A’s 5, Angels 4
Let’s just preface this post by saying that the game got off to a really shaky start. Since Shohei Ohtani was scratched due to soreness (he has since been projected to start Sunday), the Angels needed a starter for today’s game, so they called up AAA starter Jhonathan Diaz. The fact that he’s getting activated from Venezuela notwithstanding, the Angels have a million relievers and probably would have been better served going with a bullpen game than calling up a guy who seemingly isn’t ready.
Whatever. It’s the choice they made. Diaz hit the first batter of the game and then proceeded to walk two more hitters, but he got out of the jam without allowing any runs. Flushed with success, he returned in the second inning and walked two more hitters. He couldn’t get out of it this time, and he was lifted for Kyle Tyler before the inning was out. Oakland scored twice.
This could also be known as a Kurt Suzuki game. Suzuki crushed a homer in the bottom half of the inning and singled later in the game. In between those two hits, he sandwiched a great misfortune of events.
The Angels were able to get four runs in that inning, thanks to multiple Oakland errors and a couple of bunts. Unsuccessful bunts are bad, but even I must admit that when bunts are successful, they are a thing of beauty.
Angels pitching loaded the bases for a third time in the third inning, and Oakland cashed in another run.
The Angels defense had a nice play to keep the erstwhile lead in the fifth inning, with a nifty little double play.
Then Suzuki decided to…not catch the ball? Which is curious considering he plays a position called the “catcher.” He did that twice, causing both runs, which happened to be the game-tying and game-winning runs, to score. They were unearned.
The Angels could not muster much the rest of the game, and when Kean Wong got thrown out at third to end the eighth inning, the writing was on the wall that it would not be the Angels’ night.