Recap: Astros @ A’s Game 119
Wrap: Houston 2, Oakland 1. A’s 67-52 (2nd Place, 2 games back)
The A’s have lost this series. At home. To Houston. This was a time to at the very least maintain ground, if not gain it. They have failed. For the second night in a row (does this ever happen outside of movies?) Chris Young came inches away from hitting a game winning home run. This one came in the bottom of the tenth with two outs and Lucas Harrell on the mound. Young had this one fine in terms of fair or foul, the problem was that he didn’t hit it out of the reach of Astros left fielder Robbie Grossman who stole the game winning home run from him. and again instead of a 1-for-4 night with a game winning HR, Young instead had an 0-for-4.
A very different looking lineup for the struggling A’s offense. Why you would start it with guys who have a .327 OBP, .316 OBP and .302 OBP is beyond me if you’re looking to jump start and offense. But while I don’t think Bob Melvin is a master tactician, I have grown to be quite a fan and given that lineup order doesn’t matter a heck of a lot, I will limit my quibbles. That said the offense did not get it done and the 1-2-3 spots (Smith was eventually replaced by Nate Freiman and then Jed Lowrie) went a combined 2-for-14 with a walk and four K’s. Not particularly impressive. Sogard, hitting ninth, managed two hits including two doubles. The only other extra base hit was a double by Moss that scored the A’s only run in the 7th. Young of course came a matter of inches again from being a hero. 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, explains it all.
Parker had a great outing. He went eight and a third innings, allowed just one earned run on a solo home run by his former teammate Chris Carter (his 22nd of the season – though it should be noted that number is coupled with a staggering 158 strikeouts). Asie from that swat, Parker allowed seven other hits, none that came home to roost along with a walk and six strikeouts. He was relieved by Cook who threw two-thirds of an inning recording a K, and then Balfour who went an inning striking out two and allowing a hit. Doolittle took the loss, throwing one inning of one earned run, two hits and a strikeout. He got himself into a mess with a Jose Altuve single, then a Carlos Corporan double to score him and the A’s couldn’t match it as they did when the Astros scored in the top of the 7th.
When your team loses in extra innings, the person who gives up that run, or the person that scores the winning run is always the defacto hero or zero. Is there any way you could do it otherwise? Sean Doolittle came in as Melvin used his bullpen the way you should in extra innings at home (closer first, then next best guy and so on), but the A’s did not get to go to Jerry Blevins or anyone else because Doolittle blew it. Game over another disappointing loss to an inferior opponent.