Recap: Astros @ A’s Game 120
Wrap: Oakland 5, Houston 0. A’s 68-52 (2nd Place, 1 1/2 games back)
Thank goodness. It was a “Sonny” day today in Oakland as Sonny Gray making his second MLB start pitched brilliantly. Watching him today shows why he was a first round draft pick. The A’s staked him out to an early lead and he just pitched not letting any Astros cross the plate. So after two straight one run losses, the A’s win it handily 5-0. Funny game this can be. But good to wrap up the series with a win and in the process gain a half game on the leading Rangers.
The A’s bats weren’t exactly on fire but they were good enough, more accurrately the bat of Freiman was good enough. Have yourself a day Nate! 4-for-4 with a double and home run (his third) off of Bedard and four runs driven in. Not a bad afternoon. The Rule V draft now has a pretty quietly impressive season and is looking like a very savvy pickup by Billy Beane as he is hitting .286/.325/.409 with a .322 wOBA and 105 wRC+ in his 166 plate appearances. Outside of Freiman the A’s went 5-for-29 (.172). Again the A’s failed to hit with runners in scoring position going just 1-for-8 and stranding nine. But again, when the pitching allows no run you get a bit of latitude to not really perform at your A-game offensively.
Appearances: Gray, Dan Otero.
How exciting an appearance by Gray? Eight shutout innings, just four hits, one walk and nine strikeouts. I don’t think any Athletic has made a start with as many pitches this year (118) as Gray did in this. He was great. His start was stellar both in terms of traditional stats and in terms of sabermetrics (1.17 FIP, 10.1 K/9, 1.1 BB/9). On the year now he looks great with 18 innings of 10.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9 for a 1.00 ERA and 2.38 FIP and 0.4 WAR. He has an incredible and unsustainable .205 BABIP and 80.9% strand rate but even if things sort out that 2.38 FIP is great. Otero came in for the final three outs, walking one and allowing a hit while striking out one.
Freiman picked a bad day to go 4-for-4 with four driven in, because the hero of this game was unquestionably Gray. Gray was incredible and strong and stopped the A’s losing streak, can’t complain.