Oakland Athletics: Reasons for Doubleheader Split With Brewers

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Apr 25, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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There has been an uneven pattern in the series held at O.co Coliseum lately. The Oakland Athletics take the opener and drop the remaining games.

The Oakland Athletics returned home last Monday after an eight-game road trip to host the Texas Rangers, where they won 14-5, then fell in the next three games (6-10, 5-7, 1-5) to lose the four-game series. When the Los Angeles Angels were in town, they lost a close game by a score of 3-2, then bounced back to beat the home team 7-1 and 2-0 to win the three-game series.

The Oakland Athletics had a much-needed day off before hosting the Milwaukee Brewers in a brief doubleheader. Apparently, the relaxation time wasn’t very beneficial.

The opener was a back-and-forth game, as Oakland and Milwaukee were tied 2-2 after six innings. The Oakland Athletics came alive in the bottom of the seventh with a single by Yonder Alonso and a two-run triple by Marcus Semien. They snatched a 5-2 lead. The Brewers reduced the deficit 5-3 at the top of the eighth as Ryan Braun doubled down a line drive to Khris Davis and drove home Scooter Gennett.

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There’s always a brand new day, but the Athletics’ plans didn’t work out, as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Brewers Wednesday afternoon. The doubleheader ended in a split.

After three scoreless innings, Oakland got on the board for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to Coco Crisp‘s homer on a fly ball to right. You’d think the Oakland Athletics would be safe, but no. Right-hander Daniel Mengden gave up three runs in the top of the fifth. Yadiel Rivera‘s sacrifice bunt put the visiting team on the board.

Then, Gennett hit a two-run homer to extend the Brewers’ lead to 3-1. Max Muncy made it a one-run game in the bottom of the seventh, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis‘ homer expanded Milwaukee’s lead for their eventual 4-2 win. Right-hander Junior Guerra picked up the win, improving his record to 3-1.

The Oakland Athletics’ pitching and bullpen are fine when they win, but obviously, not when they lose. They’re a two-faced team. When they lose, it’s often to a decent team with a mediocre pitcher.

Oakland needs to get things going — take an early lead, allow fewer runs, generate offense and play defense. It’s easier said than done, but these are a few things that could help the team out.

Sonny Gray is the face of the Athletics’ team, but he didn’t factor in the decision Tuesday against the Brewers. He pitched six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and a walk while striking out seven. Yes, he bounced back nicely from a poor outing in his previous start against the Rangers, but him not receiving wins despite pitching back to form is inadequate.

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Pitching is an important part of baseball, and it’s time to think about his worth. After all, Athletics fans want to see their team play consistently.

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