Oakland Athletics Recap 4/30: Jesse Hahn Throws 6 2/3 Shutout Innings, A’s Win 2-0
The Oakland Athletics shut down the Houston Astros 2-0 this afternoon. Jesse Hahn, recently promoted from the minors due to Chris Bassitt‘s UCL injury, threw 6 2/3 scoreless, striking out four and walking only two. The Astros’ starting pitcher Chris Devenski, a California native, threw five innings but allowed both of Oakland’s runs, netting the loss. Ryan Madson scored a save.
The ninth inning was an exciting one as Madson walked two and allowed a bloop hit that neither Billy Burns nor Marcus Semien could reach, loading the bases with one out. But two pitches later, Madson quickly provided a double play ball that Semien fielded perfectly, ending the game.
The two Athletics runs come from the second inning. Yonder Alonso, fresh off of a heroic three-run walk-off home run last night, doubled with two outs. Devenski then walked Josh Phegley and Semien to load the bases. Billy Burns responded with a two-out single to left field. This proved to be all the offense the A’s would get, and it was also all they needed.
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The Astros offense is struggling as of late, as this article by fellow FanSided writer Cole Levine notes. The Astros are struggling to get productive outs, that is, an out which moves a runner to the next base. The Astros did leave ten runners on base and suffered five strikeouts total.
This of course is thanks to Jesse Hahn and the monstrous A’s bullpen. For one, Hahn held his own (despite a blister problem) and showed that he should be in the big leagues to stay, allowing only three hits, getting two double plays, and throwing an economical 81 pitches. But in exiting with runners at first and third in the seventh inning, John Axford came in. As Ray Fosse noted in the post-game wrapup, Axford looked calm and collected as he got Tyler White to pop out. In the eighth inning, Axford got three quick outs, and he earned his fifth hold.
The Athletics close the month of April with a 13-12 record, good for 3rd place in the AL West. To put in perspective, the Texas Rangers began the day in first place with the same number of wins as the A’s do now; their record to begin Saturday’s action is 13-10. The Astros are in dead last with a record of 7-17.