A series sweep. And we won 6 of 7 on the road trip. Very nice to see some wins after hearing so many tell me that we weren’t going to win 50 games when the team go off to a slow start.
That game had some strange moments:
- Aaron Sanchez came out of the game after 4 innings with, we were told later, a broken fingernail. He went 4 innings, allowed 2 hits, 3 walks, 1 hit batter, 2 strikeouts and 1 earned. He wasn’t particularly sharp but got outs when he needed them. I have no idea if he’ll make his next start.
- In the top of the second, with Justin Smoak on first, Teoscar Hernandez hit a ball deep and over the wall, but A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano jumped, reached over the wall and pulled it back. Terrific play. Then he threw to first, hoping to double off Smoak but he threw it high and long. If it wasn’t for all the foul territory, at the park in Oakland, it would have been into the seats beyond first base. Smoak took off for second (again) but the A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed the play up and threw out Smoak. That’s an 8-2-6 double play. Here:
- We bunted early in the game. I’m not a fan of early game bunts because the bunt is a 1-run strategy and, early in the game you don’t know if 1 run will be important (it turned out to be a 1-run game) or if it will be a high scoring game. Anyway, Rowdy Tellez singled and Danny Jansen walked. Billy McKinney, facing a lefty, bunted and moved up the runners. Another reason I wasn’t thrilled was Alen Hanson was up next, but Hanson singled and a run scored. Then Freddy Galvis grounded on to first, Jansen came home (poor decision) and was out at the plate. After that Galvis and Hanson stole second and third. Randal Grichuk singled home Hanson. We got two runs out of the inning, while giving a free out, so all worked out as well as you could hope.
- In the fourth, with Brandon Drury on second (double) and Tellez on first (walk), and two out, McKinney ground one down the line, it hit the bag at first but Kendrys Morales was able to make the play, to the pitcher covering. McKinney drove headfirst into first, which is the wrong thing to do, it is slower than running through the bag. But, with the pitcher covering, he may have been trying to avoid a collision.
- Freddy Galvis came out ot the game in the bottom of the 9th with two outs, with a sore knee. I’m hoping he’ll be ok Tuesday.
- A’s starter Brett Anderson also came out of the game with, what looked like, a leg injury.
For the second day in a row the bullpen had to cover a lot of innings because of an injury to our starting pitcher. Yesterday our pen throw 6 innings, but only used two pitchers. Today we weren’t as frugal with the pitchers:
- Daniel Hudson pitched 1.2, allowing 1 hit with 3 strikeouts. He gets the win.
- Joe Biagini pitched 1.1 clean. I would have liked Charlie to leave him out for another inning. He was throwing well and only threw 11 pitches. But we went looking for the guy who didn’t have it today and we found him....
- Ryan Tepera had troubles in the 8th. He gave up a walk, got an out, another walk, a broken bat single, a wild pitch and a sac fly. He came in with us up 5-1 and left it 5-3 with the tying run on at the plate.
- Ken Giles came in and got a soft fly. Unfortunately, our outfield was playing back and it fell and then Teoscar knocked it away and the batter went to second and it was a 1-run game. Kendrys followed and hit one to the wall in right, but McKinney caught it.
Ken had a tough time in the 9th. Giving up an infield single (Galvis got to it but couldn’t make the play), a popout, and a ground ball single. A strikeout for the second out, with a nice block by Jansen on a pitch in the dirt made us feel a little better. Then a soft fly that looked like it might fall in (Grichuck was running hard), but Richard Urena, just in the game for Galvis, got under it and made the catch. I’m glad Galvis came out of the game, I don’t know if he could have made that play. That was Ken’s 7th save.
We got a fair bit of offense today. 13 hits. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit, except Teoscar (and he had that homer pulled back).
We scored the 2 runs in the 3rd. And got 1 more in the 6th, Brandon Drury singled, and went to third on a wild pick-off throw, then scored on a Tellez sac fly.
And we got two more in the 7th. Galvis singled, and, just after I asked nicely for more runs, Smoak crushed a home run.
Kendrys gave us a chance for more when he booted an easy grounder to start off the ninth. But Grichuk followed with an easy double play ball.
Smoak had 4 hits. Galvis and Drury had 2 each.
Jays of the Day: Hudson (.132 WPA), Giles .162), Smoak (.136), Drury (.126), Sanchez (.098).
Suckage: Tepera (-.085) and Hernandez (-.161, though most of that was on the home run that was pulled back and turned into a DP).
We had 542 comments in the GameThread. I led us to victory.