Recap: Rangers @ A’s Game 42
Wrap: Texas 6, Oakland 2. A’s 20-22 (2nd Place, 7 games back)
A’s drop another series losing to Texas this afternoon. Bad offense and bad pitching don’t ever combine to turn into a win and it didn’t in this ballgame either. The A’s scored two runs while managing just five hits. The pitching gave up six runs. The A’s got down 6-0 early and Alexi Ogando had a no-hitter through five. That right about there says it all. Nelson Cruz was the A’s killer with a three-run home run and a great defensive play to end the sixth inning and keep A’s runs off the board.
The A’s just didn’t hit. First hit came in the sixth inning, a Sogard double. Crisp grounded out to the right side allowing Derek Norris to plate him on a sacrifice fly. Lowrie and Cespedes then had the next two hits (both single and still in the sixth inning) before that aforementioned Cruz catch that likely saved two runs. The bottom of seventh saw the A’s get two more of their hits, singles by Donaldson and Smith. An Adam Rosales walk would load the bases before a Coco sacrifice fly would plate Donaldson and the A’s second run. And with that the A’s offense would again cease to exist. Team went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, though in fairness they did have the two sacrifice flies so they weren’t useless and stranded seven.
There just has to be a better option than Straily at this point who had another awful outing. Straily lasted just four and a third innings throwing 87 pitches and being tagged for five runs (four earned). Straily walked four, struck out two while also giving up four hits. Straily has no thanks to offer Chavez who came in in “relief” and started Cruz off with an 89 mph changeup that he promptly deposited in the seats for a three run jack. Two of those runs, of course, went to Straily. In fairness to Chavez, he was actually quite good in this lasting three and two-thirds innings of mop up work with that home run being his lone mistake otherwise managing one walk and three K’s and allowing just three hits including the homer. That said, a three run home run doesn’t help matters at all and a (at that time) 6-0 ballgame and 3-0 ballgame are very different things. Neshek pitched the final inning striking out one.
Straily is the zero. The A’s desperately need Brett Anderson back if his replacement pitcher is throwing up slop to the tune of this: 7.27 ERA. In fairness to him, he has been hurt by a likely to reduce .319 BABIP and a sure to improve 51.6% strand rate. But yeah, not pretty. 4.2 BB/9 isn’t going to get anyone into the Hall of Fame though you do have to still like the 9.4 K/9 which means we don’t give up on Straily entirely but we also perhaps don’t mind a trip down to Sacramento and recall Sonny Gray who has looked very sharp early (37.0 innings, 2.19 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 8.0 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and 0.0 HR/9) or maybe we should be using Chavez as a starter right now instead of longman and call up like a Hideki Okajima (16.2 innings, 2.16 ERA, 2.18 FIP, 9.7 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9) or Dan Otero (16.2 innings, 0.54 ERA, 1.88 FIP, 7.6 K/9, 0.5 BB/9 and 0.0 HR/9) to fill that bullpen spot?