Continued Dominance: Weaver Shuts Down A’s Once Again
By Sean Davis
It’s not like the Athletics offense has been lighting up the scoreboard recently anyway, they’ve been struggling mightily to say the least. So at this point in time facing Jered Weaver was about the last thing they wanted to have happen. Coming into tonight’s contest, Weaver had held the A’s scoreless over his previous 18 innings of work. Over 160 innings of work against the Athletics in his career prior to this game Weaver held a sparkling 2.36 ERA with 2 complete game shutouts to his name. Couple that with the fact that the A’s haven’t scored more than 3 runs since posting 10 against the Kansas City Royals on July 7th, Stevie Wonder could have seen this outcome coming.
Jul 19, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcherJered Weaver
(36) during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The frustrating part of this loss was the fact that Jered Weaver didn’t seem to be at his best, and the A’s were unable to mount any type of substantive offense against him. He worked 6.2 innings, but took 118 pitches to get to that point. He walked 4 Athletics, and allowed 4 hits, but struck out 8 as they failed to deliver wuality at bats when they were needed most. A bonehead play on the basepaths by John Jaso, getting caught napping with 2 outs really cost them, he was thrown out by Angels catcher Chris Iannetta to end their best threat while still down 2-0 in the 5th inning.
They mounted enough offense in the 9th inning to at least spoil the shutout, but it was nothing more than a slight moral victory for the A’s.
A.J. Griffin managed to make it through 5 innings, but he wasn’t fooling anyone. After allowing an RBI double on a Josh Hamilton line drive and attempted diving catch by Josh Reddick, Griffin allowed solo home runs to Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar, and Mike Trout to give the Halos more than enough offense to carry the team to victory. Griffin has had major trouble with the longball, and it may not be as widely known as the problems fellow rotation member Tommy Milone has had. Griffin has now served up 21 long balls, which is good (or bad) for 3rd in the AL. Griffin doesn’t have the raw stuff to work in the middle of the zone, and if he continues to do that he will continue to be taken deep over and over again.
Aside from Eric Sogard‘s 2 hits (one on a bunt single), the A’s offense couldn’t muster much. Coco Crisp, Josh Donaldson, Josh Reddick, and Brandon Moss each recorded base hits. Chris Young provided the RBI double that got the A’s on the board in the 9th. Sonny Gray made his second big league appearance, pitching 2 scoreless innings while allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk and striking out 3, he faced one batter as he went out for his third inning and was lifted after that. Gray was also sent back to Triple A to make room for tomorrow’s starter Dan Straily. He was impressive in his two outings, and will undoubtedly be back in Oakland and will have an impact on this team in 2013.
It was a lackluster way to begin the “second half” for the A’s, but since the Texas Rangers lost to the Baltimore Orioles also, no damage was done to their 2 game AL West cushion. As I mentioned, Dan Straily returns to take the mound tomorrow evening, bringing a 6-2 record and an ERA of 4.28 with him. He’ll be opposed by every A’s fan’s least favorite lefty, C.J. Wilson (9-6, 3.37 ERA) as the A’s try to even the series. With the way the Athletics have been sputtering offensively, a little “Lawyerball” might be just what they need to get the offense going again.
Yoenis Cespedes was a late scratch today with wrist soreness, no word as to the extent of the injury or whether his participation in Monday’s Home Run Derby had anything to do with it. Gulp…