The Oakland A’s desperately needed a game such as the one they had on Friday night. Not only did the bats come to life, but they did so against the Astros, something that any A’s fan could appreciate. While it may be too little, too late to save the season, that 14-2 drubbing handed to Houston had to feel great.
Not everyone was able to join in the offensive festivities. Matt Chapman‘s difficult season with the bat continued on Friday as he was 0-5 on the day, striking out in each of his at bats.
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Chapman struck out in almost every way possible. He took two third strikes looking, swung and missed twice, and was out on a foul tip. He just needed to push a bunt foul to truly make the day a memorable one from a strikeout perspective.
On the positive side, at least Chapman did not set a new record for strikeouts in a game. Eight players have struck out six times in major league history, all of which occurred in extra innings. Chapman was spared the ignoble feat of becoming the first player to do so in a nine inning game.
That evening furthered what has been a difficult season for the A’s third baseman. He has posted a disappointing .217/.318/.417 batting line in his 597 plate appearances, hitting 27 homers and 15 doubles. While Chapman has drawn 76 walks, he has also struck out 194 times, his inability to make contact hurting his productivity.
While those strikeout woes have endured since Chapman injured his hip last season, there is some reason for hope. His defense, which had also disappointed early in the season, has improved. Chapman now leads AL third basemen in range factor and is at zero in terms of runs saved. As he was considered to have cost the A’s runs earlier in the season, this can be considered an improvement.
It is possible that improvement will carry over to the offensive side as well. As his hip keeps improving and he gets comfortable, he may begin to be the player the A’s have expected with the bat as well. It just was not going to happen on Friday night.
The Oakland A’s offense came to life on Friday in a victory over the Astros. The same could not be said for Matt Chapman.