This is the first in a series of catch-up posts, as I've watched all five games that I haven't written about. I was unable to watch tonight's A's-Angels game, forgetting that it's blacked out for me on MLB.tv. It won't hit the archive for another little while, and it's already late, so I won't be watching the whole thing tonight.
A game getting called early is always annoying for the team that loses, and the A's have to feel, after the events of Game 7, that they might've had a good chance to come back against the Royals bullpen. But realistically, the A's did nothing against Danny Duffy, the Kansas City starter, and did even less against Aaron Crow, who vultured a cheap save for pitching the seventh inning, which ended up being the final inning.
Duffy looked really good. I don't believe I'd seen him before, but his fastball blazes and his curve is real big. He was a tad inefficient is all, which is why he only managed six innings despite having to go past three batters in just two of those six frames.
I'm very tempted to call Duffy "Wynn," which I hope you Justified fans approve of.
The closest the A's came to scoring was on a Daric Barton drive to the track right of center in the second inning with Collin Cowgill on first. Cowgill might have scored had Lorenzo Cain let the ball drop, but Cain instead made a great catch, crashed into the wall, and threw a strike to the cutoff man, who doubled off Cowgill. The play cost Cain, though, as he wound up coming out of the game and into the Disabled List with a groin injury. All the more reason he should have just let the ball drop, right?
If he gets the playing time, I could see Josh Donaldson striking out just as often as Yoenis Cespedes this year. The difference is that he won't hit the homers, steal the bases, or play center-field.
I heard that Cespedes had somehow amassed -4 Defensive Runs Saved already, which is kind of amazing and incredible in a literal sense. Am I a fanboy for only remembering two or three balls that he hasn't gotten to?
Between this game and Game 10, count me a solid non-believer in Graham Godfrey. He gets decent movement on his pitches, but he either nibbles or has unimpressive command and, much as he's in exactly the right stadium for it, I really dislike the fly-ball tendencies. That said, he held the Royals to two runs in six innings (quality start!) and got nine swinging strikes in eighty-five pitches, so that's something. On the other hand (or "that said that said"), he struck out exactly one batter.
It was a game of inches both ways for Godfrey -- if Cespedes tracked down Mike Moustakas's drive to center in the fourth, who knows. But Chris Getz ripped a ball to right with two on and two out in the second, too, only to see Collin Cowgill run it down.