Jon Lester takes the mound as Athletics attempt to break a 4 game losing streak. Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Lester (3-0, 2.49 w/ A’s) is taking the mound with hopes of breaking a four game losing streak for the Athletics and maintaining an undefeated record since being traded for that Cuban guy that used to hit home runs for the team. Prior to the game, an elusive Sunday night ESPN game, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fell to the Texas Rangers of Texas in a Texas walkoff thanks to two ex Athletics.
For the first time in 24 hours, the Athletics held sole possession of first place in the American League West and enter today’s game with a 73-50 record.
"Athletic’s win probability: 49.9%A’s 0 – Braves 0"
- A’s Batters: Coco Crisp (2B), Jonny Gomes (Out 9), Josh Donaldson (BB), Derek Norris (Out 5), Brandon Moss (Out 3)
- Braves Batters: Jayson Heyward (Fly Out 7), Phil Gosselin (Ground Out 5), Freddie Freeman (Kc)
- A’s stranded two but with a double from Crisp we may see his bat come alive.
- Gomes made an incredible catch that would have killed most guys by sliding into the left field side wall.
- Lester throws a 1-2-3 first inning.
"Athletics win probability: 50% A’s 0 – Braves 0"
- A’s Batters: Nate Freiman (HR), Alberto Callaspo (K), Andy Parino (Out 8), Jon Lester (K)
- Braves Batters: Justin Upton (1B), Chris Johnson (Out 5), Evan Gattis (1B, RBI), Andrelton Simmons (DP)
- Freiman puts the A’s on the board and gives them the lead for the first time in 73 years, or so it seems.
- To nobody’s surprise, Jon Lester struck out swinging. We didn’t get him for his bat or his smile.
- Error on Donaldson puts Upton at third. Single by Gattis brings that error over the plate.
- Lester had words with the ump after getting his final out.
"Athletics win probability: 53.4% A’s 1 – Braves 1"
- A’s Batters: Crisp (Out 4-3), Gomes (Kc), Donaldson (Out 6-3)
- Braves Batters: Upton (Out 5), Minor (Out 4), Heyward (Out 7)
- Minor has pitched 50 through three innings.
- Lester has pitched 37 through three innings.
- National broadcasters prove why we hate watching them by miscounting outs.
"Athletics win probability: 50% A’s 1 – Braves 1"
Freiman should be able to make it to first in five or six steps but he was unable to beat out the double play to end the inning.
So far ESPN has managed to take the focus off of this game with interviews with Samardjiza and Melvin.
And with that two run homer, the A’s are back to where they’ve been all week. Behind.
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"Athletics win probability: 22.1% A’s 1 – Braves 3"
- A’s Batters: Callaspo (1B), Parino (Out 6-4-3 DP), Lester (Out 7)
- Braves Batters: Simmons (Out 5), Upton (K), Minor (Out 5-3)
- Once again a double play cancels out an A’s hit. The sixth inning will be at the top of the order.
- Donaldson is “quick as a cat” according to ESPN.
"Athletics win probability: 19.3% A’s 1 – Braves 3"
- A’s Batters: Crisp (Out 7), Gomes (2B on E), Donaldson (K), Norris (K)
- Braves Batters: Heyward (Out 5-3), Gosselin (Out 9), Freeman (BB), Upton (K)
- Sloppy field play puts Gomes at second. A ball dropped between three fielders and then overthrown to 2nd.
- Oakland is 0-4 with runners in scoring position.
- A’s fans, via Twitter, have lost all hope and begin wearing black and orange.
- Donaldson “cat” comparisons continue via ESPN.
- Lester walked Freeman after being up 0-2. His frustration is showing in his face.
- Minor has thrown 93 pitches to close the 6th.
- Lester has thrown 91 pitches to close the 6th.
"Athletics win probability: 15.8% A’s 1 – Braves 3"
- A’s Batters: Moss (K), Freiman (HR), Callaspo (Out 7), Parino (K)
- Braves Batters: Johnson (HR), Gattis (1B), Simmons (Out 9), Upton (Out 6), La Stella (K)
- Moss is clearly not as “out of his funk” as we had hoped. He’s 0-2 with a walk so far today.
- Freiman has a second homer! He’s clearly our next Cespedes.
- If the A’s win this, Freiman will be a hero for the rest of the season among A’s fans.
- Lester leaves the game after giving up two homers. He has his angry eyes on.
- Dan Otero replaces Lester with a man on first and no outs.
- Things are going real great for the A’s this week.
"Athletics win probability: 11.4%A’s 2 – Braves 4"
- A’s Batters: Fuld (2B/E8), Crisp (Out 7/RBI), Vogt (Out 7), Donaldson (1B), Norris (Out 3-2)
- Braves Batters: Heyward (K), Gosselin (Out 9), Freeman (Out)
- Sam Fuld triples (thanks to an E8)to open the inning. We all cheered and hope was restored.
- Crisp gets an RBI but it has still been seven weeks since he had a hit.
- Ray Fosse’s dreams true with Vogt in to hit.
"Athletics win probability: 14.3%A’s 3 – Braves 4"
- A’s Batters: Moss (K), Jaso (K), Callaspo (Out 6-3)
- Braves Batters: None…because they won. Losers.
- Moss is not boss tonight.
- I wish Atlanta had Jim Johnson as a closer.
The A’s drop their 7th game out of the past 8th to the Atlanta Braves. At 5 consecutive losses this is the longest losing streak the A’s have experienced since May of 2013. That was last season. Is all hope lost? Probably not. Is there room for concern? Absolutely. The A’s need to figure out what they’re doing wrong at the plate and refocus on the field. If Donaldson wouldn’t have made his throwing error in the second, the A’s would have been tied in the ninth and we may be having a completely different conversation right now.
All in all, this was a miserable road trip and I’m sure the A’s will be glad to have a day off to regroup and refocus. We are now in the heat of a pennant race and every game counts. This is the time of year I always look at when commentators dismiss losses early in the season. To all of those who said, “there’s 162 games for a reason” when we had blown saves in April I say to you, wouldn’t you love to have two more wins on your record right now?