Oakland Athletics Recap 5/20: Yankees Beat A’s

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May 20, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Jake Smolinski (5) is unable to catch the ball for a New York Yankees RBI double during the sixth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
May 20, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Jake Smolinski (5) is unable to catch the ball for a New York Yankees RBI double during the sixth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland Athletics lose to the New York Yankees, one day after losing Josh Reddick to a thumb injury.

Final. 3. 96. 8. 43

The Oakland Athletics lost to the New York Yankees by a score of 8-3. Sonny Gray is credited with the loss as he throws 98 pitches but lasted merely 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned). He has lost four of his last five appearances. C.C. Sabathia got the win.

The A’s were throttled by the Yankees who hurt them to the tune of 13 hits. Only Starlin Castro and the struggling Mark Teixeira were hitless for the Yanks. Defensively, it was a belaboring night for Oakland as they allowed 21 total bases and three errors. Coco Crisp appeared to struggle defensively as well, miffing a couple plays in center field as his glove would barely miss a few balls that turned into hits.

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Sonny Gray could not take command of the evening, as in every inning he pitched, he allowed at least one Yankee to get aboard. Most damning was his performance in the fourth inning where he gave up five runs (though one was scored on a Stephen Vogt catcher’s interference call). Ray Fosse mentioned during the course of the game that Gray is not able to snap his curveball with as much movement as he used to have in the past. Fangraphs writer Jeff Sullivan concurs, observing that Gray’s breaking ball location has often been below the zone to the point where hitters can discount them. As a result, his fastball is getting hit more and more. The A’s and their poor defense are not helping Gray’s cause, but neither is Gray’s reluctance (whether intentional or not) to throw breaking balls in the zone.

The A’s bullpen was not much better, as Ryan Dull gave up a run and Andrew Triggs gave up two. With twelve A’s on the disabled list, the team is looking now just to survive ballgames, which is what they looked to do last year too. Without some major changes to Oakland personnel, or at the very least without some major recoveries from the DL, the A’s may be doomed to repeat last year’s positioning in the AL West cellar.

Next: Loss of Reddick Overshadows Loss to Yankees

The Yankees will play the third game of their fourth game series against the Athletics tomorrow. Sean Manaea (1-1, 7.91 ERA) will try to stop the bleeding for the A’s against Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.51). First pitch at Oakland Coliseum is at 1:05 PM PST.

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