Recap: A’s @ Mariners Game 38
Wrap: Oakland 4, Seattle 3. A’s 19-19 (2nd Place, 5 games back)
After five straight nights of losing the A’s winning is a nice change. The game brings the A’s back up to .500 again which also is a nice change. The one run win gives the A’s a +6 run differential so they are at least a bit better than just .500 in some way, also that is the closest anyone is to even runs surrendered and runs scored. Not a particularly interesting game, as the two teams scored five of their seven combined runs on home runs, each team scoring once via alternate methods. Jarrod Parker finally looked good, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour both attempted to “make things interesting” and that about sums up this one.
The A’s scored three of their four runs via the solo home run. Josh Donaldson started it in the second inning launching one to left field off of Maurer. In the fourth inning Barton got into the act with his first home run of 2013 (forever?). I was a bit disappointed he didn’t get the silent treatment like Ryan Sweeney got a couple years back, but instead he ran like a giddy school girl down the length of the A’s dugout getting high fives and butt slaps from anyone and everyone. A Lowrie single would plate Smith in the fifth inning before the A’s cranked up the solo home run machine again in the sixth this time with Moss launching his fifth. Who’d a thunk it but now tied for second for home runs on this team are three players with five: Donaldson, Moss and the improbable Coco Crisp. Cespedes with six leads the team and he went 0-for-4 in this game but had a (don’t think it was quite a home run robbing) double or more robbing catch of a Kyle Seager hit to center field. Spectacular play nonetheless. On account of the solo shots the A’s just didn’t put too many big rallies together and were just 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position stranding only four.
Appearances: Parker, Sean Doolittle, Cook, Balfour.
Parker has seldom looked good this year and this outing was probably his second or third best of the season depending how you choose to view things. His season still is far from pretty with a 6.86 ERA and 6.33 FIP but at least in May his ERA is down (5.56 from 7.36) though his FIP is up (5.50 to 8.48) so is he progressing? It is hard to really say. For what it is worth his 4.26 ERA and his 5.38 FIP in this game are better than his season marks but also not the sort of thing a scout would gush to their general manager about. He allowed a two run home run to Kelly Shoppach and by the end of this his home run rate was a hair under 2.0 HR/9 without rounding (1.99), a completely unacceptable level that continues to afflict is FIP and his overall results. While the 17.0% HR/FB rate is sure to come down his xFIP isn’t altogether attractive at 5.34. Another outing like this and perhaps Parker is ready to work things out with the A’s, another bad outing though and he should be remedying things with the River Cats instead. Doolittle came in to relieve Parker with Justin Smoak and Raul Ibanez on base. He allowed a Dustin Ackley single that plated Smoak before striking out Shoppach and getting Bay to ground out 6-3. Cook pitched the eighth, and allowed a baserunner in between each of his three swinging strikeouts via two singles and a walk. Endy Chavez was struck out to end the frame with the bases loaded and lead intact. Balfour did a similar act striking out Ackley before allowing a hit to Shoppach, recording a strikeout of Robert Andino, allowing a hit to Michael Saunders and finally getting Seager out 4-3.
No one really stood out in this game, but the hero will go to Lowrie. A 3-for-4 day with an RBI single to go along with his thirteenth double is a good day. His season numbers now are up to .312/.399/.471. His WAR at 1.0 ranks third on the A’s behind Donaldson (1.5) and Crisp (1.1), but he is tops in batting average and on base percentage. Good start with his new club, great addition that was well worth it and at least right now he is worth more than the -0.3 WAR the Astros acquired (Chris Carter at 0.1 and Brad Peacock at -0.4).