Oakland, CA – Millions of people experience a bad day at the office but for lefty pitcher Brett Anderson it was day he did not want to remember. Things got off to a rough start rather quickly for the A’s. Elvis Andrus walked and advanced to second base due to a poor decision made by Adam LaRoche.
While many tried to wrapped their brain around why Andrus was not tagged out, the focus returned back to Anderson as he collapsed on the mound. Nothing could save him from the embarrassing performance he displayed as Oakland lost 11-2 to the Rangers.
“A perfect storm of everything bad,” said Anderson. “Stuff was bad, command was bad, just a bad day.” “It was probably the worst stuff I’ve ever had dating back to my days in high school.”
Brett gave up a career-high-tying seven runs (all earned), nine hits, four walks, hit a batter and three home runs (two back-to-back) in five innings. In five starts he had posted a 1.56 ERA with just four walks and no home runs in 34 2/3 innings. Anderson recorded three straight outs to finish the inning, he had 90 pitches, only 53 for strikes.
“It was out of character for starters to have a rough game like that,” manager Bob Geren said. “They’ve been on such a nice streak and Brett himself has been outstanding.” “But today, it was a struggle from the beginning, he never really found a rhythm or a grove.”
The beginning of the game was better than the ending. Andre Beltre doubled giving the Rangers their first run top of the first frame. Kurt Suzuki responded with his second home run of the season bottom of the second and tied the game. The excitement continued when Michael Young hit a two-run homer bringing Texas back in front. Bottom of the fourth, Josh Willingham notched his fourth home run on a 1-0 pitch and the A’s are now down by 1.
This would be the closest Oakland would come for the remainder of the game. Nelson Cruz three-run homer was predicted by manager Ron Washington before the game. Cruz hit his second home run in 19 games. Mike Napoli followed with another home run to increase the lead 7-2. That was the first time the Rangers hit back-to-back home runs this season.
“We just need a big hit,” Washington said. “One big hit, that will take care of everything.”
Not sure what crystal ball Texas is looking through but their “big” hits continued through the ninth inning. Both Ian Kinsler and Yorvit Torrealba hit doubles bringing in runners on base. But the crucial run that may have changed the way this game ended was the play during the first inning. LaRoche fielded the ball as Andrus began running to second but stopped to anticipate his move. He threw to first for the out and was safe at second which allowed him to score on Beltre’s double.
“It was a mental mistake,” Geren said. “The goal is to get in front of the runner to force him out.” “The out at second would’ve been a better decision than going to first.”
Mark Ellis was scratched from the line-up prior to the game with an illness. Otherwise that play would’ve be done differently being that Adam is usually the third baseman. But the costly errors for Oakland were not the the main ingredient to their loss. Colby Lewis on the other hand won his second win of the season striking out six and walking one in eight solid innings.
Notes – 20,000 people began lining up at 6am to receive free Rickey Henderson bobbleheads before the game. It’s amazing how many people in various generations remember the “Man of Steal”! A former MLB player who held the record in stolen bases was moved by the fans continued to support.
“This is the first time in the Majors that a bobblehead has been done for me to my knowledge! Its great to know that fans follow me and have backed me throughout my career. To still show their appreciation is just a blessing. I always feel like I can out there and play because I love the game so much. I stay close and travel with the team keeping a close eye to how there doing each year.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino