Unlike a lot of people, I’m not going to pile on Josh Reddick for striking out with Yoenis Cespedes at third and one out in the second inning. That was a big missed opportunity, yes, but Max Scherzer strikes guys out. Seriously, that’s what he does. He was second in all of baseball in strikeouts this season, and he’s probably going to win the Cy Young Award. It sure would’ve been nice if Reddick hit the ball and drove in a run, but Scherzer did what Scherzer does.
Instead, that stupid first inning is what doomed the A’s tonight. Bartolo Colon spent an inning throwing wildly and leaving pitches up in the zone that the Tigers wasted no time hitting all over the field, and the A’s were down 3-0 before Coco Crisp even stepped into the batter’s box. But then after that, Bartolo was fine. He pitched through the sixth without giving up anything else, and then Dan Otero and Sean Doolittle kept the Tigers off the board the rest of the game. Cespedes’ two-run moonshot off Scherzer would’ve won the game if not for that lousy first inning.
The bad first inning also took the crowd out of the game right away and it really didn’t recover until Cespedes hit the home run. I don’t think the game was even going for five minutes when the score was already 2-0. That homefield advantage and that rowdy crowd were pretty much a non-factor.
So the A’s are now down 1-0 in the best of five series and have an uphill battle with Justin Verlander going for Detroit tomorrow night. Dropping one at home is bad. Dropping two at home and then heading on the road would be disasterous, so Game 2 is a must win, and it’ll be Sonny Gray on the hill for the A’s. No pressure, kid! Go A’s….