Recap: A’s @ Yankees Game 30
Wrap: Oakland 2, New York 0. A’s 17-13 (2nd Place, 1 1/2 games back)
The A’s headed into New York to take on the Yankees and came away with a solid win. One might not have expected the A’s to be in such a great position in this one facing the Yankees’ undisputed ace in C.C. Sabathia while they put forth A.J. Griffin making career start number 21 coming off of two straight soppy starts against AL East foes in Boston (nine runs in four innings) and against Baltimore (four runs in seven innings). But alas this is how baseball goes and a number five starter can beat a number one and it happens more often than we all may presume.
I wonder if Luke Montz becomes this year’s Brandon Moss. If that is to be the case his 0-for-3 with a strikeout did not get him closer to attaining that goal tonight. The A’s hitting was minimal as can be expected in a 2-0 game. Ten hits and four walks, but 11 left on as the A’s went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position. However the A’s got off to a good start, hitting leadoff for the first time in his career – which I found sort of hard to believe – Rosales took the first pitch Sabathia threw and deposited it into the left-center field bleachers. The stadium seemed really empty but attendance as allegedly 38,090. After Rosales’ homer the A’s didn’t do much of anything until Norris plated the A’s second run of the game in the sixth inning with a single to left that scored Cespede. Norris also had a great play on a dribbler in front of the plate by Jayson Nix. Smith had another terrible night going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. His slash line now stands at .286/.375/.462 and he is worth 1.4 WAR as his K% has climbed to 26.0%.
The story of the game was Griffin really who kept the Yankees’ lineup in check. While in years past that sort of comment may have meant more than today when the Yankees have a lineup that features Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner and Ichiro Suzuki in the 3-4-5 spots, New York still is not an easy place to pitch and Griffin did a great job pitching there. Seven innings, no runs, just six hits allowed with a walk and four K’s good for a 2.29 FIP in the contest. Brings Griffin’s numbers on the season to a 3.79 ERA and 4.24 FIP which is great given where he is in the rotation. Doolittle gave Bob Melvin an inning and two-thirds, striking out one and then Balfour came in for the one out save striking out the only batter he faced Eduardo Nunez.
Griffin looked great. He kept the Yankees at bay allowing just 7 of the 28 men he faced to reach base in a real hitters park against a still decent lineup. Griffin didn’t ever get into any serious trouble and despite the minimal offensive support did what he had to do to earn the well-deserved victory.