A's 6, Rangers 3
- I was at the game today. It was one of the more frustrating games I've ever attended.
- Part of what made it so maddening is that after four innings, I was feeling good about the Rangers winning. Texas was up 2-0, Colby Lewis had faced the minimum through 4 innings, with the only mark on his ledger being a Josh Reddick single that was erased by a Brett Lawrie GIDP. Colby was cruising, Texas was dinging Sonny Gray, and it felt like a game we'd get 7 or maybe 8 out of Colby, ask the pen just to get 3 to 6 outs, and salvage a win.
- And then the wheels came off in the fifth. It was just amazing. Colby went from cruising to being unable to find the strike zone. Zobrist led off with a walk. Reddick flew out, but then Lawrie and Davis walked. Colby walked the bases loaded, no one was out...and there was no activity in the bullpen. I was flummoxed. There was something off, he wasn't throwing strikes, and no one was warming. Semien lined out to Elvis, who threw to third to try to get Lawrie, but to no avail.
- And then Sam Fuld came up, and Colby threw three straight balls to him. Still no one up. Down 3-0, Colby threw a couple of strikes with Fuld showing zero inclination to swing, and then Fuld drove a 3-2 pitch to center to tie the game up. Billy Burns flew out to end the inning, but the game was tied up.
- Texas scored in the bottom of the fifth to get the lead back, but the good feelings were gone. And sure enough, in the top of the sixth, bunt single, single to left, infield single loaded the bases. I figured at that point Sam Freeman was coming into the game to face the lefty Reddick, but Colby stayed in, and gave up a sac fly. After Lawrie fanned, Ike Davis smashed a ball back up the middle that ricocheted off of Colby and over to Rougned Odor, or else another run would have scored. But it was a tie game that felt like a three run deficit.
- The 7th inning. Sweet merciful crap (as Ben would say), the seventh inning. Keone Kela came into the game and had things under control, striking out Semien and then getting Fuld to pop out. Two outs, no one on, maybe things will be okay. But of course, it was just a tease, giving us hope before dumping the Port-a-Potty on our heads. Burns singled. Sogard singled. Freeman finally came into the game, and let Stephen Vogt smack a ball back up the middle that hit him, bounced away, and no one could make a play on. Then Freeman walked in the go ahead run on a 3-2 pitch that was so wild, it got past Robinson Chirinos. Then, to make sure we lost all hope, Josh Reddick singled in two more runs, giving Oakland a 6-3 lead.
- I think it was the contrast between how smoothly the first four innings went, and the slow, torturous way the top of the fifth-sixth-seventh went, that made this so frustrating. Colby was cruising, the game was going quickly, everything is great. Then, out of nowhere, the game slows to a crawl. Twelve Oakland hitters got on base in those innings, all via a walk or a single. There were no extra base hits. No home runs. Just station to station, slow, eroding away the joy you were taking in the game. And every batter, it seemed, saw 4 or 5 or 6 pitches, which dragged things on. And there were constantly runners on base, making things slow to a crawl. And after a while, defeat just seemed inevitable...it just took its damn sweet time coming.
- On the plus side, Spencer Patton and Ross Detwiler both had scoreless outings. Given the state of the pen, that probably puts them at the top of the pecking order now.
- I thought the Rangers bullpen would be okay this year. So far, I've been massively, horribly, painfully wrong on that.
- Two of the Ranger runs were driven in by Mitch Moreland, who had 3 of the team's 10 hits. Another was driven in by Robinson Chirinos, who had 2 more of the hits.
- Joey Gallo had a double and two more strikeouts, which is pretty much par for the course for him right now.
- Man, this game. Sigh.
- At least we had this:
That was the highlight of the game.