Recap: A’s @ Rangers Game 39
The A’s won today in extra innings 5-4. The A’s record now stands at 20-19 and they find themselves a mere four games behind the Texas Rangers. We should not get carried away with this however as the A’s Pythagorean record entering today was 17-21 which placed them well behind Texas (27-11) and Los Angeles (18-20), and barely ahead of Seattle who are also 17-21 but only rounding gives them the similar numbers. But let’s enjoy it while we can, even if it is destined to end on a sourer note.
- Brandon McCarthy got the start and really didn’t pitch that great a game. He went five and a third innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, including two home runs – both to Mitch Moreland that accounted for three of the four runs – while walking three and striking out just four. The other run scored on an Elvis Andrus bunt on a suicide squeeze that McCarthy dove and by all replays clearly looked like he caught. The play was ruled a trap by the umpire – incorrectly – Craig Gentry scored the fourth run to break what at the time was a 3-3 tie. The ensuing argument cost Bob Melvin his ability to skipper the rest of the game as he was ejected. Overall though McCarthy’s performance was forgettable. He kept the A’s in the game, made a heck of a grab that was incorrectly ruled on, but finished with an ugly 6.75 ERA and gaudy 8.03 FIP on the afternoon.
- Josh Reddick smacked his tenth home run on the year, a solo shot off of Alexi Ogando in the seventh to re-tie up the ballgame as a part of Reddick’s 2-for-5 ballgame. Reddick now is on pace to smack 41 home runs on the year – can’t say I’d have expected that one!
- The hero of the game was Kila Ka’aihue who hit the go-ahead single in the top of the tenth inning, though it was a weak effort for him otherwise as his afternoon was 1-for-5 affair with three strikeouts. The middle of the order is really where the good hitting came from, Cliff Pennington hitting 2nd (2-for-5 with a double), Reddick hitting 3rd, Jonny Gomes hitting 4th (3-for-5 with a double) and Kurt Suzuki (2-for-5 with a double) all had good days.
- On the mound the A’s bullpen was great. Grant Balfour pitched one and a third innings of one hit and one strikeout baseball. He was followed by Jordan Norberto who pitched a third of an inning getting out the only batter he faced. Ryan Cook, who torn a nail continued his scoreless streak with two innings, during which he walked two and struck out one, earning him his first career victory. Brian Fuentes then came in and shut down the Rangers for his third save on the 2012 campaign.
- One lineup note that made little sense to me. Adam Rosales, called up to replace the injured third baseman Inge got the start today, but at first base. Don’t like that decision, especially as Josh Donaldson has struggled (he went 0-for-4 today) and if you are going to use Rosales, it seems his exposure should be limited to third base when we have two capable first basemen. For what it is worth Rosales had a good game going 1-for-1 with three walks.