A’s Drop Sixth In a Row

A's drop

The Oakland Athletics continue to play sub-par baseball. The A’s would drop their first three games of the week after a rough series against the Houston Astros. The Boston Red Sox would then come into town with the A’s on their heels, and deliver the team another blow. The A’s now sit at 20–36 on the year. Inching closer to the cellar in the American League, a spot that the Kansas City Royals currently hold. The A’s have also dropped nine of their last ten games, which includes six straight. Neither the Astros nor Red Sox resemble favorable matchups for the A’s, and it showed in the baseball that was on display in Oakland this past week.

 

Astros Series

The six-game losing streak began last Monday against the Astros in a game that Paul Blackburn started. Yordan Alvarez mashed two home runs in this one with a combined distance of 911 feet on those two long balls. Blackburn managed to get through 6 2/3 innings of this one after giving up four earned. The bats couldn’t get anything going off starting pitcher Framber Valdez, who threw a complete game and only gave up two hits. The A’s would drop this one 5–1.

In the second game of the three-game set, the A’s were unable to salvage a phenomenal start from Frankie Montas. The right-hander went seven innings and only gave up two earned runs. Montas departed after giving up a solo homer to Chas McCormick in the eighth inning, which gave the Astros a 2–1 lead. Relief pitcher Zach Jackson, unfortunately, followed this performance up by walking four straight batters. The A’s would go on to drop this one 3–1.

 

The Verlander Game

In the final game of the series with the Astros, the A’s were faced with the difficult talk of going up against starting pitcher Justin Verlander. Verlander has historically dominated the A’s. In the 2012 and 2013 ALDS series’ the A’s only managed to get one run off of him over the course of his four starts. The A’s haven’t fared well with Verlander since, but it’s safe to say this is a much different A’s team.

Verlander was dealing in this one. The right hander seemed comfortable from the start, striking out three of the first four batters he faced. He would continue to have his way with A’s hitters, even taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning before he’d finally run into trouble. Shortly after walking Chad Pinder, Elvis Andrus delivered an RBI double down the line that would break up the no-hitter and tie the game at one. Christian Bethancourt took the next pitch Verlander threw over the fence in center to give the A’s a 3–1 lead.

The A’s took this lead in to the top of the ninth. A’s closer Dany Jimenez would come in to try to shut the door. The Astros got one back after a bases loaded walk. With the bases still loaded Sam Selman would come in only to give up a bases clearing double to Yordan Alvarez, which gave the Astros a 5–3 lead. The A’s would find a way to get one back in the bottom half. It wouldn’t be enough though, as the A’s were dealt their most crushing loss in the series sweep.

 

Red Sox Series

The A’s series with the Red Sox began on Friday with James Kaprielian going up against Nathan Eovaldi. The game would remain scoreless into the fourth before Xander Bogaerts sent a 2-0 fastball over the fence in left. The Sox would get another in this inning and two more in the sixth on a Trevor Story double. The A’s only scoring on the night came on a Jed Lowrie two-run double in the eighth. The A’s would drop this one 7–2. On the bright side for the A’s, the Coliseum attendance of 17,852 was the team’s highest of the season.

 

Saturday’s Contest

Saturday’s contest with Boston turned out to be rather lopsided. The A’s would drop this one 8–0, in a game in which they were outhit 14–4. Blackburn had his first poor start of the season. The A’s pitcher would go four innings while giving up four earned. His counterpart Nick Pivetta had a sensational start. Pivetta went seven innings, only giving up two hits and picking up his fifth win of the year along the way.

On Sunday the A’s sent Frankie Montas to the mound to go up against former A’s pitcher Rich Hill. The game began as a pitcher’s duel, with both sides struggling to get anything going against the opposing pitcher. It would take this game until the sixth inning before the Red Sox were finally able to take control. A gaffe by first baseman Seth Brown, who did not have his foot on the bag while stretching for the ball, led to runners being on first and second with the score all knotted up at one. With two outs, Franchy Cordero sent an opposite-field three-run homer out to the seats in left to give Boston a commanding 4–1 lead. Boston wouldn’t look back, winning by a score of 5–2 to complete the sweep.

 

What’s Next?

The A’s will now turn their attention to a two-game set with the Atlanta Braves. That series starts on Tuesday, with Cole Irvin set to go up against Kyle Wright. The A’s will then travel up north for a four-game set with the Cleveland Guardians. The road trip will be capped off with three games in Boston. The A’s will be looking to give the Sox a more competitive showing than what they displayed in Oakland.

The A’s might actually be happy to leave Oakland and head on the road. It was a brutal home stand that consisted of the A’s losing nine of the ten games along with six consecutive. If there is any hope for the A’s to have a good road trip the bats are going to have to step up. If consistency can’t be attained at the plate then timely hitting becomes all the more dire for this team.

 

 

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Paul Blackburn, Yordan Alvarez, Framber Valdez, Frankie Montas, Chas McCormick, Zach Jackson, Justin Verlander, Chad Pinder, Elvis Andrus, Dany Jimenez, Yordan Alvarez, James Kaprielian, Nathan Eovaldi, Xander BogaertsJed Lowrie, Nick Pivetta, Rich Hill, Seth Brown, Franchy Cordero, Cole Irvin, Kyle Wright, Trevor Story