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Recap: A’s @ Astros Game 101

July 24, 2013

Wrap: Oakland 4, Houston 3. A’s 59-42 (1st Place, 3 games ahead)

The A’s finish their road trip to Orange County, California and Harris County, Texas with a 3-3 record. I think that is a solid number. You win most of your games at home (let’s say two out of three) and then aim to win half on the road, that equals roughly 95 wins. So the A’s have accomplished that feat this road trip and therefore it ought to be deemed a success. The A’s finished their road trip 3-3 because they beat Houston 4-3 today in another game featured passable offense and solid pitching, which seems to be their recipe as of late.

The Bats

Lineup vs. Bud NorrisCoco Crisp CF, John Jaso C, Josh Donaldson 3B, Jed Lowrie SS, Yoenis Cespedes LF, Brandon Moss 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Seth Smith DH, Eric Sogard 2B. 

Today the A’s scored four runs on just six hits. The big hits coming on Norris’ 10th pitch of the game, a solo home run by Jaso that was opposite field and the bigger hit being a two run home run by Coco off of former Athletic Travis Blackley that gave the A’s their lead. Jaso had two hits, his other being a double. Sogard also had an RBI double, and scored on the Coco home run. Both teams struck out quite a bit, thankfully the Astros edged the A’s 11-10 in striking out and the A’s again struggled with RISP hitting just 1-for-6 stranding eight (on the series they were 3-for-26 with RISP and stranded twenty-three). The offense needs to pick up and it was good to see Cespedes back in the lineup going 1-for-4.

The Pitching

Appearances: A.J. Griffin, Jerry Blevins, Jesse Chavez, Ryan Cook.

Griffin got the win thanks to Coco’s timely home run, and pitched decently with six and a third innings in which he allowed three earned runs, on six hits, walking nobody and striking out eight. The big issue for Griffin was the long ball which accounted for all the Astros runs, with a solo shot surrendered to Jose Altuve and a two run blast given up to Carlos Corporan. Relief corps looked a lot different than the typical one that closes out games for the A’s as Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour were given some rest. Blevins and Chavez earned the holds (their fourth and first respectively) and Cook came out to earn his second save on the 2013 campaign with a four out appearance in which he faced the minimum and struck out one.

Hero/Zero

Coco hit a two run home run that was the difference. While he did not do anything else offensively and nothing of note defensively, (he was 1-for-5 with a strikeout) you have to give it to the guy who gets the clutch hit when the club needs it.

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