Recap: Tigers @ A’s Game 12
Wrap: Detroit 7, Oakland 3. A’s 9-3 (1st Place, 1 game ahead)
The A’s were finally stopped. Not a bad run with nine straight and certainly not a team to ever be ashamed to fall to in the Tigers. After an early 1-0 lead for the A’s the Tigers bounced back and gave themselves a 7-1 lead that they would not relinquish. There was a good article by Dan Lependorf recently in HardballTimes talking about punting Opening Day so that your best starter lines up against an inferior one and gives you an advantage throughout the rest of the rotation. While Dan proved that theory doesn’t hold any water, today the A’s number one Brett Anderson looked anything but number one against Detroit’s Justin Verlander. The A’s looked overmatched but in a 162 game schedule that is bound to happen.
Of course Yoenis Cespedes hit the DL and Coco Crisp is still nursing a sore groin but Jed Lowrie also got a scheduled day off (though he’d come in as a pinch hitter with the bases-loaded and would strike out with a chance to tie it against Joaquin Benoit) so the A’s were short-handed going into a game against Verlander. An interesting lineup for them today, don’t really like Sogard hitting so high up. Verlander wasn’t lights out but he was good enough, holding the A’s to just three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out six. Overall the A’s struck out 13 times in this one with both Reddick and Moss going down three times each in their respective 0-for-5 days. The A’s weren’t sharp at all with runners in scoring position hitting a paltry 2-for-13.
Anderson was awful. Five and two thirds innings of seven earned run baseball on eight hits with three of them being home runs is just pathetic. On top of that he struck out just two while walking three. The Tigers are a good team of course and a potent offense but Anderson would’ve had a 10.80 FIP from this outing which actually is kinder than his 11.17 ERA in the game. An awful outing and one that can’t often be repeated for the A’s to contend they need their number one to pitch like a number one. Neshek looks like he is righting his ship pitching two and a third innings allowing two hits and walking one. Interesting outing given that he had no strikeouts but drew a lot of strikes going 37 pitches with 26 for strikes. Scribner continues to look very good, striking out two in his perfect inning.
Without question the zero is Anderson. He lucked out surrendering solo shots to Torii Hunter (third inning), Prince Fielder (fourth inning) but finally Jhonny Peralta got to him for a three-run dinger in the fourth. Can’t keep giving up home runs and expecting them all to come conveniently with the bases empty. His slider was off. He just wasn’t good.