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Recap: A’s @ Tigers Game 133

August 29, 2013

Wrap: Detroit 7, Oakland 6. A’s 75-58 (2nd Place, 3 games back)

That was a heartbreaker. A’s blow a 6-1 lead to lose it. At one point the Tigers had a 1.5% chance of victory, that point coming in the ninth inning with two outs following an Alex Avila strike out. But that is the way baseball can go. Your 1.5% chance is of winning is a walk, single and home run away from being a 100% real genuine victory. Unfortunately for Oakland they were on the losing end of that “way” today. When you look back on a season, if you are out of the playoffs by a game, you look back at games like this.

The Bats

Lineup vs. Max Scherzer: Coco Crisp CF, Josh Donaldson 3B,  Jed Lowrie DH, Brandon Moss RF, Alberto Callaspo 2B, Seth Smith LF, Daric Barton 1B, Eric Sogard SS, Stephen Vogt C. 

The A’s bats did well. Twelve hits, though they drew just one walk. The A’s got to arguably the American League’s best pitcher in Scherzer denying him (meaningless but significant to most of the world) twentieth win. Scherzer was roughed up and in five innings on the mound got tagged for all six A’s runs, off eight hits including two home runs: Lowrie’s 10th and Moss’ 25th – both two run blasts. The remaining A’s extra base hits all came off of Scherzer as well, with Crisp, Sogard and Callaspo recording doubles and Donaldson recording a triple. So Scherzer got hit hard as three-quarters of the hits he allowed were of the extra-base hit variety. every Athletic had a hit, and Lowrie (3-for-5 with the HR) and Vogt were the only A’s in double digits.

The Pitching

Appearances: Bartolo Colon, Jerry Blevins, Dan Otero, Sean Doolittle, Grant Balfour.

Colon made his triumphant return from the disabled list unsurprisingly supplanting Evan Scribner on the roster. He went five innings, allowed an earned run on seven hits, walked noone and struck out one on 73 pitches. A short outing and when he left he looked well poised to get a victory as the A’s held a 6-1 win. Alas, that was not to be as Blevins came in and quickly gave the Tigers a fighting chance by allowing Prince Fielder to to hit a home run on the first pitch he threw. He would record one out before allowing two more singles at which point he was replaced by Otero. Otero is a selfish reliever, he keeps his numbers nice and tidy while running roughshod over everyone’s elses by allowing inherited runners to score like nobody’s business. Today was no different as one of those two runners scored making Otero’s number 43% allowed to score on the year. I’m sure everyone else’s ERA thanks him. Otero meanwhile pitched an inning and a third and struck out one while allowing three hits lowering his ERA to a tidy 1.20. His FIP is 2.10 but something has to be said for those inherited runners. Doolittle also pitched an inning and a third of scoreless ball facing the minimum before giving way to Balfour in the ninth. Given a 6-3 lead and what should have been an easy save, Balfour blew it with a ninth inning that looked like this: walk, pop out, strikeout, walk, single, home run. Ballgame. Torii Hunter hit the final blow that sent the Motown faithful home happy.


Teams don’t lose games with three run leads and three outs to go. That is why many hate the save and see it as a useless stat and a reward for doing oh-so-little. Balfour lost a three run lead. He lost a three run lead with one out to go, but regardless. His ERA for the game was 54.00, his FIP 28.53, but what did it all add up to? A zero.

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