Recap: A’s @ Blue Jays Game 116
Wrap: Oakland 6, Toronto 4. A’s 66-50 (2nd Place, 1 game back)
Come from behind wins are always fun, well until today? This game was just sloppy on all sides. Both teams failed to capitalize on opportunities Oakland was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position, Toronto was 2-for-11. There were three errors and 15 walks and a stunning 25 men left on base including 12 runners in scoring position. Miraculously this game only lasted three hours and sixteen minutes and further miraculously when both teams tried to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory all day long, the A’s ended up on top.
4-for-15 with runners in scoring position, ten men left on base as the A’s tallied six runs and ten hits. Despite the foibles with men on the A’s won. The bottom of the lineup carried more of the weight in this one with the 6-7-8-9 hitters combing to go 7-for-16 while the 1-2-3 starters went 0-for-13. With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the eighth, Callaspo doubled home Reddick (who did not get another home run) and Donaldson off of Darren Oliver to give the A’s a two run lead. CY later drove home Callaspo to ice the victory and give the A’s some much needed breathing room. All in all a mixed day for the offense, good to get so many guys on, really piss poor at getting a good chunk of them home.
Griffin held his own against Dickey (who is not pitching at all like an award-winner in 2013 with a 4.46 ERA and 4.82 FIP) through the greatest of luck imaginable. Griffin’s outing was sloppy, as was this entire game, as in his five and two-thirds innings on the mound he tossed 103 pitches but just 56 strikes, as evidenced by the six walks he gave up, that along with five hits and just two strikeouts, resulted in amazingly only three runs (two earned) scoring (his FIP was an uglier 5.52). The difference between what Griffin gives the A’s, and the results that occur indicate that he has been quite lucky as there is a healthy gap between his ERA (3.59) and FIP (4.36). In fact only three American League pitchers feature a wider gap than Griffin’s .76: Hiroki Kuroda (.88), Jeremy Guthrie (.89) and Chris Tillman (a full 1.00). One has to worry if that luck inevitably runs out. Cook earned the victory following his inning and a third performance where he walked one, struck out one and allowed one hit. Doolittle pitched an inning, allowing a walk while K’ing two. Finally Balfour recorded the save in the ugliest of manners possible: walk, ground out, strike out, run-scoring double, walk, walk, ground out. This whole affair took a mind-numbing 37 pitches, with only 18 as strikes. It was the first time he had walked three in a game since July 27th in Baltimore last year.
Callaspo came through and gave the A’s the late lead. His two-run double broke the gridlock and represented one of the few times a player took advantage of an opportunity to drive in some runs. Young then drove him home for the A’s sixth and final run.