Pratt's Instant Replay: Orioles 9, Athletics 5


Pratt's Instant Replay: Orioles 9, Athletics 5


OAKLAND -- The A's couldn't find a way to sweep the Orioles on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum but they still managed to win the series. Baltimore took the series finale with 8-4 win. It was an uncharacteristically wild day for the A's pitching staff. They used a season-high seven pitchers and combined for nine walks.Starting Pitching ReportRookie starting pitcher Dan Straily had major issues with Baltimore's catcher Matt Weiters. In the second inning Straily allowed a solo homer on a 2-2 slider to Wieters that looked like it caught a little too much of the plate. Wieters got him again on a fastball, cranking another solo homer to right field to leadoff the fourth inning. The third time Wieters stepped to the plate was in the fifth inning and he was greeted with an intentional walk to load the bases.After walking Wieters, Straily issued a two-out free pass to Mark Reynolds scoring the Orioles' fourth run. That ended his day.A's starting pitchers had walked three or fewer batters in each of their last 44 games which is the longest streak since for the A's since at least 1921. The five walks allowed by Straily snapped the streak. He lasted four and two-third innings, allowed four runs, and five hits.In the third inning Straily gave up a game-tying single on a tough ball hit to Josh Donaldson that the third baseman couldn't come up with.Bullpen ReportTravis Blackley entered with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. He was able to stop the bleeding by getting Manny Machado to ground out to end the frame. He remained in the game for the sixth inning but was pulled with two runners on and one out. He allowed a single and a walk.Evan Scribner entered in relief of Blackley. He allowed a sharp single to right field to load the bases and was pulled for Pedro Figueroa. With the bases loaded and one out Figueroa threw one pitch inducing a foul pop out. A's manager Bob Melvin then brought in his fourth pitcher of the inning, Tyson Ross. He struck out Jones swinging to end the inning. Four pitchers combined to hold the Orioles scoreless in a key situation in the sixth inning.Ross remained in the game for the seventh inning and got himself into a jam. He walked the first two batters in the inning and then allowed an RBI double to Manny Machado and a two-run single to Endy Chavez to give the Orioles a 7-2 lead.Jim Miller was the sixth pitcher used. He allowed a single then struck out the side in the seventh inning. He remained in the game and pitched a scoreless eighth inning.Jesse Chavez pitched the ninth inning. He gave up back-to-back doubles to start the inning putting the Orioles up by four runs. He was tagged for another RBI single off the bat of Chris Davis making it a 9-4 game.At the PlateJosh Reddick stepped to the plate in the first inning and smoked a 2-0 slider deep into the right field stands for his 29th homer of the season. The ball almost had the distance to hit the facing of the second deck. It gave the A's a 2-0 lead. He also added a two-out ninth inning RBI single.After Reddick's homer, Yoenis Cespedes reached on a double and Chris Carter followed with a walk. Josh Donaldson grounded into a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning.The A's put two runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings but failed to score.In the eighth inning the A's got back in striking distance. Donaldson reached on a single and Stephen Drew crushed his second homer in as many days to make it a 7-4 game.In the FieldIn the sixth inning Drew made a full extension dive ranging to his right, sat up and tossed the ball to second base for the force out. Drew has really turned some heads in Oakland with his defense.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 20,539. It was Fiesta Day at the Coliseum.Dot RaceThe A's did a festive version of the dot race with Spanish language commentary by Amaury Pi-Gonzalez. White won the race. White has won 1,024 races, gold has won five, and green has only won three.Up NextThe A's will use their final day off the season to travel to Detroit. They will pick up where they left off on Tuesday with A.J. Griffin (6-0, 1.94 ERA) on the mound. He will be opposed by Max Scherzer (16-6, 3.77 ERA).

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

Twitter @KatieUtehs

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

Young Athletics fan Loren Jade Smith is among the thousands of people affected by the Northern California wildfires. Along with his family's home, the fire storm took his most valued possession -- his A's memorabilia collection. 

In his disappointment, Smith wrote a letter to the A's that has since gone viral. 

After the letter was shared throughout the Twitterverse, A's President Dave Kaval said the team would reach out to Jade and his family to replace his memorabilia. 

And since Kaval's announcement, the A's community of fans has responded with offers to send the young fan some memorabilia. The A's have even set up an address where fans can send Smith their gifts. 

Who can we blame for epidemic of teams losing three straight elimination games?


Who can we blame for epidemic of teams losing three straight elimination games?

Fox’ Matt Vasgersian, who does his job well,  declared the New York Yankees’ American League Division Series win over Cleveland to be amazing.

It is not. Not any more.

In fact, the Yankees winning three elimination games in succession is a feat that has happened seven times in the past three years. And we can only conclude from that that they’re not making teams that can avoid the bad beat the way they used to.

The 2017 Indians joined the 2016 Indians, Warriors and Thunder, the 2015 Clippers, Capitals and Texas Rangers, the 2014 Penguins and Sharks, the 2013 Red Wings, the 2012 Reds and Cardinals, the 2011 Penguins, the 2010 Bruins and Capitals as proud laryngectomy victims – teams that needed to win only one of three (or in the Sharks’ case, four) games to advance in the playoffs (or in the Warriors’ case, win).

That’s 15 times this “amazing” thing has happened, which means that by any estimate, teams that needed to win three consecutive games to escape the icy hand of Uncle Death are now pretty much the norm in this decade.

And why, you ask? I blame Twitter. I blame global warming. I blame video games. I blame smartphones. I blame phones. I blame the new president. I blame the old president. I blame Satan. I blame participation trophies and orange slices and juice boxes. I blame the players and I blame the owners and I blame the fans and definitely those smarmy bastards in the media. They’re the worst.

I blame you. Hell, I think I blame Matt Vasgersian.

But whomever is at fault, we have here an epidemic of feet strangling their owners when everything seems their cheeriest. And unless we live in such misery-enriched times that good times are only precursors to far worse ones, there is no sensible explanation. Players’ windpipes are no smaller than they were a decade ago. The Internet is older than seven years. Close-out games are not materially more difficult than they were before 2010.

And yet winning that one extra game is suddenly like finding out your SAT test has been written totally in anagrams. In other words, when things look brightest, that’s when you know you’re totally screwed.

And if you don’t believe me, ask Terry Francona. In a few weeks maybe. Not right away. Not unless you’re keen to see how it feels to have your neck used as a bathmat.