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Oakland (Lucas Harrell) @ Chicago (Brett Anderson)

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Oakland (Gavin Floyd) @ Chicago (Gio Gonzalez)

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Texas 3, Oakland 1
Oakland 3, Texas 1
Texas 7, Oakland 4

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Game 53 Recap or Strikes Please

Boston 9, Oakland 4 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)

A's Current Record: 28-25
What a frustrating game.  The A's finally get a bunch of extra base hits, matching their season high in that department, but only score four runs.  Worse yet, their bullpen, which has been quite good all season, imploded spectacularly, putting any chance the A's had at coming back far out of reach.

By the numbers, Gio Gonzalez had a mediocre start and was relatively lucky to leave with the lead.  Watching him, however, he looked better than his final line indicated.  While he only went five innings giving up three runs, four walks, seven hits, and a homer, his stuff looked good and I thought he was getting squeezed a bit by the home plate umpire.  His fastball averaged 93 MPH and his curveball (except for the one Beltre knocked out of the park) had a good amount of break.  As for his control, look at the graphic below.

Sure he wasn't exactly pounding the zone, but as you can see from this display of his pitches that were not swung at, five of Gio's pitches were called balls, even though they were in the strike zone.  Meanwhile, none of his pitches outside of the zone were called strikes.  It's hard to say to what extent this effected the game or Gonzalez' overall effectiveness, but it is pretty clear that he wasn't getting any help from the umpire.

Tyson Ross, on the other hand, was simply off, as he has been since making two spot starts in mid-May.  Ross faced two batters, walking them both on a total of 11 pitches.  He's now walked two batters in each of his last three appearances, a span in which he's only retired five batters (and all five came in the same outing).  If he keeps this up, he may find his way back to Sacramento.

The offense, meanwhile, looked pretty good against John Lackey, but predictably inept against the Red Sox bullpen.  Even when they were hitting well in the early innings, though, they couldn't string their hits together and missed several opportunities to break the game open.  They left 11 on base and managed to not score in the fourth, despite opening the inning with back to back doubles and having a bases loaded no one out situation.

The A's inability to get clutch hits made it seem as if they were jinxed at times and I hope its not my fault.  I know in my head that nothing I say or do or write affects what happens on the field, but I ended yesterday's weekend recap by saying, "The A's are now guaranteed at least a .500 road trip, which is all I would have asked for a week ago."  If that's not asking for the Red Sox to sweep the A's, I don't know what is.  Objectively, the A's do have a good shot today and tomorrow against Matsuzaka and Wakefield, so hopefully I'm just being a superstitious weirdo.

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