By Charlie O. Mallonee
OAKLAND — Saturday was supposed to be all about Matt Chapman. The Gold Glove-winning third baseman was honored by having his image immortalized as a bobblehead and given away to eager fans who love to collect limited edition pieces. 33 members of Chapman’s family traveled from Southern California to attend the game. However, instead of a day of celebration, the game became just a very ugly 10-1 lost to the surging Toronto Blue Jays.
The player who really had the opportunity to celebrate on Saturday grew up about 90 miles away from the Oakland Coliseum and had a large contingent of family and friends in the stands. Rowdy Tellez plays first base for the Blue Jays. Tellez came into the game struggling with just a .191 batting average. When the game ended, the big man from Elk Grove had picked up his fourth home run of the season to go with a double, two runs scored and three RBI.
Tellez had a partner in crime that helped defeat the A’s in Brandon Drury. Drury also started the day hitting below the “Mendoza Line” at .147. Drury went 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI and two runs scored.
The A’s used six pitchers in the contest. The final player to take the mound for Oakland was first baseman Kendrys Morales. Yes, the A’s were waving the white flag at the point in the top of the ninth inning.
Oakland did manage to manufacture one run in the bottom of the ninth to prevent the game from being a shutout.
Bob Melvin’s Postgame Comments
- The A’s have fallen under .500 with this loss. Their record now stands at 11-12.
- Oakland has lost four of their last five games. They are 1-3 on this eight-game homestand.
- This will be the first home series loss for the A’s since being swept by the Astros in June of 2018.
- Mike Fiers was charged with the loss and falls to 2-2 for the season. He worked just 3.1 innings allowing six runs (all earned) off nine hits (2 HR). Fiers struck out four batters and walked none.
- The A;s used a total of six pitchers who gave up 10 runs (all earned) on 15 hits to the Jays. A’s pitchers struck out 12 batters and walked just three. They did allow three home runs.
- The A’s scattered six hits in the contest. Matt Chapman and Steven Piscotty both collected two hits off Toronto pitching.
- The only extra base hit for the A’s came in the ninth inning. Robbie Grossman hit a double and eventually came home to score the only run for the green and gold.
- The A’s left six men on base and were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
- Fernando Rodney pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning for Oakland. It was his 906th career pitching appearance tying him with Cy Young for 24th on the all-time list. That is pretty “heady” company.
- The Blue Jays have now won five of their six games on this seven-game road trip.
- They will win both series on the road.
- The Jays’ record has improved to 10-12 for 2019.
- Sam Gaviglio (2-0) gets credit for the win.
- Matt Shoemaker made the start for Toronto and was pitching a fine game when he had to exit due to injury. The pitcher became involved in a rundown play of Matt Chapman between first and second in the bottom of the third inning. Shoemaker put the tag on Chapman and then fell to the ground. He left the field under his own power, but the club reported later that he was being evaluated for a left knee injury.
- The Jays left nine men on base and went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
- Toronto hit three doubles and three home runs off A’s pitching.
- It was a day for the Blue Jays where they could do no wrong.
There was something in the air
There were two separate incidents of fans jumping out of the stands and on to the field of play on Saturday. One occurred in the sixth inning and was ended fairly quickly.
The second incident happened in the ninth inning and the man spent a considerable amount of time running around on the infield. The trespasser thought he was about to elude security again when second base umpire and crew chief Bill Nelson grabbed him by the waist. Nelson threw the unruly fan to the ground and security took care of the rest. The big crowd of 31,140 gave Nelson a roar of approval.
The easy answer is to say it was 4/20 day, but that is too easy. The most import thing is that no player, umpire or employee was injured.
The three-game series with Toronto wraps up on Easter Sunday. The Blue Jays will send RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.86 ERA) to the mound while the A’s will counter with the undefeated LHP Brett Anderson (3-0, 2.63 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM.