St. Louis 4, Oakland 3 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
A's Current Record: 33-37
Its often said that all stories (books, movies, plays) follow one of seven basic plot structures. For the 2010 A's, it seems like there are only two different story lines for the games. The first is: A's score a handful of runs, pitch well enough to win. The second is: A's pitch moderately well, can't overcome only scoring a handful of runs. Yesterday's game couldn't have followed script number two any more perfectly, although the ninth inning rally was a nice plot twist.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright shut the A's down for the first 8 innings, allowing just one unearned run on five hits and one walk. The run came in the first, and may not have happened had Yadier Molina not thrown the ball into left field trying to catch Rajai Davis stealing third. Wainwright wasn't dominating in the traditional sense, as he struck out just four. The A's, though, were unable to manage very many hard hit balls off of him, managing just four line drives off of him, one of which was hit by Ben Sheets.
Sheets also did pretty well on the mound, going seven innings and giving up four runs. Like Friday night, the big blow came off the bat of Matt Holliday, whose two run homer in the seventh turned a close 2-1 game into a 4-1 game that at the time felt like 100-1. Although he only struck out two and walked four, 11 of the 23 balls in play against him were grounders and he got through seven innings throwing just 94 pitches. If nothing else, he looked relatively impressive in front of a team that may be interested in trading for him next month.
The A's made things interesting in the ninth, using a walk and three singles off of Ryan Franklin and Jason Motte to draw within one, but those runs were too little, too late. The A's face Jeff Suppan in the series finale today. If the A's can't hit Suppan, who has 7.20 ERA in 32 innings this year, the offense is even worse than I thought.