Oakland 14 , Pittsburgh 4 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
A's Current Record: 35-40
Blowouts are rarely fun to watch, but last night was truly an exception to that rule for me. After not scoring more than four runs in over a week, it was nice to see the A's really pummel someone. Maybe I'm a bad person for really enjoying the A's pouring on the hits against the hapless Pirates, but the experience was therapeutic in a way.
Despite the fact that they failed to homer, the 14 runs was a season high and the 17 hits was good for their second best output of the year. Part of the A's success can be attributed to good situational hitting as they hit three sac flies, another season best. More importantly, though, was their ability to hit the ball hard; they hit 9 line drives and 14 flyballs.
The other good news from the game was the pitching. Although Ben Sheets allowed four runs in six innings, he struck out a season-high 9 batters and didn't walk anyone. He did give up a number of hard hit balls, but the high strikeout total is definitely encouraging. The other bright spot was Michael Wuertz, who pitched a very impressive ninth inning, getting a ground out and two strikeouts while throwing 10 of his 13 pitches for strikes. Yes, it was the epitome of mop-up duty, but his ability to throw strikes and miss bats was good to see.
Obviously the Pirates aren't a strong team, and beating them to a pulp isn't a particularly impressive achievement. Nonetheless its good to see the A's take advantage of a weak opponent and to get everyone involved in the offense. Every A's starter besides Rajai Davis had at least one hit and seven of the starters reached base at least twice. With Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez pitching the last two games of the series, the A's have a good chance at a sweep, especially if they can come close to replicating yesterday's success at the plate.