Recap: A’s @ Angels Game 96
Wrap: Los Angeles 4, Oakland 1. A’s 56-40(1st Place, 2 games ahead)
The official second half started just as the unofficial but actual second “half” started: with an A’s loss. This one came in Orange County, where the A’s were stymied by Jered Weaver. The A’s held the Angels to just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position but they also allowed three Angels solo shots (Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar and Mike Trout). Those three solo shots were more than enough to get past the A’s as the Angels tried to show that sabermetricians and our talk of the importance of home runs is well-earned.
Not much to report from the hitters as the A’s went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, which while better than the 1-for-10 Los Angeles did, did not accompany any solo home runs leaving the A’s with nine stranded runners (to Los Angeles’ six) and left them on the losing end. Strikeouts were a huge problem for the A’s as Weaver chalked up eight in his six and two-thirds, as a part of ten the entire club amassed. Sogard was the only Athletic with two hits as a part of his 2-for-4 day, one of those two hits being a double. The only other extra base hit came off the bat of Young who along with Smith both had strikeout hat tricks.
Griffin allowed all four of the Angels’ runs in his five ineffective innings on the mound. Overall he allowed four earned runs on six hits including the three aforementioned home runs, while walking one and striking out four. He was relieved by Gray who again looked sharp going two innings, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out three in two innings. Blevins came in and allowed a hit to Josh Hamilton, the only hitter he faced before being replaced by Neshek who retired everyone he faced.
Griffin learned a lesson that you can skirt around danger (the Angels ineffective hitting with runners in scoring position) but that there are unforgivable offenses from which there is no retribution (the Angels three solo home runs). Griffin earned the zero.