Recap: Cardinals @ A’s Game 81
Wrap: Oakland 6, St. Louis 1. A’s 47-34 (2nd Place, 1/2 game back)
The A’s have completed half a season and are 47-34. A little quick math tells us that that means they are on pace to finish 94-68 which is a fine place to finish a season and would put Oakland in strong position to get into the playoffs. Currently they would be the home team in the wild card playoff, though they’re a half game back from the Rangers who played yesterday while Oakland was idle. The A’s didn’t ever have to sweat in this one as they tagged Cards pitcher Shelby Miller for a bunch of runs early and behind their workhorse Bartolo Colon, never looked back. It was Dog Day at the Coliseum and it was 75 degrees. That just seems disgusting to me. A’s had the bark to make it eight straight, so I guess one can say the Cardinals were fire hydrant red tonight.
The only inning that really mattered in this game and the one that Mike Matheny and his Cardinals would like to forget is the second inning when the A’s erupted for five runs with a single (Cespedes), ground out, single (Donaldson), double (Reddick), line out, walk, walk, single (Smith), ground rule double (Lowrie) got rid of Miller after one and a third innings and 61 pitches before being relieved by Joe Kelly who ended the inning. Aside from this inning the A’s bats were pretty silent save for a solo home run by Vogt off of Kelly to finally record his first MLB hit – the A’s dugout gave him the silent treatment after he rounded the bases ending his 0-for-32 career start. With a 2-for-3 day with a walk, Donaldson was the only Athletic with a multi-hit game, as the club went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Appearances: Colon, Dan Otero.
Colon again looked sharp in earning his eleventh victory of the year. He is quietly making a case for himself as an All-Star candidate. He has nearly matched his WAR from last season (2.4) as he stands now at 2.3 WAR. In his 16 starts now he has tossed 106 1/3 innings of 5.2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 baseball for a FIP of 3.25. He doesn’t show signs of slowing down or breaking down at this point which is a great thing. A pleasant surprise for me since I really thought he didn’t have much – if anything – left in the tank. He is a key reason the A’s are in the position they are in right now and are yet again contenders. Otero threw an inning of work after Colon exited with 101 pitches thrown through eight. Otero needed 15 pitches to knock the Cardinals from their perch in the bottom half of the ninth to secure the A’s victory, allowing a hit and striking out one.
Colon again did the job he was hired to do and did it well. The A’s offense got out early and gave him a lead and he just powered through the Cardinals lineup. With the offensive contributions really not limited to any one guy and with Colon throwing eight innings of one earned run, six hit, one walk and five strikeout baseball there is no one else deserving.