A’s lose season-finale in Anaheim 5-4, turn their attention to date with the Yankees in the Bronx

By Morris Phillips

The hottest 92-game stretch in the history of Oakland A’s baseball concluded on Sunday, and it did finish anywhere near the manner in which it started.

Taylor Ward’s two-run homer off Chris Hatcher capped the Angels’ ninth inning rally sending Oakland to a 5-4 season-ending loss. The rare bullpen failure left the A’s with a rather ordinary 8-8 record over the final 16 games of the season.

But prior to the average conclusion to the season, the A’s won 55 of 76, leapfrogging everyone in the AL West and the wild card races except the Yankees and the Astros. From mid-June when the A’s were 34-36 and languishing in fourth place, they developed an identity as a hard-hitting club with a penchant for taking over games in the late innings. Once they established the identity, they never lost it, even after the final pitch of the season wasn’t anything near what they would have expected.

Afterwards, both clubhouses rejoiced–for far different reasons–something that never happens when one club walks off on the other.

“Shoot, we’re thrilled with where we are at this point, and now the fun starts,” manager Bob Melvin said in acknowledging that his club is turning it’s attention to Wednesday’s wild card matchup with the Yankees. “It’s not like the season hasn’t been fun, but the postseason is a different level, so everybody is excited about getting out there.”

In the Angels’ clubhouse, the mood was light as well, as their club had a win to celebrate, and a celebrated career to acknowledge. After the game, manager Mike Scoiscia confirmed that he would be stepping down, ending one of the longest managerial stints in the history of the game.

“He’s the only manager I played for, so it’s tough seeing him go,” Angels slugger Mike Trout said of Scioscia. “But like he said, it’s time for a change. It was fun playing for him. The passion he had for the game, to win. He always put the players in a great position to succeed. I can’t thank him enough.”

“To be honest, I had very little to do with today’s game,” an emotional Scioscia said. “I’ll point to Alfredo to JP, and Dino brought it home the last three innings. They did all the work. But it’s fun. You know what’s fun? To see Taylor Ward go through the growing pains and doing something. To see this team down by a couple and three hits later, we’re in here with music blaring. It’s just a great team win.”

Stories circulated at mid-season that Scoiscia’s 19th year at the helm would be his last, but he refused to acknowledge any of it. But with the season on its last day, Scioscia informally stepped aside, allowing his bench coaches–one by one–to manage Sunday’s contest. Despite the fact that the Angels have had no postseason success since 2009, and just concluded a second, consecutive 80-82 campaign, Scioscia goes down as the only manager in the club’s existence to win a World Series (2002), and a guy who made aggressive baserunning and instinctive management of his pitching staff his calling cards. Even the notorious Rally Monkey of Angels Stadium would have to concede to Scoscia’s mark on the organization.

An emotional press conference was Scoiscia’s opportunity to express his gratitude, and even at age 59, leave the door open to managing again in the future.

“I love managing. But in this game you never know if, where or when an opportunity comes. And I’m fine with that. If something comes and I get another chance, great. If not, believe me, I’m going to take the great experience I had here.”

Yankees need 11 innings on Saturday in the Bronx to beat the A’s 7-6

NYY Neil Walker
Neil Walker gets the treatment after hitting the game-winning hit Photo: @Yankees

by Charlie O. Mallonee

It took four hours and 15 minutes, 11-innings, 13 pitchers, 34 baserunners, 17 hits, four home runs and one controversial video replay to bring game two of the three-game series between the Athletics and Yankees to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon.

In the bottom of the 11th inning with two out and runners at first and second, the Yankees Neil Walker stepped into the batter’s box to face A’s relief pitcher Chris Hatcher who entered the game in the 10th inning. Walker hit the first pitch to him from Hatcher into center field. Gary Sanchez took off from second base at the crack of the bat and never had any goal in mind but to score the winning run. Mark Canha’s throw was off-line and Sanchez scored the run for a 7-6 New York walk-off win.

Walker is now 9-for-25 (.360) including nine walks in his last nine games after hitting just .163 in his first 21-games of the season.

Oakland thought the game might be over in nine innings

NYY TAG
Was he safe or was he out? Photo: Yankees Facebook

In the top of the ninth inning, the Yankees brought in the fire-balling Aroldis Chapman to shut down the A’s. It became apparent immediately that Chapman did not have his usual unhittable, strikeout “stuff” on Saturday. After loading the bases on three consecutive walks, Chapman was able to strikeout Mark Canha.

Jonathan Lucroy was inserted as a pinch-hitter for catcher Bruce Maxwell. Lucroy was 1-for-9 versus Chapman with the one hit being a home run. Lucroy hit the first pitch from Chapman into shallow left field. As Brett Gardner caught the ball, the Athletics Matt Olson tagged at third and headed for home. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez moved about three-feet up the baseline, caught an on-target throw from Gardner and made a sweeping tag at Olson who was sliding toward home plate. Home plate umpire James Hoye called Olson safe without hesitation. The Yankees immediately challenged the call on the field.

The replays made available to television made it look like Sanchez did indeed make the tag except for one crucial angle where it looks like the catcher misses the tag. The replay center overturned the call on the field. It became an inning-ending double play.

Personal opinion inserted here: I hate replay in all sports. You have professional officials on the field to calls. Let them do their jobs. Yes, they will make some mistakes. over the course of a 162-game season, all of the mistakes will balance themselves out. Review your history if doubt my opinion.

Oakland Postgame Notes

NYY Khris HR
Khris Davis celebrates after hitting HR No. 11 Photo: @Athletics
  • This was the A’s first extra-inning loss of the season. They were 3-0 in extra-inning games until Saturday.
  • Starting pitcher Andrew Triggs did not record a decision. He worked 4.1-innings allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits. He struck out six Yanks and walked four. Triggs real undoing was allowing three home runs.
  • Reliever Chris Hatcher (3-1) took the loss on Saturday. He pitched 1.2-innings giving up one run off two hits.
  • The A’s other five relievers – Coulombe, Dull, Casilla, Petit and Treinen pitched 4.2-innings of shutout baseball.
  • Khris Davis hit another home run on Saturday – number 11 of the season. This one came in the fourth inning with two runners on base and gave the A’s a 3-2 lead.
  • Mark Canha went 2-for-5 with two RBI in the game. He is batting .400 (6-for-15) with nine RBI and three walks with runners in scoring position.
  • The A’s are now 19-20 for the year.

Yankees Postgame Notes

  • This was the Yankees fourth “walk-off” win of the season and ended a two-game losing streak.
  • The win ended a five-game losing streak to the Athletics.
  • New York starter RHP Domingo Germain took a no-decision whiled working 5.0-innings and allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits (one HR). He walked three and struck out one.
  • Yankees reliever A.J. Cole (3-1) picked up the victory. Cole struggled with the first two hitters he faced but then settled down to keep his team in the game.
  • Three big home runs helped the Bombers on Saturday: Aaron Judge hit a two-run shot, his 11th of the year. Gary Sanchez (10) and Aaron Hicks (3) went long back-to-back in the second inning.
  • Didi Gregorius ended a 30 at-bat hitless streak when he hit a single off Triggs in the fifth inning.

Up next

The Athletics and Yankees will wrap up this three-game series on Sunday in the Bronx with a 10:05 AM PDT first-pitch. Oakland will send LHP Brett Anderson (0-1,8.68) to the mound to face the Yankees RHP Luis Severino (5-1,2.21).

 

A’s beat O’s 2-0 in 12 innings on Khris Davis two-run walk-off home run

Davis winning HR
Khris Davis hits the game-winning walk-off HR in the 12th inning Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland – Both teams deserved to win this game. That line is overused by sports reporters around the world, but on Saturday night at the Coliseum, it was the truth. The Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics put on game-winning performances in their 12-inning affair but in baseball, there are no ties. The A’s won the game 2-0.

The Athletics left the field with their 17th victory of the season after designated hitter Khris Davis hit a Pedro Araujo 3-1 pitch halfway up into the seats in left field with Jed Lowrie on at first with no outs in the bottom of the 12th inning. Unbelievably, the A’s never had a runner in scoring position during the entire contest. It is not often a team is going to escape with a win and never had advanced a runner to second base, but there was nothing usual about this game.

Old Fashion Pitchers Dual

Cahill working
Trevor Cahill recorded 12 strikeouts in a no-decision Saturday Photo: @Athletics

Trevor Cahill started the game for Oakland. Cahill set the tone for the game in the top of the first inning when he struck out the first three Orioles he faced. He struck five of the first six hitters to come bat against him. Cahill looked unbeatable on the mound.

Cahill would go on to work 6.0-innings and record 12 strikeouts while walking just one Baltimore batter. That tied Cahill for the second most strikeouts in six or fewer innings in Oakland history.

Cahill did not give up a run and allowed just four hits. He threw 98 pitches (58 strikes). Manager Bob Melvin indicated the plan was for Cahill to work seven innings but he did not want the righty to exceed 100 pitches.

Gausman
Kevin Gausman threw nine innings of two-hit baseball Photo: @Orioles

The other phenomenal story was Baltimore starting pitcher Kevin Gausman who entered the game with a record of 2-2. Gausman pitched a career-high nine innings and threw 113 pitches (66 strikes). He began the game throwing 89 mph and his last pitch of the contest registered at 98 mph on the radar gun.

Gausman threw nine shutout innings allowing just two hits while striking out six Oakland batters and walking two. It was a pitching performance that would normally have resulted in a victory.

The real irony for both of these starting pitchers who performed so well was they both recorded a no-decision for the game.

Relievers were key in this game

Oakland

  • Yusmeiro Petit came on in relief of Cahill in the top of seventh. Petit really struggled on Friday night but Melvin said had no hesitancy about sending Petit back to the hill. Petit threw 2.0-innings giving up no runs and allowing just one hit. He struck out four and walked three.
  • Santiago Casilla worked innings nine and 10. He pitched two shutout innings allowing just one hit and one hit batter.
  • Danny Coulombe pitched 1.1-innings striking out four Orioles and allowing one hit.
  • Chris Hatcher replaced Coulombe in the top of the 12th with one out. He walked the first man he faced – Trey Mancini. Craig Gentry was brought in as a pinch-runner for Mancini. With Adam Jones at bat, Gentry attempted to steal second base but was thrown out on a strong throw from catcher Bruce Maxwell to second baseman Jed Lowrie. It was the second caught stealing executed by Maxwell in the game. Hatcher induced Jones to ground out third to first for the final out of the game. Hatcher (3-0) picked up the win as he was the pitcher of record when Davis hit the game-winning home run.

Baltimore

  • Mychal Givens worked two great innings of relief of the O’s. He struck out five of the six Oakland hitters he faced and allowed no baserunners. It was simply a perfect relief effort.
  • Pedro Araujo worked the fateful 12th inning giving up the game-winning two-run home run to Davis. He is hung with the loss and is now 1-3 for the season.
Cahill K
Counting them up for Cahill Photo: @Athletics

Vital Stats

Oakland (17-16) 2 runs, 4 hits, no errors

Baltimore (8-25) 0 runs, 7 hits, no errors

Time of the game: 3:32

Attendance: 24612

Up Next

The Orioles will send RHP Alex Cobb (0-3, 9.68) to the hill to faceoff against the Athletics RHP Andrew Triggs (2-1, 5.20). This will be Cobb’s fifth start of the season. His last start versus the Angels was his longest outing of the year when he pitched 6.0-innings. Cobb has allowed 10 hits in three of his starts and allows just over five runs per appearance.

Triggs will make his seventh start of the season for Oakland. He made the start last Tuesday on the road in Seattle. Triggs pitched 4.2-innings in that game giving up four runs (all earned) off six hits. He struck out four hitters and walked three while throwing 89 pitches (49 strikes). The A’s went on to lose that game 6-3.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.