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Recap: Tigers @ A’s Game 13

April 14, 2013

Wrap: Detroit 10, Oakland 1. A’s 9-4 (1st Place, 1 game ahead)

A’s have played to a drew in one series and followed that up with two consecutive sweeps, today, they lost their first series falling to the Tigers 10-1. Concern over Jarrod Parker continues to grow following another exceptionally rocky outing. Between this game and Friday night’s lengthy one you have to worry now too about overtaxing the bullpen. While we look at everything under a giant microscope, particularly at the beginning of the season when a game can swing a guy from being a batting champion to batting chump, the truth remains that the A’s just dropped two of three to a very good team. That happens. It isn’t fun to watch but again no big deal. The A’s still find themselves on top of the American League West and can hopefully build their lead with the upcoming series against Houston.

The Bats

Lineup vs. Anibal Sanchez: John Jas0 DH, Chris Young CF, Seth Smith LF, Jed Lowrie SS, Brandon Moss 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Josh Donaldson 3B, Derek Norris C, Eric Sogard 2B.

Interesting lineup. I realize Reddick is off to a slow start but again as I mentioned in the wrap, this time of year one 4-for-4 game can suddenly bring someone from terrible to superstar, him batting so low is strange to me. That said he went 0-for-4 with two K’s bringing his season totals to a .108/.209/.216 slash line with a .200 wOBA and 21 wRC+ in 43 plate appearances. I don’t think we have to be alarmed at this just yet. As a club the A’s just didn’t hit today so Reddick didn’t stand out. The A’s managed just three hits off of Sanchez in seven innings and didn’t manage a hit against Rick Porcello when he came on in relief. Sogard, Lowrie and Norris had those three hits, and the “hitting” hero of the game probably would be Jaso managing to get on board twice via the walk. The team hit a combined 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. And while the hitters didn’t do Parker any favors, he did them few either.

The Pitching

Appearances: Parker, Evan Scribner, Jerry Blevins, Chris Resop, Ryan Cook.

If Brett Anderson was awful yesterday, than Parker was simply atrocious today. Parker used 76 pitches to get through three and a third innings of work during which he surrendered, nine hits (including a home run to Austin Jackson) while walking two and striking out two. The key number however was that he surrendered eight earned runs. In the game he had a .500 BABIP, a 37.7% strand rate, and 29.4% ground ball rate with a 12.5% HR/FB rate. Ugly things. Makes his year-to-date numbers pretty ugly too: just 11 2/3 innings, 10.80 ERA, 7.11 FIP, -0.3 WAR with these ugly peripherals: 3.1 K/9, 6.2 BB/9 and 1.5 HR/9 along with a .429 BABIP and 62.9% strand rate. Those numbers are awful. Furthermore they follow up a weak spring from Parker. Last year I advocated demoting Jemile Weeks following a weak start, not as a penalty but as an opportunity to allow him to regroup and come back stronger than before. One need look no further than Roy Halladay as a star player who benefited from a trip back down to the minors to regroup. But if Parker has another outing like today’s I think the A’s should consider a move, and this comes from me who is probably one of Parker’s strongest supporters. This also puts a stark light on the lack of depth in the A’s starting rotation. While a move for Parker would likely be matched by a recall of Dan Straily, after that things getting thin pretty quickly. Needless to say, something is up with Parker. The rest of the bullpen did a serviceable job though at that point did it even matter, though a bit concerning or maybe more annoying, they pitched five and two-third innings and managed just one strikeout care of Blevins.

Hero/Zero

Parker. He gave the A’s zero opportunity to win. While the offense didn’t do anything to help themselves out either, you can’t ever find yourself down eight runs in the top of the fourth and expect to win. The win expectancy at the moment when Parker was pulled was a mere 1.8% for the A’s. Parker gets the zero.

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