Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.
The Padres (33-36) scored more runs than the Oakland A’s (29-40), 3-1 yesterday at O.co Coliseum, to prevent a sweep and end their four game losing streak.
Ian Kennedy (4-5, 5.43) allowed just the one Athletics’ run in six innings on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Josh Phegley hit a solo home run with no outs in the sixth inning.
Kendall Graveman (3-4, 4.02) arguably pitched a better overall game than Kennedy, allowing two runs in seven innings on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Graveman’s only mistakes were solo home runs from Matt Kemp with two outs in the fourth inning and Derek Norris‘ leadoff shot in the sixth inning. The Padres third run came in the seventh inning when Justin Upton flied out to the first baseman in foul territory and Melvin Upton Jr. tagged up from third base.
The Friars travel to Phoenix to play three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks (32-33) at Chase Field. James Shields (7-0, 3.59) takes the hill at 6:40pm PDT against Rubby De La Rosa (5-3, 5.27) this evening.
Since I watch a fair number of A’s games, I thought I’d share some observations with you in advance of tonight’s first pitch. Do with these what you will.
The A’s are solid from top to bottom. The weak links are Eric Sogard and Billy Butler. In Sogard’s case, he has never hit much, while Butler is just struggling. Plus he makes Yonder Alonso look like Billy Hamilton and can be thrown out from almost anywhere on the field.
Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick, both left-handed hitters, have been Oakland’s biggest threats for most of the year. Vogt is having a rough June, but when he’s on, he works counts and drives the ball hard. Right now he is expanding his zone and not making contact.
Unlike Vogt, whose platoon splits exist but are fairly mild, Reddick can be beaten by good southpaws. And if the Padres had any, that might help, since he mashes right-handed pitching: .369/.438/.631 in 176 plate appearances through June 14.
Billy Burns has been a catalyst at the top of the order since his May recall. He is a pest who fouls pitches off, makes good contact, and can drive the ball harder than you might expect from a guy listed at 5’9”, 180. He also runs well and is one of the A’s few threats to steal.
The other guy worth mentioning is Brett Lawrie, who hacks at everything and occasionally hits one real far. He’s also a bit intense. Lawrie has been known to scream while rounding the bases after a home run and launch epic F-bombs after striking out. Whatever the case, it’s nothing personal. That’s just what he does, like those crazy people on Broadway.