Recap: A’s @ Yankees Game 152
A’s win helps them avoid a sweep in the Bronx as they pass the Yankees 5-4. The win kept the A’s two and a half games ahead of the Angels with ten games to go as they hope to hold onto the second wild card spot for a date with the Orioles (or quite conceivably the Yankees who lead Baltimore by just one game) for the honor of moving onto the American League Division Series.
- A.J. Griffin got the start and got roughed up by the Bombers. Griffin lasted just four and a third innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits including a Nick Swisher two-run home run, as he walked three and struck out four. An exceptionally high pitch count felled Griffin on a day when Bob Melvin surely wanted to wait to go to his bullpen as in his four and a third he threw a whopping 103 pitches. Griffin’s ERA and FIP continue to diverge and now stand at 2.80 and 3.68 despite pretty decent peripherals at 7.3 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. He has been a bit lucky with a low .256 BABIP and high 84.1% strand rate, but 3.68 isn’t anything to scoff at especially for someone so completely off the radar to begin the year.
- Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour pitched a combined four and two thirds innings of shutout baseball allowing a combined three hits (one by Blevins, one by Cook), one walk (Doolittle) and five K’s (two for Blevins, one apiece for everyone else). Blevins earned the victory while Cook and Doolittle earned holds and Balfour hung on for his twentieth save.
- With five runs on eight hits the A’s didn’t do much but they did enough to get by. Cliff Pennington, starting at second base, had himself a real day going 3-for-4 including his sixth home run which came off Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. Josh Donaldson also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with a strikeout scoring on Penny’s home run.
- The scuttling Josh Reddick went 0-for-4 stranding four runners, altogether with the A’s stranding seven as the A’s performed an admirable 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position.