When the A’s faced Garrett Richards two weeks ago, he didn’t even make it through an inning before the A’s knocked him around for five runs.
This time out, the A’s couldn’t solve Richards. The righty allowed just four hits and one run in seven innings as the A’s were handled by the Angels 4-1 on the road.
It was a frustrating night for the A’s all around, but that can happy in the midst of a long road trip. After playing the day before in Baltimore, the A’s probably arrived in Los Angeles in the wee hours of the morning, gassed from a hard-fought series against the Orioles that saw the benches clear twice.
Josh Donaldson had an especially rough game, going 0-for-4 and committing three errors, two of them in the same inning. He could probably use a day off, seeing that he was embroiled in the Manny Machado controversy during the last series and could use a mental break.
This was, for all intents and purpose, a game where you can’t really take a whole lot from. The A’s did not lose the game on one play or one big inning; the Angels scored single runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth innings. Jesse Chavez pitched well, allowing two earned runs in six innings, but will be tagged with the loss because the A’s could not get anything going offensively, a far cry from their 11-1 beatdown of the Orioles on Sunday.
— Ernesto Frieri, the Angels closer guaranteed that they were going to beat the A’s and made a snarky comment about the A’s luck before the series: “It’s stupid how the game goes their way.”
— An interesting scenario played out in the top of the fifth inning. With a runner on second, Mike Trout appeared to hit one out to right center, but upon review it was ruled fan interference and overturned. Hank Conger, the runner on the second, was allowed to score, but the umpires placed Trout at second instead of third. Arguing that Trout would have gotten to third, Mike Scioscia was ejected, although the umpires couldn’t have done anything about it because the command center in New York determines where the baserunners should be in the event of a review. But this entire process took very long and disrupted the pace of the game, and even after the review, a manager came out and argued.
— While the A’s are rolling atop the American League, they certainly have some concerns to address in their lineup. Jed Lowrie, Alberto Callaspo, and Erik Sogard went a combined 0-for-9 tonight. Those are three players who are in the lineup often – Lowrie is a regular while Callaspo and Sogard platoon – and all of them are scuffling thus far this season. As the trade deadline approaches, perhaps the A’s may look to upgrade their infield.
— Jim Johnson was nearly traded to the Marlins last week, and perhaps it would be better for both him and the A’s fanbase if he were dealt. He allowed a two hits and a run in 1.1 innings of work tonight. The run was unearned, so Johnson actually decreased his ERA from 6.46 to 6.12.