After the Athletics uncontested game against the Mariners yesterday, the Athletics went into today’s game looking to win the three game series. The A’s and the Mariners turned back the clock and jumped back to the 1950s. With the A’s wearing the throwback uniforms of the Oakland Oaks and the Mariners wearing the uniforms of the Seattle Rainiers, the fans at the coliseum watched an old-fashioned extra innings pitchers duel. King Felix was on the hill for the Seattle Mariners and the A’s rattled him early. Coco Crisp singled to leadoff the bottom of the first for the Athletics, and Jemile Weeks laid a bunt down the first base line, which he would beat out for a single. With runners on first and second Josh Reddick came up to the plate for his first at bat. Reddick grounded out to first base but did his job by moving the runners into scoring position. Yoenis Cespedes would single on an infield hit and score Coco Crisp from third and move Jemile Weeks over to third base. Cespedes would steal his sixth bag of the year but that would be all the excitement the A’s would see. Felix Hernandez quickly settled down by striking out Seth Smith and getting Brandon Moss to pop out to the Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan. That was all the A’s would do against Hernandez for the rest of the game. Bartolo Colon was on the mound for the A’s and was untouchable. He didn’t allow the Mariners to generate any type of offense against him except for the one run they wiggled away with in the sixth inning. It was the bullpens that would decide the outcome of the game.
Hitting: Considering that Sunday afternoon’s game was a pitchers duel, offense was very hard to find. Both ball clubs combined for 18 hits over 13 innings, splitting the total evenly for 9 hits apiece. The top of the order accounted for all the offensive production for the A’s. Crisp, Weeks, and Reddick combined for two hits each, while Cespedes had the other hit. The rest of the order did absolutely nothing, accounting for zero hits and eleven strikeouts. The A’s offense also left ten runners on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Pitching: Oakland’s starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was unhittable. Although he gave up 7 of the 9 hits the Mariners had in the game, he only gave up one earned run over 8 2/3 innings while striking out five. Ryan Cook came into the game in the 8th inning to record the final out and went on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning. Then, Sean Doolittle, Grant Balfour, and Jordan Norberto (in order) would each pitch one scoreless inning and leave it to the A’s offense to finish the game in the bottom of the 13th inning.
How It Ended: Jemile Weeks came up to the plate and singled to right field to start the bottom of the 13th inning. Then Josh Reddick arrived at the plate ready to show everyone why he should have been an all-star. On the very first pitch he saw he did just that, driving the pitch to the left center field wall and scored Jemile Weeks all the way from first base. The coliseum erupted and the Athletics emptied the dugout to go congratulate both Weeks and Reddick.
DownSide: Lets get the bad news over with first so we can end on a good note. The Athletics bottom of the order did nothing the entire game, the A’s had two errors in the game, and Yoenis Cespedes left the game with an injury.
UpSide: Now that the bad news is out of the way lets end the game recap with happy thoughts. The A’s won the game, won the series, are now at .500, and find themselves only 2.5 games back in the American League Wild Card Race.
Conclusion: The Athletics find themselves going into the All-Star break at .500. With 43 wins and 43 losses, the A’s are out performing their expectations. So far in July the A’s are 6-1 and are well deserving of the four days off they have this week. The Athletics will look to rest up and get ready for a short road trip against the Minnesota Twins next weekend. Lets hope that the A’s will bring there “A” game and get passed that .500 mark. Enjoy the All-Star break everyone.