The shark gets bit by his chums. Samardzija pitches fantastic and takes the loss. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Samardzija Dominates Angels, Kinda

Jeff Samardzija pitched a fantastic complete game in Anaheim giving up one earned run and striking out 9. Unfortunately, with absolutely no run support to speak of, Samardzija collects a loss on the evening as the A’s fall to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Just North of Santa Ana in a 0-2 shutout.

If you’re keeping track at home, it has now been 22 innings since the Oakland Athletics have scored a run. You read that correctly, 22 innings. In the past four games, the A’s have had bases loaded five times and have failed to bring a single runner across the plate and are, if my numbers are correct, 0-739 with runners in scoring position. The struggle is real.

It looked to be a solid outing for both teams until the fourth inning when an error by Eric Sogard put Howie Kendrick on first and moved Albert Pujols to second with one out on the board. Pujols scored on an Aybar single and Kendrick scored on a wild pitch that should have been out except that Norris threw the ball half way to second base instead of to Samardzija who was covering home with plenty of time and room.

That was all of the action of the game. Samardzija owned the Angels for most of the game but not as much as the eight Angels pitchers owned the A’s tonight giving up only three hits and striking out 10. Two of those hits were infield hits by Josh Donaldson and the third, which came in the ninth, was a single by Sam Fuld.

Fuld stole second but was stranded by Donaldson then stole third and was left on base as Brandon Moss had a three pitch, three swing strike out. It may be time to start worrying about Moss. It’s one thing to not be swinging well but he is having truly awful at bats. In the fourth inning, Moss quickly fell behind in the count at 0-2. He battled back to a full count and eventually saw nine pitches but ultimately struck out swinging. In that at-bat, seven of the nine pitchers were sliders and eight of the nine were under 79 miles per hour. Moss needs to get on base on at bats like this. He either needs to draw the walk or get a hit but a swinging strike three feet in front of the ball is really killing this offense. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moss swing at a pick-off attempt to second.

With the exception of Samardzija’s outing, there is very little positive spin I can put on this recap. The A’s have hit an all time low for the year and seem to be crumbling under the pressure of the pennant race. Of course, with Lowrie, Crisp, Punto, Freiman, and Jaso away from the team, the argument can be made that the team isn’t playing with their “A Team” but for a team that platoons as much as the Oakland Athletics, that’s not really an excuse I’m prepared to accept.

Am I worried about the team? Honestly, I’m not. The A’s are still the second best team in baseball and still in the playoffs. That being said, my faith in the team is wearing thin and I don’t know how many more ugly losses like this one I can take before I start to panic. Of course, the A’s have a history of being behind in September (last year on this day they were 4 back and won the division by 5.5) but they can’t afford to continue this free fall.

Tomorrow is another game and if Kazmir goes out and does his Kazmir thing and the A’s bats wake up and give him, I don’t know, two runs to play with, we could be right back in the race.

In the meantime, check out this week’s Twitter Roundup for some lighthearted A’s talk to distract you from the pain.

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