Current Series

7/30, 5:05 PST
Oakland (Lucas Harrell) @ Chicago (Brett Anderson)

7/31, 1:10 PST
Oakland (John Danks) @ Chicago (Dallas Braden)

8/1 1:05 PST
Oakland (Gavin Floyd) @ Chicago (Gio Gonzalez)

Previous Series:
Texas 3, Oakland 1
Oakland 3, Texas 1
Texas 7, Oakland 4

Friday, April 23, 2010

Game 17 Recap or I'll Trade a Triple Play for a Win

Oakland 4, New York 2 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)

A's Current Record: 10-7

The A's managed to avoid getting swept and salvaged one game of the series thanks to a huge 3-run homer from Kurt Suzuki and effective pitching from Dallas Braden, who gutted out 6 innings despite being sick enough to receive an IV after the game.  Despite being handed 6 walks by C.C. Sabathia they didn't really hit him particularly well and didn't show a ton of patience (outside of Barton, who had 2 great at-bats) --- Sabathia's walks were mostly a result of his wildness rather than anything the A's were doing.  But Suzuki's HR was enough to get the win, and that's all that matters.

Braden was walking a fine line all game, relying heavily again on his low 70s change up that just screams "hit me" when it's up in the zone (and Teixeira took a low and outside one way over the LF fence) and worries me against good hitters.  Against a club like the Yankees, though, to escape with just 2 runs, both on solo homers, was impressive.  His command was good all day and he did just enough to keep them off-balance and get a lot of routine flyballs.  Ziegler and Bailey finished with 3 quiet innings, which is exactly what you want out of your bullpen.

Suzuki had pretty much the biggest disparity in results you could possibly have between at-bats, hitting a 3-run HR in the 1st and then, in a very similar situation with 2 on in the 6th, hit into a rare 5-4-3 groundball triple play.  It was the first triple play of any kind for the Yankees in over 40 years and the first the A's have hit into in 16.  I've seen triple plays before off line drives, but never off a grounder before --- it was just a perfect storm of a hard hit ball right next to the 3rd base bag and a relatively slow runner and a very clean play from A-Rod and Cano.

As far as the controversy between Dallas Braden and A-Rod (covered here), I don't have a ton to say except that Dallas overreacted and A-Rod responded pretty much how you'd expect given his reputation.  I've never heard of the unwritten rule that hitters aren't supposed to step on the mound (though I guess it makes sense) and I think Braden was fired up to get a huge DP from Cano to end the inning.  If A-Rod had responded in a classier way, I would have to take his side (as hard as that would be) but his post-game interview that included a dig at Braden (about how he has only a handful of wins) evens the scales a bit.

Bottom line, the A's eked out a win against the best team in baseball and can hopefully end the homestand strong against the Indians.

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