Cardinals drop A’s, 6-4, behind Holliday’s RBI
Offense: The A’s got ten hits off Chris Carpenter, scoring four runs in the second inning. But they couldn’t do enough to win the game. Oakland went 3-for-9 with RISP. Four of the team’s ten hits, though, came from Rajai Davis at the top of the order. More consistency was needed throughout the lineup to score in more than one inning. GRADE: B
Defense: Oakland has been solid on defense recently, as they now are sixth in the AL with a .984 team fielding percentage. No errors on Friday night, and the gang turned one double play off the bat of .312-hitter David Freese. GRADE: A
Pitching: Look, Vin Mazzaro isn’t a major-league starter. Sometimes, he can give you five good innings. Most of the time, he can’t. And Friday, he put nine runners on base in five innings, giving up four runs to push his ERA up to 5.22 on the year. He’s a replacement and not a very good one. Don’t the A’s have anyone better than this to start ballgames? As poor as Mazzaro was, however, he “kept his team in the game” and left with the score tied. The loss was pinned on Brad Ziegler, who gave up three hits, a walk and a hit batter in his 1.1 innings – without striking out a batter. Disappointing effort from Ziegler, for sure. GRADE: D
Coaching: Ziegler’s been solid this year, so no fault in Bob Geren’s decision to use him in the sixth inning of a tie game. Giving Cliff Pennington those days off a bit ago has paid off as Pennington is now hitting .225 on the year after flirting with the Mendoza Line. But Geren should find a static lineup to work with, as he keeps moving guys all over the place. Once these NL road games are over, maybe he’ll do that for some continuity and stability. GRADE: A-
Overall Game Grade: B. The A’s held the lead halfway through the game in a hostile environment, but the bullpen faltered for the second game in a row. Tough way to lose games before the All-Star Break.
Overall Season Grade: B. It doesn’t get any easier with Adam Wainwright on the mound today. The A’s are 5-12 this month, and they’re playing their way out of contention.
A’s Record: 33-36. The reality is St. Louis should win these games, as Oakland is not a talented team – at least nowhere near as talented as the Cardinals are in 2010. But with a 1-6 road trip currently sinking the team, someone has to step up. Can Ben Sheets do that tonight?
A’s “Should Be” Record: 34-35. Texas leads the division at 39-28, and Los Angeles is second with a 39-32 record. Both teams have more talent than Oakland, and the A’s had been playing over their Pythagorean projection. Now, they’ve come back down to earth. What’s next?