Recap: Yankees @ A’s Game 67
Wrap: Oakland 5, New York 2. A’s 40-27 (1st Place, 1 game ahead)
The A’s took a one game lead in the American League West with today’s victory breaking the tie with Texas. The A’s have now won 20 of their last 25 and are exceptionally hot. Interesting game where you almost saw Josh Reddick get lapped by Brandon Moss on a home run that Ichiro Suzuki nearly faked everyone out on as a pop fly. That’s what I love about baseball, weird things like that. A 5-2 game may just be a 5-2 game but that sort of thing sure makes it unique and fun. But winning is fun, and that’s what Oakland did against the Evil Empire to clinch a series win.
The two offensive stars were Moss and Jaso. All together the A’s scattered five runs on eight hits. Moss drove in three of those runs, a two run shot in the second inning off of Hughes followed by a solo shot off of Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. Jaso meanwhile had a run scoring double in the fifth inning and a run scoring single in the eighth. Donaldson did not have his best game, leaving two men in scoring position with two out on a 0-for-4 day with two strikeouts, but you can’t have a good one every night. Outside of Moss and Jaso the A’s hit just 4-for-22 (.182) and overall hit just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position stranding ten. Got runs when they needed to and that’s enough to win. Hughes had another messy outing, each one costing him more and more as he is arguably one of the most valuable free agents to be given his relative youth.
Straily had another good outing which is confidence inspiring. Six and two-thirds innings of two earned run, three hit, one walk and three strikeout baseball. That lowers his ERA to 4.45 but more importantly is that far outpaced his FIP (3.15) indicating some bad luck (it seems rooted mostly in his strand rate which is an impossibly low 58.9% as his BABIP at .259 is great). His peripherals are a solid 7.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9 if he can keep that up, and I think he can, he ought to be quite successful. After some rocky outings Doolittle came back looking great freezing Chris Stewart with a changeup as one of his two strikeouts among the four he faced in one and a third tossing 16 pitches with 13 of them strikes. Balfour closed out his 17th save despite a messy ninth (strikeout, pop out, walk, single, ground out).
You can’t hit two home runs, drive in three runs (an amount sufficient for the win) and not be the hero. Moss is clearly the hero in this, while there are others who deserve honorable mention, no one can claim this prize other than him.