Recap: A’s @ White Sox Game 65
Wrap: Chicago 4, Oakland 2. A’s 38-27 (2nd Place, 1/2 game back)
After taking the first two games on the South Side, the A’s dropped the remaining two as the dreadful White Sox salvaged a split in the series. Can’t really have serious complaints about a road trip where you win four of seven, nor a four game road series where you split, so no serious complaints will be written. The real highlight of this game was the White Sox’ amazing 1983 throwback uniforms which were the same as those they wore when I started watching baseball. LaMarr Hoyt of the ’83 squad threw out a first pitch as did the manager of that squad: Tony LaRussa. Both didn’t make it. Weak. I don’t care if it is an eight year old kid, you boo the bounce.
Bats did not do much, granted this wasn’t exactly the A’s best lineup put forth. Why on earth was Freiman hitting fifth? While I like him he doesn’t warrant being in that spot. Five hits were scattered by A’s hitters, with their first run coming on a Coco solo shot (his seventh home run on the year) in the third innings and their second run coming after the A’s already were down in the seventh when Reddick scored on a pickoff attempt gone wrong by Matt Thornton. Freiman in many ways was the offensive goat, 0-for-3 with two strikeouts including a big one in the first inning with Donaldson and Cespedes on 1st and 2nd. Overall the A’s K’d 10 times against Pale Hose pitching with Lowrie being the other two K offender. Your 6-7-8 hitters aren’t expected to carry an offense but the A’s 6-7-8 starters (1-for-7) were a particularly brutal .174, .189 and .194 respectively at the conclusion of this. Cespedes went 2-for-3 with a strikeout so in some ways he could be considered the best offensive producer in this one, though that is a pretty weak compliment.
Griffin kept the pitch count manageable (102, with 74 for strikes) but ultimately had trouble with the long ball (Tyler Flowers and Alex Rios) in his seven and a third innings of four earned run, seven hit, one walk, five K ball. Home runs will hurt you and though they did the minimal amount of damage two home runs could make in this matchup, nonetheless it is not a recipe for success as his 5.66 FIP in the contest can attest. Blevins finished the ballgame facing three hitters, walking one and striking out two to keep the deficit at two.
The bats collectively should “win” this, but I will go Griffin. The White Sox have scored the fewest runs of any American League team (214) and are hitting a combined .236/.289/.366. Griffin isn’t a brilliant pitcher by any means but he is good enough to beat a team that basically is slightly less powerful than Drew Stubbs (.236/.289/.385) – and he didn’t. Enough said.