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Recap: A’s @ Astros Game 99

July 22, 2013

Wrap: Oakland 4, Houston 3. A’s 58-41 (1st Place, 3 games ahead)

God bless the Houston Astros. The A’s have played the Astros 16 times and have failed to win once. This year the A’s are an even 10-0 against their new division foes. The Rangers are 7-2 against their intrastate rivals, the Angels 6-7 and the Mariners just 7-5. To put it in perspective for a minute, 17.2% of Oakland’s wins came against the Astros. That is a big freaking deal. The A’s success against Houston has catapulted them to the top of the standings and has given them some breathing room. The Astros if they played the A’s as they played everyone else (.337 winning percentage) would instead be looking up at a Texas-Oakland shared division lead. A’s win this one coming from behind.

The Bats

Lineup vs. Dallas KeuchelCoco Crisp CF, Chris Young LF, Jed Lowrie SS, Josh Donaldson 3B,Nate Freiman 1B, Derek Norris C, Josh Reddick RF, Grant Green 2B, Seth Smith DH. 

With four runs and eight hits the A’s had an average night at the plate. All the scoring came late (6th, 7th and 8th innings) while all of Houston’s came early (2nd and 3rd). Young continues to rake at Minute Maid Park where in 22 games he has hit .404/.437/.755 with eight home runs in just 103 plate appearances. If only he could hit like that in Oakland (where he hits a pedestrian .222/.300/.437) he might be much more useful. Young went 2-for-5 in this contest falling a single and a double short of the cycle his home run coming off of former Athletic Travis Blackley. The star offensive performer however was clearly Reddick who went just 1-for-3 but his two run eighth inning home run off of Wesley Wright gave the A’s a 4-3 lead when they had a 3-2 deficit so clearly that hit is monumental. Green went 0-for-3, though he did drive in the A’s first run on a sac fly, so while he got his first MLB RBI, he still at 0-for-15 is waiting for his first MLB hit.

The Pitching

Appearances: Tommy Milone, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Grant Balfour.

Milone looked decent in this ballgame. He did not earn the win leaving the game with the A’s down, but he pitched six decent innings of two earned run (three run overall), five hit, one walk, five K baseball. Can’t fault that performance really. I think this all I will come to expect out of Milone on his best days a 3.00 ERA/1.88 FIP performance seems about the height of expectations (only twice this year has his game FIP been lower: May 7th in Cleveland [1.62] and April 15th also vs. Houston [1.24]). The trio of Cook, Doolittle and Balfour then closed the game out. Each of them K’ing two batters apiece in their innings of work, though Doolittle also walked a man. Balfour is now 26-for-26 in save opportunities, and has 22 shutdowns to two meltdowns in what I think is a more telling stat. Cook earned the victory, Doolittle earned the hold in other meaningless statistics news.

Hero/Zero

Reddick. Two run jack to give the A’s the lead and in the end the victory. A’s had a 75.1% chance of losing but then that two run home run meant the A’s had a 73.8% chance of winning. Any other explanation really needed?

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