Recap: White Sox @ A’s Game 58
Wrap: Oakland 2, Chicago 0. A’s 34-24 (2nd Place, 2 games back)
There is a clear inverse relationship that exists between the ability of the A’s to succeed and my ability to watch them. Since I last recapped the A’s they have gone 14-2 putting up a decent .261/.346/.409 batting line and a stellar 2.45 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 for their pitching line. I should watch less often. If I am at home, watching all these games they don’t go 14-2. If I am marooned on some island off the coast of Papua New Guinea ailing due to typhoid and lord knows what else debilitating diseases, the A’s probably would’ve gone 16-0. Today against one of my favorite opponents to watch, Chris Sale, the A’s were again triumphant winning 2-0 backed by a three hit combined shutout completing a three game weekend sweep of the visiting Pale Hose.
The pitching took care of the team so the hitting didn’t need to hit. Just six hits for the A’s all singles with two coming off of the bad of Lowrie. An 0-for-3 mark with runners in scoring position and just five men left on base. The A’s scoring came on a Coco walk to lead off the sixth inning, followed by the first of Lowrie’s two singles. That pushed Coco to third where a Donaldson sac fly plated him giving the A’s all the runs they’d need. A Coco single in the eighth, followed by the second of Lowrie’s two singles and aided by a miscue by White Sox center fielder Jordan Danks scored the insurance run.
The pitching was the winner in this one as the A’s hurlers combined for nine innings of shutout baseball allowing just three hits and two walks while fanning eleven. Parker had his best outing of the year tossing 105 pitches and keep the White Sox on their heels with six and a third innings allowing two hits and two walks while K’ing seven. While Parker’s season is still miserable, this game was noteworthy as it brought him back to the even mark with a 0.0 WAR. In 68 innings, Parker now has a 4.90 ERA , which betters a 5.08 FIP while throwing 6.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a still ugly 1.5 HR/9. Regardless, improvement is improvement. The strikeouts are a bit down (2012: 7.0), walks a bit up (2012: 3.7) but really the home runs are the difference. His BABIP is up slightly (.295 from .290), his strand rate is barely worse (73.9% from 74.3%) and it is the home run rate (HR/FB% 13.4% from 6.8%) that if solved seems to fix everything (his xFIP as one expects is a better but not great 4.70 up from last year’s 3.95). Cook came in and K’d three of the four hitters he faced – he is having a great year (2.16 ERA, 1.75 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and 0.0 HR/9) and Balfour allowed one hit and struck out one to earn his thirteenth save – and a great twelve to one shutdown to meltdown ratio.
Parker is the hero. A good outing gives everyone confidence that he can return to form. The White Sox lineup is not the strongest the batting averages in order following the game were a funny: .250, .273, .272, .244, .160, .111, .167, .200 and .222 so it wasn’t murderer’s row out there, but nonetheless you need to dominate poor lineups and compete against good ones and that’s what Parker did.