Edward Cabrera was untouchable as the Miami Marlins pitcher threw for a shutout and was relieved after pitching eight innings against the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon Aug 22, 2022 (AP News photo)
Miami (52-69). 3. 7. 0
Oakland (45-77). 0. 3. 0
Monday, August 22, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
OAKLAND–Your Oakland A’s, fresh from taking two out of three games from the Seattle Mariners, a feat that dropped the M’s into a four way virtual tie for the last American League playoff slot, faced a less daunting opponent at the Coliseum tonight.
The Miami Marlins, coming to town with a mark of 52-69, aren’t within hailing distance of an NL wild card berth, but they’re having a better season than the A’s, whose success against the Mariners left them at 45-77.
Still, the records of tonight’s struggling opponents would lead us to expect a tight game between them. What we got didn’t start that way, but it ended up as one, a 3-0 Miami win that went down to the wire.
Sometimes you can’t win for losing. Last night, Austin Pruitt earned his first major league save, shutting the Mariners down in the pressure packed ninth inning of a 5-3 Oakland victory. Today he was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for the newly acquired Joel Payamps, like Pruitt a right handed pitcher.
The visitors sent 24 year old Edward Cabrera, a right hander rated by MLB.com as Miami’s number two prospect at the season’s start. He’d been living up to that evaluation so far, entering the game at 3-1, 1.79
Starting for the home team was another righthander, Adam Oller, who has shuttled between the Las Vegas Aviators and the Athletics and between starting and relieving. He was 2-5, 6.31 when he threw the first pitch of the game at 6:41. He was 7-2, 6.63 for August, his best month in the bigs.
He struggled early, giving up three runs, all earned, in his first three innings on the mound. His pitch count had reached 82 after four, and yet he hung in until seventh, throwing 111 pitches over six innings, holding the Marlins hitless and scoreless in the last three of them.
Oller gave up a total of five hits and another five walks while notching a pair of strikeouts. 62 of his offerings were considered strikes. He took the loss and now owns a record of 2-6, 6.41.
If Oller’s outing was gutsy, Cabrera’s was outstanding. He threw eight scoreless innings of two hit ball in which he allowed three walks while striking out seven. Of his 101 pitches, 63 went for strikes. The rookie was masterful and earned his fourth win against one loss, lowering his ERA to 1.41 in the process.
Miami threatened early with a one out double off the State Farm sign in right center by Jon Berti and walks to Bryan Anderson and JJ Bleday.
Oller wriggled out of that jam thanks to a sparkling double play that featured a behind the back flip from Nick Allen at short to second baseman Jonah Bride, whose throw to Seth Brown easily beat catcher Nick Fortes to first. It took Oller 28 pitches to get through the frame.
Cabrera also had control problems in the first, walking the first two batters he faced. But he escaped with 24 offerings. A long night seemed to be in store for us.
There was no waiting around for Miami to score in their half of the second. Charles Leblanc took a ball and then launched an 88 mph cutter 409 feet into the largely unpopulated left field seats.
Tony Kemp was having a busy night out there in left. He had gone to the warning track to catch Joey Wendle’s deep fly that opened the game and made a fine jumping grab of Lewin Díaz’s blast up against the wall on the at bat that followed Leblanc’s round tripper, the second of his one month old major league career.
Allen made another brilliant play in the fourth, a breathtaking barehanded grab in the shift of a Díaz ground ball up the middle and a laser throw that beat him to first.
One inning later Anderson became the second fish to hit the State Farm sign for a double. This one came with a man out and Berti on first with a walk. Berti scored, making it 2-0. For variety’s sake, Bleday tatooed the left centerfield wall to drive in Anderson with another two bagger. The back to back doubles now had the home team down, three-zip.
The score still was 3-0 when Oller left the game after his six innings of hard labor, replaced by Norge Ruíz. With one down, he gave Berti a free pass and struck Anderson out looking. Then Bleday hit a strange single. It was a liner that landed in medium right field, in front of. Bride, who was playing there in a shift.
The ball took a weird bounce to the right and, before you knew it, instead of three outs, there were runners on first and third. Bleday stole second, and now there were two runners in scoring position with Fortes at the plate. Ruíz rose to the occasion and caught the Miami catcher looking at a fast ball for the third strike.
Ruíz ran into. more trouble in the eighth, some of it of his own making. Leblanc sent Stevenson to the center field warning track to haul down his lead off blast to center. Díaz fisted a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch to Fortes.
Peyton Burdick whacked a high line drive to left on full count slider. It took another spectacular running catch by Kemp on the warning track to convert what would have been an RBI double or worse into the third out.
Portslider Kirby Snead took over to pitch the top of the eighth for Oakland and set the visitors down in order.
Southpaw Tanner Scott, with 17 saves in 22 attempts, threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth for his 18th save.
Let’s hope that tomorrow’s 6:40 game, with Zach Logue (3-7, 6.35) starting for the A’s and Pablo López (7-8, 3.83) will prove as exciting. Reportorial ethics prevent me from suggesting whose victory we should hope for.