Tuesday night’s game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels was a pretty simple one to summarize. Jason Vargas dominated the A’s in just about every way. As the A’s made their few ill fated attempts at breaking through against Vargas, he quickly and decisively turned them away. Vargas went the distance, and the A’s were shut out, and A.J. Griffin came out on the losing end of a low scoring affair.
Griffin looked to be in some trouble early on, and his tendency to give up the long ball bit him again in the first inning as Howie Kendrick sent a ball careening off of the fake rocks in center field to put the Halos up 1-0. The A’s were unable to respond in any impactful way, as they would be throughout the course of the game.
Griffin was wobbly, losing command of the strike zone at times, but it was a bases loaded bloop single by Josh Hamilton that turned a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 lead that seemed insurmountable the way Vargas was going. It appeared as if left fielder Chris Young should have been able to get to the ball, but a curious route and a slight hesitation to perhaps dive for the ball allowed it to drop in.
Griffin didn’t pitch poorly, just some bad luck aside from the home run and a high pitch count made for a shorter night than he would have preferred. He did reach the 200 innings plateau though in his final start of the regular season.
The A’s offense was nonexistent tonight, with not a single runner in scoring position all night as Vargas tossed a 4-hit shutout. Alberto Callaspo presented the best chance, if you could call it that, as he was gunned down trying to stretch a single into a double by Josh Hamilton. It was clear Callaspo had no shot of making it to second, so I honestly have no idea why he tried in the first place when they were down by three. Simply put though, it just wasn’t the Athletics’ night. Jed Lowrie presented the lone bright spot offensively, notching two of the A’s four hits.
The A’s missed a golden opportunity to pull even with the Boston Red Sox for the top record in the American League, thus earning home field advantage. The loss also snapped their 5-game winning streak. They will look to take the series tomorrow afternoon against the very tough Jered Weaver as Dan Straily makes his final start of the 2013 regular season and concludes the season series with the Angels.