Another day, another shitty performance. I think Ray Fosse and my Twitter
brethren are making too big a deal out of the A's losing to the Yankees and what
it all means. They've had bad games against bad teams (11-1 loss to Minnesota on
May 19th) and good games against good teams (5-0 win over Boston on April 19th).
Baseball is too variable from game to game to draw conclusions from two
This isn't to say that I think everything is rosy, obviously. The team is 27-29,
in last place in a mediocre AL West (though that mediocrity also means that the
A's aren't so far out of first place), and has the same offensive problems that
have plagued the squad for what seems like an eternity (i.e. the decade since
Jason Giambi left). This isn't a good team, but it is a good enough team,
probably, to win 84 games and sneak into the playoffs. It's not out of reach for
Oakland to go 57-48 from here on out, regardless of how bad the Yankee offense
just blew up the team's two best starters.
Anyway, there's not much to write about in a 10-3 loss, but here go the
Box & Notes
Coco Crisp did a Coco Crisp thing: hit one really exciting triple. Coco Crisp
also did four Coco Crisp things: make outs. Reaching baes less than 30% of the
time just isn't getting it done.
David DeJesus had a pretty awesome game, so it'd have been nice if Brett
Anderson hadn't picked this particular night to be so uncharacteristically
shitty. A homer (though he was outclassed by Robinson Cano's deep drive to
right), a four-pitch walk, and a soft-serve-single to shallow right center all
add up to what you see in the box score above.
I'm not sure what Conor Jackson is for if he's not going to hit at least a
little. He made one horrible throw to the plate that allowed Mark Teixeira to
score while Alex Rodriguez was in a run down and he fell down while spinning to
make a throw to second on a ground ball. That's right, he just fell over. Daric
Barton's arm has been shaky this year, especially as compared to the remarkable
things he did with it last season, but I've never seen him do what Jackson did
Josh Willingham whiffs a lot. This isn't news. (He did come about two feet
from a homer in the eighth against Luis Ayala, meaningless as that would've
Mark Ellis lined a nice double to left, completely earned, but his other hit
was a grounder sort of up the middle that Derek Jeter did a patented Ole! job
on. Every other shortstop that I see with any regularity would have grabbed that
ball, set his feet, and made a strong throw. Jeter barely got over in time to
tip the ball with his glove as it rolled into center. It's kind of remarkable
how little range he has to his left. It never ceases to amaze.
I should take away all of Kouzmanoff's wRAA for his horrendous third-inning
baserunning. He hit a little soft liner down the left-field line, the ball
landing right on the chalk, and jogged to first, presumably knowing that Brett
Gardner, a very speedy man, is the Yankee left fielder and would be all over the
ball quickly. As he reached first, however, he apparently decided that he could
take second. I have no idea why. I'm not sure he'd know why now if you asked
him. That's how inexplicable it was. Gardner, of course, threw Kouzmanoff out by
probably 15 feet.
Andy LaRoche continues to be really shaky with the hands in the field, and
surely does not have the range to play short, but it's hard to say no to that
batting line. The triple was, as most triples not hit by guys like Crisp,
Gardner, and Peter Bourjos are, really a double that was kicked around by the
right-fielder. LaRoche hit a long fly over the head of Nick Swisher, who was
playing shallow, the ball took a weirdly high hop off the wall, came down back
on the other side of Swisher again, and, on top of all that, had some kind of
English on it that caused it to hop away from the former Athletic.
Unfortunately, for all LaRoche's success with nobody on base, his bases
loaded at-bat in the fourth, resulting in an inning-ending first-pitch
groundout, is really what sticks in the mind and the craw.
Just like with Trevor Cahill, the ground-ball story says a lot about Brett
Anderson's day. I also thought he relied too heavily on his breaking pitches,
often throwing them multiple times in a single at-bat. Even accounting for
Anderson's spectrum of breaking pitches that he can put in a variety of
locations, letting major league batters start to get a hang of a pitch's spin
and speed is probably a bad idea.
Unfortunately for the A's, Brad Ziegler came in to the game with the bases
loaded, so that one batter in the 2/3 who didn't make an out? That was Alex
Rodriguez, who knocked a ground ball single sharply into center.
Ziegler was the victim of Conor Jackson's LOLfense described above, as
he struck out Robinson Cano with a slider, leading to Rodriguez being
picked off first and getting hung up, allowing Mark Teixeira to come
I could really get used to Joey Devine's high-octane bullpen stylings. He
sometimes doesn't seem to know very well where the pitch is going, but he seems
pretty good at making explosive things happen with a baseball.