Oct 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Sean Doolittle throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers in the seventh inning in game four of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Today the Oakland A’s squared off against the San Francisco Giants at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. This game almost got out of hand quickly, as the pitching had a very rocky start.
Today’s starter was Jarrod Parker. Many were expecting some quality innings from Parker seeing as how he is the projected opening night starter, but he didn’t deliver today. He hit the first guy he saw with the pitch, but seemed like he was going to turn things around by striking out Brandon Crawford. But he didn’t.
Brandon Belt singled off of him next and put the runners at 1st and 3rd. Pablo Sandoval flied out, and Parker only needed one out to get out of the jam. Instead of getting the out Parker gives up a double and 2 runs score before he gets the final out by striking out Julian Perez.
The second inning was a whole lot worse. He walked the first batter, got the next guy to pop up, then gave up two consecutive single resulting in another run. Brandon Crawford comes up to the plate and instead of striking out he hits a triple leading to two more runs. And that was it for Parker.
Next guy that came in was Ryan Dull. He gave up a double to Brandon Belt, resulting in the Giants’ 6th run that belonged to Parker. He then struck out the next guy and got the next to fly out.
Somebody needed to stop the bleeding and get this A’s pitching staff back on track, and that’s exactly what Sean Doolittle did in the 3rd inning. He made it look easy as he got a 1-2-3 inning. He looked to be in mid-season form and really showed his impressive new pitches make him even deadlier.
Feeding off of that momentum, Raul Alcantra proceeded to keep the good pitching going. He walked somebody after the first out, but then got the next two guys out in the 4th. In the 5th inning Alcantra pulled off a 1-2-3 inning and really shined in his Spring Training Debut.
In the 6th inning it was Jeremy McBryde who replaced Alcantra and he too got a 1-2-3 inning. This was really important for these guys to keep getting 1-2-3 innings because the A’s were in the middle of tacking on runs to slowly come back.
In the 7th we got to get a really good look at famous prospect Michael Ynoa, who allowed the first two guys to get on base but a double play and and flyball saved his inning. In the 8th, he gave up a single and a double before striking out Javier Herrera and walking Nick Noonan. And that was it for him.
Zach Neal came in and got a double play to end the inning and keep the A’s in the game.They allowed him to pitch the 9th with game all tied up and he had a 1-2-3 inning striking out the last two.
So overall this game went by far a lot better for the pitching staff than yesterday’s game. Doolittle came through and started the momentum that led to the A’s winning the game. They gave 7 shutout innings after Parker started off very out of synch. The rest of the pitching staff however, did outstanding and kept the team alive, enough for a walk off win.