Hammel Struggles, Again, As Athletics Fall
By Tony Frye
Aug 15, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jason Hammel (40) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The season is over. All hope is lost. At least that’s what Twitter is saying. To the more level-headed Athletics fan tonight’s game was simply a loss. An ugly, heartbreaking, amatuer, loss that will haunt us if we end up in the wild card game because we were one win shy of the division.
Jason Hammel struggled again as he took the mound and gave up five earned runs on three home runs. His outing only lasted three innings. You can’t just blame Hammel though. The A’s bats are quieter than ever and if it weren’t for Nate Freiman’s home run, which scored 2, they would have been shut out for the second time in three days. Top that off with some abyssmal fielding and errant base running and you have a team that appeared to be completely out of their element today.
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It may be worth noting, although I hesitate to make excuses for today’s game, that the A’s have not had a day off in August and may be showing some signs of fatigue but that hardly explains the rest of this month’s performance in which they are 7-8. Is this weekend’s series the most important series of the summer? Probably not but it is still a very important one. With the Angels 2 games behind the A’s in the west and playing the Rangers for three days, we cannot hope that they won’t sweep the Texas. At best, we end this week one game up, at worst we end one game down for the first time in months but we’re probably not going to see LA drop two of three in the Lone Star State. Although, maybe I’ll be wrong there.
It is not time to panic just yet but there is room for concern. With only six weeks remaining in the season, this is the pennant race and every game is going to be a crucial game in terms of maintaining our standing as the best team in baseball. The A’s cannot afford to lose games because of bad pitching and field mistakes. Of course, we’re not going to win them all but today’s game showed little fight or urgency and the mistakes that were made would send a little league coach to the looney bin.
My goal with daily updates was to make them light and funny, even in losses. I just can’t do it today. Today was one of the most disappointing games of the season. I still love my team, I still think they’re taking it all but I’m not a Giants fan. I have no interest in “torture” baseball. Just win games, guys!
Standings: 1st (AL West), 1st (AL), 1st (MLB)
Next Game: August 16 vs. Atlanta