It’s hard to say whether the utter lack of offense from both the Athletics and the Mariners is due to complete offensive ineptitude or just strong pitching on all fronts. Either way the A’s managed to lose the battle of who could score less in a 3 game series, and as a result leave the Pacific Northwest with a series victory. Jarrod Parker continued to impress everyone despite his continued struggles walking hitters, and he did strike out a career high 9 M’s this afternoon. Coco Crisp tried to do his best Rickey Henderson impersonation taking the second pitch of the game out to the right field bleachers. John Jaso would square up the game with a solo shot of his own, but that was all the Mariners were going to get today.
TURNING POINT: Kevin Millwood started the game for the Mariners but left with a groin injury in the 3rd inning, so a familiar name to A’s fans filled in for him in long relief as Hisashi Iwakuma took the hill. Iwakuma held the A’s scoreless until the 7th inning when Yoenis Cespedes stepped to the plate. In a showing of merciless power Cespedes squared up a 1-1 slider and drove it into the seats just to the left of straight away center field. It was only the second hit the A’s recorded all day, and the last, but it was enough.
ON THE HILL: Jarrod Parker kept the Mariners’ bats quiet yet again, keeping with the apparent theme of this series for 7 solid innings. He only allowed 3 hits but did walk 4 and strikeout the aforementioned career high 9 while giving up just the 1 run on Jaso’s longball. Grant Balfour continued his recent success with another scoreless inning to drop his season ERA to 2.61. Ryan Cook saved his 6th game of the year with a little bit of a tightrope act working around an error and a HBP to finish it.
AT THE PLATE: As we have noted over the last couple days there has been minimal offense to discuss. If you’re not named Coco Crisp or Yoenis Cespedes you will not be mentioned in today’s offense recap, because you clearly did nothing at the plate.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Hopefully the deep restful slumber that the A’s bats have been in was by design in order to save the offensive punch for the Rangers series. If not, we will be in for a long torturous 4 days in Arlington, and that has nothing to do with the likely presence of George W. Bush (easy there, I kid I kid). Looking at the matchups it seems as if this could be a winnable series, with the only true mismatch being Sunday’s game pitting Yu Darvish against Travis Blackley. Tyson Ross (2-7, 6.02 ERA) takes on Scott Feldman (1-6, 6.00 ERA) tomorrow in a matchup that on paper seems very conducive to a slugfest, which if you look at the Rangers offensive stats so far this year I can tell you that’s not a great recipe for success. I look forward to seeing Cespedes hit in that ballpark, nothing would make me happier than admiring him admiring a home run ball on a hot Texas summer night.