008 in time split between Boston and Pittsburgh. I wonder if this platoon between him and Chris Carter is something that could work longer term? Is Moss, a former very well regarded prospect, a discovery a la Nelson Cruz of a late bloomer?
  • Another former Red Sox prospect had a home run also against his former team today as Josh Reddick slugged his nineteenth of the year, both his and Moss’ home runs came against Daisuke Matsuzaka. For Reddick this does not represent a season high regardless of level, that’d be the 23 he hit in 2008 in time split between the Lancaster JetHawks (17) of the Cal League and the Portland Sea Dogs (six) of the Eastern League, but it does represent a new high for any given level in one year which was previously 18 with the 2007 Greenville Drive of the Sally.
  • Derek Norris got yet another start, and went 1-for-3 with a walk to move his slash line to .333/.375/.533 through 32 plate appearances. Norris also scored two of the six A’s runs in this one, but perhaps most noteworthy Norris got a stolen base victimizing the tandem of Clayton Mortensen and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
  • Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks went 0-for-3 with a walk and 0-for-4 respectively in this one and uncoincidentally Reddick’s home run was a solo shot. Why these two continue to hit 1-2 in the order is beyond me, but I’d rather see them separated with Crisp perhaps further down and Weeks up there solely to get extra plate appearances. Seth Smith seems like he’d be well suited to hitting second in particular (he went 1-for-4 with a double in this one).
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