Recap: Angels @ A’s Game 136
Not a good game for A’s fans. There is the obvious, the A’s lost 7-1 meaning the Angels have swept the now 76-60 A’s which is bad. But then there is also the fact that it seems as if the A’s have lost Brandon McCarthy presumably for the year as Erick Aybar lined a hit into the back of his head. Never a good sign. Fortunately McCarthy walked out on his own two feet, but I can’t envision that he will be returning to the rotation anytime soon. It is a scary thing indeed when that sort of thing happens and it was awful to watch and the sound that the ball made when it hit McCarthy was nauseating. Sometimes there are things more important than baseball (well oftentimes there are), and in this game the fact that McCarthy seems to have avoided a life-altering injury is far more important than the final score.
- McCarthy was struck in the fourth inning, prior to that he threw three and two-thirds innings allowing three earned runs on five hits, with a walk and three strikeouts. If this is it for the year, McCarthy would have gone 111 innings, with a 3.24 ERA and 3.77 FIP for 1.8 WAR. He has 5.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 0.8 HR/9 across his 18 starts.
- Travis Blackley was pressed into service as the long man and he looked great. What a surprise he has been, easily one of the best pickups by Billy Beane on the season and who could’ve expected it? I for one was pretty unimpressed by the signing but he has proven me wrong time and time again. He went three innings in this contest, allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out too. Since joining Oakland he has thrown 93 innings of 3.39 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 6.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 baseball. What a pickup. Also not easy to just come into a game like this and pitch as well as he did. He really kept the A’s in the ballgame. Four more A’s pitchers came in to close it out (Pat Neshek, Ryan Cook, Grant Balfour and Jim Miller). Neshek and Miller faced a combined three batters, retiring them all, but Cook and Balfour both looked miserable. Cook, allowed three runs, two earned in his inning with one hit allowed, and two walks and a strikeout. Balfour threw just a third of an inning, walking and striking out one while allowing an earned run on one hit.
- The pitching wasn’t great in this one, but the hitting was even worse. The A’s managed just one run on five hits. Coco Crisp got a single in the bottom of the first, erased by Seth Smith grounding into a double play; Smith singled with the bases loaded for the A’s only run in the bottom of the third; Chris Carter singled in the fourth; Brandon Moss singled in the seventh; and Derek Norris singled in the ninth.
- The A’s struggled with strikeouts though, as Dan Haren K’d seven, Nick Maronde K’d three, Kevin Jepsen two and Ernesto Frieri one. Carter led the A’s going down on strikes thrice, while Crisp, Smith, Josh Reddick and Stephen Drew each went down twice. One bright spot came on defense which was Reddick getting another assist from right field.