The Oakland Athletics lost in 10 innnings to the San Francisco Giants and once again Bob Melvin is the focus on tonight’s loss.
His management of his pitchers specifically the bullpen has been extraordinarily bad. For example on Friday night he elected to go with Cam Bedrosian in a one run game. It didn’t go well and he got forced to bring in Deolis Guerra who has the better ERA in the first place.
It’s not only the bullpen though for the A’s. Tonight’s starter Frankie Montas has struggled for much of the season and his last start before this one he gave up five runs in the first inning. He did settle in and ultimately the offense made the game close until Melvin elected to keep him in too long. The result a 5-3 deficit turned to 8-3 in a hurry.
Tonight Montas struggled to throw strikes. He labored through his five innings of work. He nearly left the game unscathed, yet Melvin once again didn’t remove him until it was too late. The result a LaMonte Wade Jr two-run home run. So Oakland went from leading 1-0 to trailing 2-1.
Surprisingly the A’s were able to tie the game up on an RBI single by pinch hitter Mitch Moreland. In the seventh inning Matt Chapman hit a two-run shot of his own to give the A’s a 4-2 lead. Melvin already used Yusmeiro Petit, so he elected to go with Sergio Romo who hasn’t been good this season.
Romo didn’t even last an inning. He got two outs before giving way to Jake Diekman. The Giants did get an RBI single from Wilmer Flores to get within one.
For the eighth inning Diekman went back out. He did get the first out of the inning before giving up a solo home run to Donovan Solano which tied the game up. Melvin got ejected after Sean Murphy showed visible frustration with Ted Barrett who was calling balls and strikes. After a walk to Steve Duggar, Lou Trivino came in and he got the next two hitters out.
In the ninth Trivino made things interesting as he gave up lead off single, record a strikeout to the next hitter, got Flores to fly out, walked Darin Ruf, and then gave up a single to Crawford, Wade tried to score yet got thrown out at home as Tony Kemp got to the ball quickly threw to the cutoff man Matt Chapman who got him in plenty of time.
During the top of the 10th the A’s managed to get a run home on a sacrifice fly by Chapman. For the bottom of the 10th the A’s had several options to use and went with the worst one. Burch Smith.
There was hope for him as he got Solano to fly out to center field for the first out. He then gave up a single to Duggar scoring Crawford to tie the game up at five. The next hitter he faced was Curt Casali who prior to the at-bat was 0-4 with four strikeouts. So what happens?
Casali doubles down the left field line easily scoring Duggar for the 6-5 walkoff win for the Giants.
The A’s likely win this game if Melvin made better decisions. First Montas needed to get removed after 4.2 innings. Instead of Romo in the seventh, Guerra needed to come in. That then gives the 8th to Diekman and the 9th to Trivino.
Yet what this game showed is that the A’s at the trade deadline need to make several moves. One is to add another bat and the other is to bring in several quality relievers as now there are only three trustworthy relievers that Melvin has. Petit, Diekman, and Trivino.
There is hope that J.B. Wendelken will return to he’s pitching in Las Vegas on a rehab assignment. Guerra deserves an opportunity in more high leverage situations as well.