Recap: A’s @ Reds Game 112
Wrap: Cincinnati 3, Oakland 1. A’s 64-48 (1st Place, 1 game ahead)
This game was pretty awful. I love quick well pitched ballgames, at 2:52 this one wasn’t entirely quick, and though run scoring was minimal this didn’t exactly feature dominant pitching either, but even if it were the case when your team loses you don’t love it and that quick well-pitched game becomes a boring game that lacked intrigue. I don’t get how this interleague schedule crap works but the A’s started up their short two game trip to Cincinnati – bookended by two off days – and yeah, I hate interleague too and this replay of the 1972 and 1990 World Series wasn’t that great.
The A’s offense sputters continue. Since the All Star break the A’s have hit a meager .225/.302/.356 stranding 125 runners (or 7.4 a game). They have scored 60 runs since the break which equals to 3.5 per game which would have been good enough to win this contest but the A’s displayed an even below average for their recent offensive weariness performance .152/.222/.364. The A’s went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, stranding a higher than average eight runners. Of the five hits in this game only one was of any consequence and that was a too-little/too-late solo shot from Derek Norris off of Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning. Got to give him credit for that one would think, but it turns out 15.8% of Chapman’s fly balls reach the seats (might be more of a Great American Ballpark thing and less of a Chapman thing, but I am too lazy to look into it, if it were a game winning shot maybe I’d feel differently).
Straily wasn’t really as bad as the numbers suggest. Four innings, two earned runs on six hits, with a walk and three strikeouts with one of those hits being a home run by Jay Bruce. Straily was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth and I imagine though Straily wasn’t lighting the world on fire, that spoke more to his removal than anything he did on the mound. National League rules strike again. Blevins came in to relieve him, threw one and a third innings and allowed the other Reds run while striking out two. Blevins allowed a double to Shin-Soo Choo to start the fifth, which means that Blevins has now allowed the leadoff runner to reach base a shocking 44% of the time. Strange. Neshek threw two-thirds before leaving the stage to Otero who went two innings allowing a hit and recording a strikeout to close out the game.
The hitting all together gets the bad rap in this game and really it ought to be a collective failure. But ultimately it goes to someone and that someone is Cespedes. Down 2-0 in the fifth, Cespedes came up with the bases loaded. He grounded out to third base on the second pitch saw from Latos. Inning over. On the day 0-for-3 with a walk. Not anything to write home about.