The loud rumbling noise you heard this evening was probably the sound of John Sterling’s voice reverberating across the Bay Area as he bellowed his ridiculous catch phrases during the Yankees 6-3 win over the A’s Friday night. It was a night of missed opportunities, crucial mistakes, and the same old story agains the Yankees. Being the optimist I am, I expected Tyson Ross to struggle against a team like the Yankees, a team that makes pitchers pay for their struggles. This time though it wasn’t the walks that doomed Ross, but rather the fact that the Yankees were able to square up the ball against him. Eleven times to be exact, including the 3 homers to Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher. The A’s managed to go deep twice on their own, but the key difference was the fact that both of theirs were with the bases empty. With a quick look at the A’s lineup, it’s not difficult to imagine why that was.
TURNING POINT: After taking a 3-0 lead against the Athletics, The People’s Right Fielder Josh Reddick continued his fantastic first two months with his 12th home run to make it a 3-1 game. The A’s had to be feeling good that they were on the board and within 2 runs of the mighty Yankees. Just 2 pitches into the top of the 5th inning Robinson Cano took that run right back. That moment was a clear demonstration that for every blow the A’s dealt, the Yankees had an answer. Mark Teixeira added his own 2 run dinger later in the inning to end any realistic hope the A’s had of making a comeback.
ON THE HILL: Tyson Ross struggled against the Yankees awakened bats tonight. He gave up 6 runs (3 earned), on 11 hits in just 4.1 innings. He only walked 2 batters and struck out 3. The defense, namely Coco Crisp definitely failed him in the 3 run 3rd inning for the Yankees. Jerry Blevins and Jim Miller did a tremendous job limiting the damage to just the 6 runs combining for 4.2 scoreless innings against the potent Yankee lineup. Blevins walked 1 in his 2.2 innings of work with 3 strikeouts. Miller gave up the one hit in his 2 innings with 3 strikeouts of his own.
AT THE PLATE: The A’s did manage to scatter 7 hits against Ivan Nova, Boone Logan, and Rafael Soriano. If you can call it a charge I guess Josh Donaldson and Daric Barton of all people led that charge with 2 hits apiece. Josh Reddick and Kila Ka’aihue led the power surge with solo home runs in the 4th and 7th innings respectively. It was an extremely rough game for Coco Crisp who has just 1 hit since returning from the DL and made the previously mentioned error that may signal a bit of self imposed pressure on Coco’s part.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The A’s have now lost 7 straight games in Oakland to the Yankees. It has to be a streak that is weighing on their minds, they so badly want to prove they can hang with the big boys, but too much pressure forces them into mistakes that cost them games. The pressure will only intensify with each passing game, and perhaps the least favorable matchup of the series takes place tomorrow at 1:05 PM PST. Vallejo native CC Sabathia (5-2, 3.78 ERA) will square off against 2011 Yankee Bartolo Colon (4-4, 4.09 ERA). If the Yankees swing the bats at strikes like Bartolo loves to throw it could be a long night yet again in Oakland, but Sabathia is 7-8 with a 4.96 ERA in 22 career starts against the A’s. Perhaps its time to take that pressure and turn it around on the Yankees and make CC feel the heat in front of his hometown people.