Another Recap of an Athletics’ Loss
By Jason Burke
With the Athletics holding a 1-0 lead over the White Sox in the 8th inning, Luke Gregerson (L, 4-4, 2 hits, 2 runs, 0 earned, 3 K’s) came into the game. Leadoff batter, Carlos Sanchez reached base on an infield single. The ball was hit up the middle, and a ranging Eric Sogard could not come up with the ball cleanly.
With a runner at first, Adam Eaton grounded the ball to Nate Freiman at first, who threw to second to start the 3-6-3 double play. The only problem being that Big Nate’s throw was off line, and the throw to second ended up in left field. Runners on first and second, instead of nobody on with two outs. That play was the difference in the game.
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After an Alexei Ramirez strikeout, a wild pitch that advanced the runners, and striking out Jose Abreu with a series of sweeping sliders, Gregerson walked Conor Gillaspie intentionally after falling behind 2-0. Former Tiger, Avisail Garcia drove home two on his two out, two-run single to center, making the score 2-1 White Sox. Andy Wilkins struck out to end the threat in the bottom of the 8th.
The A’s bats went quietly in the top of the ninth, sealing the victory for the White Sox.
On the plus side, Jeff Samardzija (ND) pitched a great game, going seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out six.
The other piece of good news is that the Seattle Mariners are currently losing to the Astros, 4-2. If that score holds, the A’s will retain a two-game lead over the M’s. The Tigers also lost their contest with the Royals, breaking the tie atop the AL Central, and making them the Wild Card team for the time being. Oakland holds a 1.5 game lead over Detroit for the first Wild Card spot.
Since the season is nearing a close, let’s talk magic numbers. The A’s magic number is currently 16 to clinch a Wild Card spot. With a good showing against Seattle over the weekend, that number could start dropping rapidly. Of course, the A’s will have to start winning some games to make that happen, however.
On Deck for Thursday:
Scott Kazmir (14-7, 3.42) will take on Chris Sale (11-3, 2.09) at 11:05 AM. The game will be joined in progress on MLB Network.
Of course the A’s get to face the best lefty in the AL tomorrow. All we can do is hope for the best.