A’s fall to Colorado behind slumping offense; pitching mistakes
Oakland, California- The Oakland A’s fell to the Colorado Rockies 8-3 on Monday and lost a crucial game in the standings as their elusive rivals, the Houston Astros also managed to lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The A’s failed to cash in with runners in scoring position, and the usually consistent bullpen struggled against an aggressive Rockies offense.
Daniel Mengden, the starting pitcher for the Athletics, had a relatively decent start for Oakland, and the runs he gave up weren’t a result of a poor night, rather just a couple of opportunities that the opposition took advantage of. Nolan Arenado knocked in a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run home run was given up to Sam Hillard in the 4th inning off a hanging curveball that was obliterated into the stands.
The starting pitcher for the Rockies, Antonio Senzatela, had a shaky game overall on the mound, but seemed to induce ground balls and flyouts at just the right times. In the bottom of the 5th, Sentzatela found himself in a bases-loaded jam, but limited the damage done to one run off a sacrifice fly and was able to quell the threat by striking out Khris Davis (who has started off the season struggling mightily) to end the inning.
The A’s went into the 5th inning only down 3-1, but the wheels fell off from there. Jordan Weems, a catcher turned pitcher who has a blazing fastball that sits in the mid to upper 90s, made his Major League Debut on the mound for the A’s. He started out very impressively, by striking out Trevor Story, an impressive feat for the youngster. However, it quickly became apparent that Weems loved his fastball and heavily relied on the pitch, which the Rockies quickly noticed. The excessive use of the fastball coupled with the fact that many of the fastballs were left over the middle parts of the plate quickly spelled disaster for Weems, as the Rockies strung together four consecutive hits in the top of the 5th, and were able to extend their lead to 5-1.
After a tumultuous start, Weems found his way and settled in the latter innings. He managed to pitch to scoreless innings afterward to leave the Athletics with a chance to come back. However, Lou Trivino almost certainly eliminated any chance of that after he pitched. Giving up three hits and three runs, his performance on the mound seemed to seal the fate of the Athletics.
The Colorado Rockies cruised through the relief innings, giving up only two hits, and getting five strikeouts in four innings of relief work. The team’s relief pitchers had a combined ERA of 0.9.
The Rockies had a field day off Athletics’ pitching and collected 13 hits during the game, four of which were with runners in scoring position. Every single player for Colorado had a hit, and six different players had RBIs. Top to bottom, the Rockies had production in their lineup, a good sign for the team heading forward.
The A’s had a tale of two lineups on Monday night. While the top half of the A’s lineup produced for the team, going 7-18, the bottom half of the lineup really struggled, with the bottom four hitters going a combined 1-16 for the night and left 13 runners on base. It will be a struggle for any team to win if they can’t get production from their entire lineup and last night was no different.
The A’s were once again outhit by their opponent and didn’t cash in on offensive opportunities that they had.
Once again, the A’s were outhit by their opponents, and this time they paid the price. The Rockies went 4-14 with RISP (runners in scoring position), and if the A’s want to win down the stretch, they need to stop getting outhit by their opponents. While it didn’t come back to bite them against the Angels, the Rockies made the A’s pay for their mistakes, as good teams do.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Jordan Weems. The A’s need another reliever to step up during the season, and getting him acclimated to life as a reliever will be good for the A’s down the stretch.
Khris Davis. Davis is the only Athletic that is still hitless this season, and the A’s need Davis to get back into a groove offensively- and fast. In 15 at-bats this season, he has seven strikeouts and no hits. However, slumps happen and Davis should return to form soon. Maybe time is all that’s necessary.
The A’s went 0-8 with Runner in Scoring Position (RISP). It’s hard to win games when teams don’t cash in on opportunities. The only runs they scored were off a sacrifice fly, an error and a groundout.