Ernesto Frieri must be so excited that the A’s didn’t get any of those “lucky” breaks they are apparently always getting. Instead, it was the Angels who created their own luck by… well, by letting Josh Donaldson throw the ball all over the yard. Oh, and having your starting pitcher be lights out for seven innings helps, too. How lucky!
Run Expectancy Rundown
Hank Conger led the way in something of a bizarre night. He had two hits, but one of those was a bunt single that also resulted in a throwing error. He also got hit by a pitch. I’m just saying let’s not declare Hank’s slump over just yet. Same goes for Raul Ibanez who did have one solid base hit, but his other hit was a looper that found an open landing spot, which he quickly made up for by a ridiculous caught stealing. Mike Trout should have had a better night but for the outstretched gloves of Coco Crisp and a fan above the right field wall.
Yoenis Cespedes is the one Athletic that the Halos just can’t seem to get out. However, it was Stephen Vogt who did the most damage, which is weird because he is Stephen Vogt. Brandon Moss had a real tough time at the dish and Josh Donaldson had a real tough time throwing the ball to first base (although Alberto Callaspo didn’t exactly help him).
Starting Pitcher Scores
Go ahead and dust off those “Garrett Richards: Emerging Ace” narratives that we put away in the second half of last month because Richards just blew Oakland away in this one. One thing with Richards I will never get tired of is him dialing up a 96 MPH heater on his last pitch of the night. Jesse Chavez had a nice effort and did well to avoid any big innings.
Joe Smith seems like he is fixed but the more surprising development is that Ernesto Frieri, working his fourth day in a row, came out and shoved. I was completely convinced this was going to the appearance in which karmic retribution for the “lucky” comment was going to bite him in the ass, especially given his history of falling apart when overworked. The Oakland bullpen had a small hiccup, but that was more the fault of Josh Donaldson than anyone else.
After some wild looking game flow charts, this one is much tamer. It was just a classic build up, inning-by-inning without any major spike one way or the other.
Richards wasn’t sharp from start to finish. In fact, he was a little off early, but he pulled it together and just cruised over the last three or four innings of his start. More importantly, he set the tone for a Halo squad that needed a little time to warm up themselves.