A’s 10 Blue Jays 11
I love baseball again.
That bottom of the ninth was terrific. Newly down two. Breyvic Valera up after a bad throw in the top of the ninth. Not my favorite player, but he gets a single, bringing the tying run to the plate. Springer up, he hasn’t looked great since coming back from the IL. But he doubles to the wall on a pitch down and off the outside corner. Amazing he got his bat on it. Tying run at second. I wanted a pinch-runner, but Reese McGuire was the only batter left on the bench. And George ran well to second (and he got to walk home).
Marcus Semien got to a 2-2 count and hit a walk-home run. He crushed it. He was 0 for 4 before that moment.
The most incredible game of the season.
We tied the game in the bottom of the eight, but, in the top of the ninth, with Jordan Romano in, we didn’t get the inning we have grown to expect from the young fellow. Matt Olson reached on what was called a single. Ground ball off Jordan that Breyvic Valera got but threw wide of first. Following up the play, Danny Jansen got the ball and tried to throw to first, but the A’s first base coach got in the way. Vlad was not happy. But, watching it, the runner was back to the bag before the throw.
Valera had to rush his throw as Jordan slowed the ball so much. I can’t be angry with him. He had two huge at-bats tonight.
Romano got two quick outs, but Mark Canha hit the first pitch he saw right down the right-field line, going off the foul netting.
We went from thrilled to depressed....but depression didn’t last long.
Alek Manoah didn’t have it tonight. He had moments where it looked like he didn’t like the mound, likely something to do with him and Sean Manaea’s landing spots.
Alek gave up a couple of runs in the first, both with one out, and then righted things. Three scoreless innings with just one baserunner.
But things fell apart in the fifth and sixth. In the fifth, he hit two batters (Josh Harrison, who wasn’t happy, and Starling Marte, off the helmet. It was almost between the eyes, Harrison was less content). Marte left the game after the inning. I hope he is ok.
A Matt Olson double brought home both batters. Alek got the next two outs to end the inning.
Alek gave up two more in the sixth, on a Tony Kemp home run, and that was his night. 5 innings, 5 hits, 6 earned, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 2 hit batters. Just not a good night.
- Trevor Richards finished off the sixth.
- Nate Pearson, first time on the Rogers’ mound, had bad luck and bad moments. His inning started with an easy ground ball to Bo, who booted it. Next, Jed Lowrie pops one up, down the first baseline, but Teoscar couldn’t get there. Then a ground ball through to the outfield, one run scores. Line out. Another single, another run. Then a double-play ball. 3 hits (one hit hard), 2 runs, 1 earned, but no strikeouts.
- Tayler Saucedo pitched a quick eighth.
- And we talked about Romano’s ninth.
The offense showed up:
- We got two in the fourth: Vlad singled, and Teoscar Hernandez homered. It would be great if he could get on a hot streak for this last month.
- And a six-run eighth: It started with a Breyvic Valera pinch-hit walk (sometimes I feel I’ve been overly nasty to him, he is acceptable as a utility infielder, I don’t want to see him out there too much). After a couple of outs, Vlad singled home, Valera. Bo Bichette was hit by pitch (soft pitch (yeah, right Tom, like you would want to be hit by that), no intent). Teoscar walked, on a full-count pitch, bases loaded. On a full-count pitch again, Alejandro Kirk walked, bringing in a run and putting the tying run on base. And Lourdes Gurriel hits a grand slam.
Life was good for a moment or two. But Marcus made life good again just a few minutes later.
We had 10 hits, with 3 home runs. Vlad had 3 hits. Springer and Valera had 2 each.
Kirk was hitless but had a very, very important walk. Grichuk was 0 for 3, but made a terrific catch in CF.
Jays of the Day: Semien (.466 WPA), Gurriel (.413), Springer (.236) and Valera (.104).
Suckage: Romano (-.399) and Manoah (-.355).
The FanGraph is a thing of beauty.
It is a mess of a recap, but it was rewritten three times.
Tomorrow’s game is a 3:00 Eastern start: Blackburn vs. Berrios.
We had 446 comments in the GameThread (not bad for a game that was declared repeatedly). I led us to the most exciting win of the season.