The Morning After: Well folks, that game was about as enjoyable as eating a handful of licorice jellybeans. The A’s rolled into San Francisco last night only to take a hit square on the chin from the Giants with a final score of 7-1.
A look at the box score would say the A’s offense didn’t have any chances to get going against the Giants, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Bumgarner was throwing a solid game, minus a 5th inning solo shot to left-center from Pinder, until the 7th inning arrived.
Down 2-1, Piscotty started the action off against MadBum with a single. Olson worked a masterful walk. Chapman inspired by what he just witnessed, improbably managed to do the same. Bases loaded, nobody out. Here. We. Go. Edge of your seat stuff. Exit Bumgarner. Enter Moronta.
Pinder to the plate with one homer under his belt looking to make it two. Strike-out on a nasty slider from Moronta. Lucroy up next and puts good wood on a ball sending it down the third base side only to have the Panda make a diving catch on it. It didn’t have the aesthetics of a Gold Glove Chappy-esque play but it counted all the same.
Martini came in to pinch-hit for Jackson but a slow infield grounder ended the threat. We had Bumgarner in our hands and we let him go. No disrespect to Moronta. His stuff was flat-out filthy, but good teams… playoff teams… capitalize in these situations. One sac-fly would have tied this game up at 2 and the impending meltdown from the bullpen might have played out differently.
Dull takes the mound and loads up the bases in the bottom of the 7th. Bob Melvin curiously decides that’s the moment for Jeremy Bleich to make his major league debut and that was all she wrote. Steven Duggar promptly yanks a double to right field and the floodgates opened.
The Giants would go on to score five total runs putting the game well out of reach at 7-1. It would be easy to say this loss was on the bullpen but had the A’s brought home a run or two in the top half of the 7th, the dynamics of the game would have changed considerably.
A different strategy would have been in play. Different relievers would have entered the game. Within every game there is one moment you can look to that decides the outcome. Last night, the box score points to the bullpen as the culprit; however, those that watched know it was the A’s inability to get a runner home in the top half of the 7th that defined this game.
Final notes: Stay tuned for further injury updates today regarding Jed Lowrie as we move towards game time. Lowrie was injured last night when Piscotty left his feet, crashing into Lowrie’s left leg as they both worked a pop-fly in the 3rd inning. Lowrie went down, but walked it off and stayed in the game until later being removed.
Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle tweeted during the game that Lowrie was removed due to injury.
Lowrie has a history of being involved in freak injuries so let’s hope he avoided something more serious here. If it’s a deep bone bruise, look for him to rest up and be held out until after the All-Star break.
Game time tonight is at 7:05 PDT. Let’s see if we can get to Samardzija early. I’ll be on Twitter sharing the action with you. See you then!