Recap: A’s @ Indians Game 35
Wrap: Cleveland 4, Oakland 3. A’s 18-17 (2nd Place, 3 1/2 games back)
After a good road trip to New York it is depressing to come into Cleveland and drop three straight and hopefully avoid a four game sweep tomorrow afternoon. It hurts even more to lose a game due to a controversial call as tonight’s went. First off let’s say this: the Indians could have won this ballgame. Adam Rosales‘ home run/double was not the be all and end all of this game. It would’ve left the score tied 4-4 from which a myriad of possibilities could have occurred. Of course even if this game had somehow given the A’s the lead, being in Cleveland the Tribe would have had a chance to win regardless. But what hurts is not being given that chance to win. Angel Hernandez flat out missed a home run call when Rosales in the top of the ninth belted a game-tying home run to left field off Tribe closer Chris Perez that clearly hit the railing above the wall and above the yellow line signifying a home run. This was a no doubter. Everyone watching the ComcastBayArea broadcast could see that quite clearly and indisputably. How this could go unnoticed by Hernandez and the umpiring crew is criminal. I have no clue what view they were watching but this call could not have been more cut and dry and Bob Melvin‘s ejection was fully earned as he had every right to be enraged. The reaction even of the fans who both seem to be upset they did not catch a home run ball and upset that their hometown Indians seemingly blew a game was completely ignored as well. The A’s “lost” this one and it is a shame. While there are calls to have Bud Selig force a restart of the game from that point on with the game tied, I doubt that that happens no matter how many people cite George Brett‘s pine tar game.
Masterson had his sinker working as he had a 66.7% GB% in this game allowing just four hits in his seven innings on the hill. The A’s only extra base hit of the game was Rosales’ “double”. The A’s went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position stranding eight. One guy A’s fans have become loathe to see come up with two outs and a run scoring opportunity presenting itself has been Barton freshly recalled from Sacramento. But Barton came thru in the top of the fourth hitting a single to plate Cespedes and Moss and stake the A’s out to a 3-0 lead. The only hitter with multiple hits was Smith who went 2-for-5 with a run scored. However Smith was also the opposite of Barton and did not come through in the clutch stranding two runners in scoring position with two outs.
Griffin didn’t look so great in this ballgame. Six and two-thirds innings on the mound yielded six Indians hit including solo home runs by Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana as he walked just two and struck out just four. The big problem being the big flies really as otherwise Griffin’s pitching while far from spectacular would’ve likely sufficed for a win. On the year he now has 6.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 but a concerning 1.4 HR/9 that skew his FIP to a 4.57 contrary to the lower 3.83 ERA. There are a few concerns here, first and foremost his BABIP has ample room to grow from .250 and all his peripherals are worse than last year when they stood at 7.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. That said Griffin has shown flashes of brilliance and everyone is entitled to a bad outing or two. Doolittle knows nothing of bad outings these days and nor does Cook as both looked great in their respective third of an inning and inning of work. Cook pitched a perfect eighth striking out two to bring his K/9 total to 10.7 K/9. He now sports a 1.69 ERA and 1.92 FIP as he has been lights out and worth 0.4 WAR a total that bests tonight’s starter Griffin at just 0.3 WAR.
Smith even though the clear zero is Hernandez and his blown call. Smith ended the game with the bases loaded and the A’s needing to score one run. It isn’t usual that you’ll give the zero to a player who had the best offensive night of anyone arguably, but when the game was on the line Smith failed to come through. Rosales had his home run/double, then a rattled Perez hit Sogard with a pitch. Jaso walked to load the bases. Smith came up took a strike before grounding out to Perez to end it. That’s a zero. Sorry, Seth.