Recap: Red Sox @ A’s Game 132
The A’s are shockingly trailing by just three games the AL West leading Rangers following tonight’s 7-1 win over the visiting Red Sox – Oakland’s eighth straight win. It is just such an improbable run and hard to believe the A’s are as successful as they have been, let alone to be just three back of the defending back-to-back American League Champions.
- A.J. Griffin got the start in his return from the disabled list. He did not disappoint carrying a perfect game into the fifth where it was broken up by a bunt single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. There are those that feel that is an unfair way to break up a perfect game or a no hitter or whatever, that it is a cheap move. But I just don’t get that, to me that is totally legit. You are trying to get a hit and a ringing line drive is no different than taking advantage of an infield that is back and bunting to get on board. Regardless, Griffin finished his day, having thrown seven innings of one earned run, three hit, no walk, five strikeout baseball. He threw an efficient 93 pitches with 63 for strikes improving his record to 4-0, lowering his ERA to 2.26 and his FIP to 3.39.
- Pat Neshek came in for the final two frames. The sidearmer allowed just one hit, while striking out two. He was such a great pickup by Billy Beane. In his 11 games, he has thrown 10 1/3 innings for the A’s, posting an incredible 0.87 ERA to go with a decent but not nearly as spectacular 3.00 FIP backed by 11.3 K/9, 2.6 HR/9 and 0.9 HR/9. He has stranded 100.0% of runners which won’t keep up, and allowed just a .182 BABIP but despite the fact these numbers won’t hold up he has been a good addition.
- Offensively the A’s scored seven runs on eleven hits. Coco Crisp led the way with three hits, while also walking once and striking out once as a part of a 3-for-4 day. Crisp had his 20th double to go along with his 10th home run. The home run led off the game for the A’s as it came on starter Felix Doubront‘s fourth pitch of the ball game.
- Chris Carter added his thirteenth home run of the season. His numbers this year are still incredible: .405 wOBA and 162 wRC+ in his 190 plate appearances, lending credence to the idea that he just needed a chance to settle in to really shine. I think that home run he had in his first game with the A’s this year was clearly so huge for his confidence that it is still paying dividends now. The A’s struck out fourteen times in this one and Carter who has struck out 26.8% of the time this year was the lone Athletic to not go down on strikes.
- Brandon Inge left this game early with a dislocated shoulder, this being his first game back from the disabled list that must be discouraging. He apparently dislocated it and then hit his two-run double off of Doubront. Inge was replaced by Cliff Pennington (Adam Rosales slid from second to third) who went 2-for-2, the only other Athletic with a multi-hit game aside from Penny and Coco was Derek Norris who went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Brandon Hicks also recalled as the rosters expanded went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts as three of the four A’s added started in this game as the September reinforcements played a significant role in this victory.
- The A’s run roughshod over Saltalamacchia as Yoenis Cespedes swiped two, and Crisp and Pennington both swiped a base a piece as well in this one.