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Recap: Rangers @ A’s Game 41

May 14, 2013

Wrap: Texas 6, Oakland 5. A’s 20-21 (2nd Place, 6 games back)

A’s fans got free parking today the Coliseum. They got free baseball too as the game went into the tenth inning. What doesn’t come for free is a win and today the A’s did not earn one. Back and forth and back and forth this one went with blown saves on both sides of the ledger. In the end Chris Resop gave up two runs in the top half of the tenth inning with solo blasts delivered by Adrian Beltre (on a 3-0 pitch no less) and Mitch Moreland (his second of the game). When you have to get back two runs and have three outs to do it that is a tall order and the A’s, though they got back one and loaded the bases with one out, failed to tease home that second run and went to bed losers.

The Bats

Lineup vs. Derek Holland: Adam Rosales SS,  Jed Lowrie 2B, Yoenis Cespedes CF,  Josh Donaldson 3B, Derek Norris C, Luke Montz DH, Seth Smith LF, Nate Freiman 1B, Michael Taylor RF. 

Stranding runners was the A’s forte in this ballgame with eleven all said and done. Hitting just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position doesn’t help and five of those stranded were left in scoring position. The offense was concentrated between three guys too which doesn’t aid in a lot of run scoring: Donaldson went 4-for-5 with a run scored and two doubles; Smith went 3-for-5 with two runs scored an RBI and a double; and Freiman went 2-for-3 with a run scored before being pulled in favor of Brandon Moss. Those who have struggled with the average struggled in this matchup: Cespedes (.202) 0-for-5; Montz (.182) 0-for-2 with two K’s; Taylor (.043) 0-for-1 with two walks and a K; and finally Daric Barton (.125) 0-for-2 with a strikeout with the bases loaded and one out and Joe Nathan on the hill. He just need to get the ball into the outfield or anywhere but right at an infielder and instead he strikes out. That was the kind of day it was for A’s hitters.

The Pitching

Appearances: Bartolo Colon, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook, Jerry Blevins, Grant Balfour, Resop.

Colon is just not very impressive. Aside from the walk thing (he allowed just his second of the year in this ballgame for a 0.4 BB/9) what does he really offer? His K/9 is now 5.1. His HR/9 is 1.3. His ERA is 4.56 but largely due to the insane walk rate his FIP is 3.93. While I think he likely is about a 4.00 pitcher, and while there certainly is value in that, I guess I still just find that unimpressive and pedestrian. That is exactly what Colon in his six innings of work was today with three earned runs coming on four hits (including a Moreland home run), while walking the one guy (the very patient Lance Berkman) and striking out nobody. No Ranger hitter was struck out by Colon. That is just annoying. And I think you can’t have sustained success if you are constantly putting the ball in play like that. Doolittle had a shaky inning with a Lowrie error and a single by Craig Gentry but struck out Ian Kinsler swinging to earn a hold and end the frame. Doolittle has been nothing short of fantastic with a 1.06 ERA and 2.97 FIP as he amasses 9.5 K/9 though the 100.0% strand rate and .132 BABIP are destined to alter dramatically by season’s end. Six shutdowns and two meltdowns on the year for Doolittle. Cook meanwhile allowed two singles (to Elvis Andrus and Beltre) that Nelson Cruz was able to sacrifice fly home the tying run earning him a blown save, and leaving Blevins to record the eighth inning’s final out. Balfour came in for the top of the ninth after Bob Melvin got ejected arguing whether or not Barton was safe at first on a groundout (replays seem to agree with Melvin), and got into a similar mess to Doolittle’s being victimized by a single and Rosales error. He struck out all three other hitters however to get out of the ninth unscathed. Enter the tenth inning and Resop on the hill: ground out, homer allowed to Beltre on a 3-0 pitch, line out, home allowed to Moreland his second of the game, strike out. Ugly. Loss. Done.

Hero/Zero

See above. Resop is the zero. Two solo shots. ERA swells to 6.00. Loss earned making him just 1-1 on the year. This was the first tough spot he got into leverage wise in ages as it seems he has only been put into the game when there is nothing to lose (a barely above average leverage of 1.07 in Boston on April 24th is the only “tough spot” since a 4.32 outing on the 12th of April against Detroit when I saw him pitch live). He did not put Oakland in a position to win, though amazingly he could’ve allowed the Beltre home run and the A’s got a run back in the bottom half. The surrendering two home runs however was too much for the A’s bats to recover from. Failure.

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