Oakland Athletics Drop a Game to the Big-Spending Los Angeles Angels
By Mark Sigmon
A Second look at the Oakland Athletics loss to the Los Angeles Monday, April 11, 2016
After a great weekend in Seattle, A’s fans had high hopes with their ace, Sonny Gray, taking the mound. Gray was dominant in the first five innings, but then the Angels struck for three quick runs in the sixth. The big blow was Mike Trout‘s two run shot. Trout hit a rocket to straightaway centerfield that got out in a blink of an eye.
Then Albert Pujols singled in the top of the eighth. You sort of know it might not be your night when Pujols steals second without a throw, and makes it to third on a come-backer to the mound. Liam Hendricks had Pujols hung out to dry between second and third, but he threw to first instead. The mistake came back to haunt Hendricks when Pujols scored on Andrelton Simmons‘ soft single to right. Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien managed to break up the shutout. When the night was over, high hopes were dashed and another good pitching effort had gone to waste.
The A’s had their chances. They had 10 hits and 2 walks. They would leave 16 men on base. Khris Davis seems a little bit lost. The Athletics had a chance to strike back in the bottom of the sixth when Davis came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. Davis hit the ball hard, but it went right down to third base where Yunel Escobar started a rally-killing double-play. Oakland fans should stay patient with Davis, Yonder Alonso and Chris Coghlan. These players are new to the A’s and the Coliseum. It took Frank Thomas about two months to really get going in 2006. We can be patient for a few more weeks as these new players find their way.
Here is some food for thought for A’s fans. In 2012, the Angels signed Pujols to a monster contract of $189 million dollars. In 2014, the Angels committed $144 million to Trout. In 2012, the Angels finished third. In 2013, they finished third, 18 games behind the thrifty Oakland Athletics. In 2014, the Angels won the division, but lost in the playoffs. In 2015, the Angels, once again, finished third.
I think every A’s fan would like to see the team lock up good young talent like Gray with hefty, well-deserved contacts. I will be thrilled if Josh Reddick signs a fat contract extension. I think it would be fun to be one of the teams bidding for the services of a home run hitting superstar. The Angels have proven, however, that spending big bundles of cash is no guarantee of a World Series.
Billy Beane has built an interesting team without spending a lot of money. The pitching has come around much sooner than the hitting. To have any hopes of success, this 2016 team will have to learn to win at home. April and May might be a little bleak, but when this low budget team comes together and gels, they will be tough to beat.