Cleveland beats A’s in extra innings, 5-4
Offense: With eight hits and five walks, the A’s hitters set the table aplenty in this one. What they couldn’t do was string enough hits together to score enough. Even the four extra-base hits didn’t make enough of a difference in this one. Going 2-for-11 with RISP hurt, as Oakland left nine men on base in a game they lost in extra innings by one run. Ouch. And the A’s lost a base runner, too, when Jack Cust was thrown out at second base by Cleveland outfielder Shelley Duncan. GRADE: C+
Defense: Gabe Gross made an error that led to an unearned run, and while you never know how things would play out, the game went to extra innings. Take away that gifted run, and maybe the A’s win this one. GRADE: B-
Pitching: Clay Mortensen showed some promise, despite a rough start. Just 11 pitches in to his start, he was down 2-0. But he battled back and gave his team a good chance to win the game. He showed more promise than in his previous MLB efforts, so keep your eyes on him. The bullpen was solid until the 10th inning, when Craig Breslow lost the game. GRADE: C+
Coaching: Bob Geren pulled Gabe Gross from the game, moved Adam Rosales to left field and put Mark Ellis in at second. A rare AL double-switch, if you will. Breslow is usually pretty reliable, so no fault in the bullpen management. This one is on the hitters’ inability to score runs. GRADE: A
Overall Game Grade: B- (80.9%). Tough loss, as .500 was there for the taking, and the offense couldn’t deliver enough when it mattered. Considering the A’s were breaking in a new starter, it would have been nice to get the win on that count, too.
Overall Season Grade: B (83.37%). Back to nine games out, two under the break-even level. Like the middle game in the Baltimore series, this was a game that could have been won – although we can’t argue it should have been won.
A’s Record: 40-42. Vin Mazzaro gets the ball today in Cleveland, and while he’s been steady, it often feels like you’re just waiting for Mazzaro to implode. Oakland needs this win, though. Going 4-2 on the road trip is a lot better than merely going 3-3, especially after the home sweep of Pittsburgh that launched them on this sojourn.
A’s “Should Be” Record: 43-39. Oakland faces a tough six-game stretch at home after this game. It’d be a lot happier flight home this evening for the A’s if they win today, rather than dwelling on a two-game losing streak.