I have noticed a pattern in the Oakland Athletics as of late. The A’s do not play consistent baseball. But at least they are not the cellar-dwellers of the American League West right? There is still plenty of time left in the baseball season. Anything could happen.
On paper, the pitching matchup in Game 2 was decent. Oakland Athletics’ Rich Hill is a veteran left-hander that continues to shine. Pittsburgh Pirates’ Chad Kuhl has a high ERA, but picked up a win in his Major League debut.
Hill kept things scoreless until the third inning. A sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie scored Billy Burns from third and the A’s took a 1-0 lead. Josh Reddick followed with a line-drive single to bring home Coco Crisp from third for a 2-0 lead. The A’s had a comfortable lead, but ended up blowing it. But this is nothing new for diehard A’s fans who have probably seen stranger things.
The Pirates got two runs back in the fourth inning. They tied the ballgame 2-2. Pittsburgh got on the board as Starling Marte‘s infield RBI drove in Andrew McCutchen, but continued to trail 2-1. Josh Harrison hit the game-tying home run, an RBI double, to even the score. The “Let’s go Oakland!” chants at the Coliseum were loud and clear. A’s fans wanted to see their team win or at least tie the ballgame for extra innings.
The A’s got a dose of bad luck when Reddick came up to bat with Lowrie on first with two outs and and a full count when he hit a ball to right field. His hit found the only hole at the Coliseum which resulted in a ground rule double and possibly took a run off the board.
But A’s fans got their wish as the scoreboard remained in a 2-2 deadlock after nine innings. Free baseball is always nice. The result? Not so much. Unless if you were a Pirates fan in Oakland, you did not want to remember this game.
Crisp was a little frustrated after seeing David Freese‘s first hit of the night. It was a ground-ball single that scored Erik Kratz for a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth. There was a controversial play after Stephen Vogt swiped down the tag on the foot. Freese’s foot might have been out (and it was). The call stood and Crisp picked up his first outfield assist since May 24th against the Boston Red Sox. The Pirates did not score.
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Once again, the A’s bullpen imploded, but I doubt anyone is surprised. Daniel Coulombe did not pitch well at all, allowing two runs in the top of the 10th. Freese singled on a ground ball to left, scoring Kratz, and the Pirates went ahead 3-2. Then, Gregory Polanco singled on a sharp line drive to center, allowing McCutchen to score, expanding the Pirates’ lead to 4-2.
Khris Davis‘ curveball was unable to be caught. So the first and third bases were filled. The A’s had a chance, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. They ended up stranding the runners on the bases. The Pirates raised the jolly roger in Oakland for the second time in a row. It was a disappointing loss for the A’s in front of 28,846 fans at the Coliseum.
Daniel Mengden will be on the mound for the A’s vs. Pirates series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 pm PT Sunday afternoon.