Yankees: 10 Athletics: 9
I never enjoy when the A’s lose, in fact if it were up to me I would have them win every game of the season, but today has had to be the biggest heartbreaking loss of the season. This is a game the A’s should have won. There were many missed opportunities for the team today, three costly errors, a bad call by the second plate umpire and a four run lead that could not be held onto.
It started off good for the A’s, the lead off the game with back-to-back-to-back doubles, immediately putting themselves up 2-0. Then with Cespedes on third and only one out, Chris Carter struck out swinging and Josh Reddick flew out to end the inning. Travis Blackley, who was in to replace Brett Anderson, struggled in the bottom of the inning, after getting Derek Jeter to fly out he allowed a solo home run to Ichiro Suzuki and then walked Alex Rodriguez. With Robinson Cano batting he was able to pick off Rodriguez at first, but the umpire called the pick off a balk (which it wasn’t) and Rodriguez moved over to second. Cano then hit a double, scoring Rodriguez and the game was tied 2-2. Nick Swisher then walked, Casey McGehee struck out and a routine ground ball to Josh Donaldson, which would have been the third out of the game, turned into an error and the bases were loaded. With the bases loaded Andruw Jones walked and the Yankees took the 3-2 lead. Blackley was able to collect the final out of the inning by getting Chris Stewart to ground out.
The Yankees scored another run in the second inning, an unearned run, this time coming off of an error by Cliff Pennington. It was the last inning Blackley saw, only lasting two innings, allowing 4 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), walking 3 and striking out only 1. Blackley needed 59 pitches to get through the first 2 innings of the game and only threw 30 strikes. The A’s scored two runs, one in the third and one in the fourth, tying the game up to 4-4. The Yankees retook the lead in the fifth off of a solo home run by Raul Ibanez and the A’s tied it up again in the seventh off of a sacrifice fly from Chris Carter.
The bullpen held it together nicely from the sixth inning until the fourteenth. Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook, Grant Balfour and Evan Scribner were all able to keep the Yankees from scoring, the four of them only allowed 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 6 over 7 innings combined. The A’s batters repaid the bullpen’s hard work by scoring 4 runs in the thirteenth inning. Stephen Drew singled to begin the inning and Jonny Gomes, who had come in earlier to replace Seth Smith, hit a two run homer and put the A’s up 7-5. Then Yoenis Cespedes followed with a home run and put the A’s up by 3. After Brandon Moss flew out to record the first out of the inning, Chris Carter hit a home run and the A’s saw themselves up by 4 runs. The A’s were only three outs away from winning the game.
Pedro Figueroa came in to replace Evan Scribner and he loaded the bases with three singles. After allowing the three base hits, Pat Neshek came in to replace Figueroa. While Eduardo Nunez was batting Neshek threw a wild pitch and Ichiro Suzuki scored from third and the A’s saw their lead reduced to 3 runs. Eduardo Nunez then flew out and Rodriguez scored on the sacrifice and the A’s were only up by 2. With only one on and one out, Raul Ibanez hit his second home run of the game and once again the game was tied.
The A’s went down in order in the top of the fourteenth inning. Tyson Ross entered the game in the bottom of the inning, Eric Chavez singled to lead off the inning and Derek Jeter sacrificed him over to second. Ross intentionally walked Ichiro to get to Rodriguez, who singled and loaded the bases. Robinson Cano grounded into a force out and they were able to get the out at home. Eduardo Nunez hit a routine ground ball that should have sent the game to the fifteenth inning, but instead, Brandon Moss could not field it and the Yankees won on a walk off error.
The A’s missed many opportunities to score today as they were only 3-16 with runners in scoring position today. Josh Reddick alone went 0-7, left 9 men on base including leaving the bases loaded twice. The errors were the most damaging in the end, costing three unearned runs over 14 innings.
With the bad news does come some good news, Stephen Drew, who has been hitting lead off for the A’s in Coco Crisp‘s absence, went 4-8 today which included a solo home run in the third. Chris Carter, who has been struggling as of late, hit his 15th home run of the season today and went 1-4 with 2 walks. Yoenis Cepedes hit his 20th home run of the season and went 2-5 with 2 walks. And as I said earlier, the bullpen, for the most part, did their part to keep the A’s in the game.
The A’s are now in a tough spot, they have 5 more games left on the road with no days off and their bullpen is pretty depleted after today’s game. They look to rookie A.J. Griffin to avoid the sweep tomorrow. Griffin is coming off of his worst start of the season, having only lasted 4.2 innings while allowing 8 hits, 5 runs and 3 home runs to the Detroit Tigers. The A’s will face RHP Hiroki Kuroda, who threw 8 shut out innings against them back in May.