It was fireworks night, the Coliseum was sold out, and Derek Jeter and the Yankees were in town. It was a picture-perfect scenario for the A’s.
Well, except that they suffered their worst defeat of the season, a 7-0 loss. The only fireworks the fans would see from their home team came after the game.
The A’s could muster only two hits all night, and were no-hit by David Phelps through four innings. Meanwhile, Sonny Gray struggled early and allowed the Yankees to stake out a 3-0 lead after two. Gray actually recovered pretty well after the second inning, retiring 13 batters in a row at one point and not allowing another run.
But it didn’t matter on this night. The A’s were silenced offensively, keeping the sellout crowd at bay. Oakland only had three opportunities with runners in scoring position, and obviously did not convert. They have quite a few struggling hitters at the moment – Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss’ batting averages have both plummeted, John Jaso is down to .268, Derek Norris has dropped below .300, and Jed Lowrie hasn’t gotten it going all season.
The nail in the coffin came in the eighth, when seldom-used long reliever Jeff Francis allowed four more runs to score on three consecutive hits.
Getting shut out and blown out by seven runs to a sub-par Yankees team, with half the stadium filled with fans wearing pinstripes?
Yikes … just give me some damn fireworks.
— Derek Jeter, in his final regular season appearance in the Coliseum, received a standing ovation from both A’s and Yankees fans before his first at-bat. There were some boos mixed in from those who are still bitter about “The Flip” in 2001.
— If only Jeremy Giambi decided to slide … ok, I’ll let it go.
— Jeter went 2-for-4 on the night and scored a run. When Brendan Ryan pinch-hit for him in the ninth, the crowd actually booed Ryan because they wanted to see another Jeter at-bat, which is what happens when your team falls behind 7-0.
— Sonny Gray allowed seven hits in his outing and looked extremely hittable through two innings. Fernando Abad even started throwing in the bullpen during the second, which probably got Gray’s attention. Not only did he recuperate, but Gray also wound up with a quality start.