Recap: A’s @ Royals Game 117
I was in Rancho Cucamonga today watching the Stockton Ports play the hometown Quakes, a Dodgers affiliate for whom former Athletic Ted Lilly was making a rehab start. The A’s of the future did little in the 9-2 loss though A.J. Kirby-Jones managed a home run off of Lilly. The Quakes meanwhile tagged Ports starter Sean Murphy for three home runs in his four and two-thirds innings on the mound (ouch). For the big league boys, the A’s avoided a sweep with a win in the third game of the three game set in Kansas City downing the Royals 3-0 behind Dan Straily‘s first MLB win. A’s improve to 62-55 with the win as the lowly Royals slump to 51-66.
- Straily deserves a lot of the credit for this one as he kept Kansas City hitters off balance all night. In his six and a third innings, he allowed just three hits (all singles) along with two walks while striking out just two. He threw 99 pitches, 67 crossing the plate as strikes. On the year in his 17 innings he has 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and 2.1 HR/9 so while he has a tidy 3.18 ERA he has a messier 5.45 FIP. Adjusting the home runs he still is at 4.82 for his xFIP as he has struggled to keep the ball on the ground (28.3% GB%) and also benefits from an unsustainable .240 BABIP and 97.2% strand rate.
- The bullpen however should not be overlooked as they did what they had to do to preserve the win for Straily pitching two and a third innings of shutout ball as Sean Doolittle, Jerry Blevins and Ryan Cook earned holds and Grant Balfour came in for a 1-2-3 ninth inning to notch his ninth save.
- Coco Crisp launched his sixth home run of the year off of KC starter Luke Hochevar. Originally ruled a double as it bounced back to Jeff Francoeur off of a railing out in left field, Bob Melvin argued and upon review it was named a round-tripper which gave the A’s all the run support they’d need. Yoenis Cespedes also tagged Hochevar for a home run, taking him deep to left center for his fifteenth on the season. The 1-for-3 day also raised his batting average above .300 to .301.
- The A’s offense otherwise was pretty sparse with a Jemile Weeks single scoring Derek Norris for the third A’s run. No Athletic had more than a hit. Other than the two home runs the only extra base hit was a Brandon Moss double. Again disconcerting is that the A’s had eleven strikeouts. They just keep whiffing and whiffing, Chris Carter, Josh Donaldson, Josh Reddick and Weeks all K’ing twice each.