It’s barely the sixth inning and here I am, giving in to the fact that the A’s are getting swept by the Cleveland Indians, and by the time you read this they will be swept by the Indians over four games. I didn’t really expect this, to be honest, I thought that Justin Masterson could have been tough, but I thought the other three games could be up for grabs and as it turns out, the Masterson game was the only game they came close to winning.
Today’s game was just plain ugly. By the second inning, when the A’s were down 5-0, you knew it was over. Normally I am one of those, “The A’s have six more innings to play catch up” kind of people, but with the way the A’s have been hitting in this series, I knew there was no way they the team was digging themselves out of that hole.
Bartolo Colon was bad today. He only lasted four innings, allowing eight hits, six runs, two home runs and striking out four. He did, however, manage to stay consistent in the strike zone, throwing 57 of his 83 pitches for strikes and he did not issue a walk. Evan Scribner did his part in the fifth, by allowing three hits and three runs, including a two-run home run. He did pitch a clean sixth and seventh inning, only walking one of the seven batters he faced. Pat Neshek pitched a clean eighth inning, allowing just a single to Drew Stubbs.
The offense was about the same it has been the entire series. The A’s could not do a whole lot against Scott Kazmir, scoring just one run on five hits, while taking zero walks and striking out ten times. The only run he allowed was on a solo home run by Josh Donaldson. The A’s “threatened” in the eighth; Adam Rosales led the inning off with a walk, Jed Lowrie followed with a single and Eric Sogard singled in the second run for the A’s. Josh Donaldson then drew a walk to load the bases, and with no outs the next three batters were retired in order and not another run scored. The A’s finished today’s game by going 1-6 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine on base.
I can take away a few things from this series, starting with the fact that the injuries could really be hurting the team. I honestly don’t know how much of an impact it would have made having both Coco Crisp and Chris Young in the lineup these past four games, but you have to think missing the two of them is not helping this anemic offense. Seeing Evan Scribner pitch in today’s game is another reminder that the team does not have a “true” long reliever, but I am not sure there is much they can do about that. And lastly, when a pitcher performs poorly the fans are always going to call for the player to be “cut” or “sent down”. Cutting Bartolo Colon would be, for the lack of a better term, stupid, and the team simply can’t afford to lose another starting pitcher.
I am going to close with some good news; the A’s are off to Seattle and they have fared well against the AL West this season, so it’s quite possible they won’t get swept in the next series. The A’s also do not have to face Felix Hernandez this time, so more good news! Josh Donaldson is still hitting pretty well, going 4-13 in this series with a home run, two RBI and taking two walks. And the most important piece of good news… this series is finally over.