A’s Split Two

"At least I didn't pop-up for once." (Photo: John Froschauer - AP)

Hey folks, sorry for not updating the blog after the last two games against Seattle, I decided to take it easy (drink a lot of beer) this weekend after running around like a maniac for school and A’s games the past week and a half. The A’s split the first two games against the Mariners over the weekend by trading 4-0 shutouts, reminding us just how inconsistent and inept these offenses are going to be this season, but also showing that both teams at least have some decent pitching to rely on.

On Friday night the A’s sent Bartolo Colon out to the mound to counter Felix Hernandez of the Mariners. Colon was much more effective than his last outing against Seattle, going seven innings, giving up three hits and registerting five strikeouts. He relied more on his off-speed pitches this time around and had control of the game throughout.

Seattle’s lone threat against Colon came in the fourth after Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single and was advanced to third with two outs, only to be left stranded after Michael Saunders struck out looking.

The offense managed seven hits and two runs against Felix over his seven innings of work. While some might say that’s not an impressive output, we have to remember that the A’s make a habit or scoring two or less against pitchers that are mediocre at best, much less one of the best in the game like Felix. Whenever the A’s have to face him I always pray for two runs and hope that the pitching throws a superb game, which isn’t exactly a tall order when facing the Mariners. As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened Friday night.

It could’ve been much worse for the Mariners, as the A’s missed a prime opportunity to really blow the game open in the fourth. After getting on the board in the third with a Cliff Pennington RBI double and a Coco Crisp an RBI single, the A’s loaded the bases with one out. Unfortunately, Felix struck out Pennington and got Jemile Weeks to fly out to end the threat.

Oakland added a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki, and Jemile Weeks hit a solo blast with two outs in the top of the ninth to close out the scoring. Grant Balfour pitched a perfect ninth to finish the game.

Yesterday evening, Tommy Milone was on the mound for the A’s, opposed by Seattle starter Hector Noesi, who, along with Jesus Montero was acquired in the offseason trade with the Yankees that sent Michael Pineda to the Bronx.

When that trade happened, most people in baseball declared the Yankees to be the favorite to win the World Series, and the Mariners were questioned for trading Pineda, who just had a sensational rookie season, posting a 3.74 ERA, 3.15 K/BB ratio, and 1.09 WHIP in 28 starts while earning an All-Star nod.

But with Pineda on the disabled list and unable to throw off a mound, the Mariners are looking like genuises, especially after Montero and Noesi led Seattle to their 4-0 revenge shutout last night.

Montero had a solo homer and two-run double, while Noesi baffled A’s hitters all night long, going eight innings while giving up just five hits and a walk. He proved adept at jamming batters inside with fastballs, inducing a mind-boggling nine pop-outs.

Milone had a decent outing, going six innings and giving up four runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out five.

I would talk a bit more about last night’s game, but thinking about the complete ineptness of the A’s hitters just pisses me off. I give all the credit to Noesi for his performance, but the A’s weren’t helping themselves at all but continuing to swing at the same inside fastball that kept giving them the same pop-ups an fly outs. You know that tired ass cliche about insanity and doing the same thing over and over that people like to recite to try and sound intelligent and meaningful? Apply that to last night’s lineup.

As I’m writing this entry, the A’s have just tied it up against the Mariners thanks to a three-run blast by Eric Sogard to right field, making it 3-3 in the fifth! Hopefully this isn’t the only offensive outburst the A’s have today. I’m going to try to update again later once the game is over.

UPDATE: Of course, as soon as I’m about to hit the ‘Publish’ button, the Mariners come back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. Way to go, guys.

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