Truefans Athletics recap  

Welcome to the premier edition of Truefan's Athletics recap.  Thank you for coming to check us out.   I have been doing daily recaps for both the A's and the Giants.  I think it might be better to simply have a page for each team that you can bookmark and come back to as often as you like, hopefully everyday.  I am one of those rare fans that genuinely embraces both teams as my own.  Most A's fans don't want anything to do with Giants fans and vice versa.  So it didn't make sense to cover both teams on one page each day.  I realize that would eventually drive away fans on both sides.  For those rare fans like myself that want to cover both teams, Giants fans can go here to see my daily coverage of their team. 

  Truefans Athletics recap has been 
  Suspended.  

I would like to thank all of my friends who were enjoying my recaps.  For now, I am going to have to put the Truefans Athletics recaps on hiatus.  As much as I enjoy writing about my favorite baseball teams, I find there is not enough time to get all the things that need to get done for The Truefan Foundations activities and write an article for every game also.  The only reason I was writing the articles was to get a little traffic and bring attention to the Truefan Foundations activities.  But what I find is that people are reading the recap and checking the box score and then they are gone.  So while I do want to write about my teams, it will be somewhat sporadic and my focus will be placed squarely on meeting our mission objectives and then surpassing them.  When I have something that inspires me to the point that I simply have to write something I will be here to give you my insights.

Such as:  To the right you see a picture of the one and only Coco Crisp passing out the Amoji T-Shirts that were given out at the A's game Saturday at o.Co Coliseum.  He was joined by Sean Doolittle on the other side.  I messed that picture up so I have nothing to show you, but I assure you he was there.  Since neither guy is active right now and they are 2 of the 3 players on the T-Shirt I thought this was an incredibly fantastic surprise.  This took place at the Season Ticket Holder Gate only and if you weren't there before 11:30 you missed them.  Just one more reason why being an A's season ticket holder is one of the best values in all of MLB.

  Truefans Athletics recap for April 21th 

Billy Butler is the only hitter I want to talk about tonight.  The final score will tell you why.  Billy Butler stayed hot for the A's, getting 2 hits for the 5th game in the last 10.  One of his hits was a solo shot accounting for the only runs the A's would put on the board.  I forgot.  There is one other hitter I wanted to mention.  That would be Ike Davis. 

Ike Davis, the man who has been patrolling first base and ripping the ball for the most part, was the A's best PITCHER on the night.  By the time it got to the 8th inning the final score was the only thing in doubt.  So rather than get another inning out of his bullpen, Bob Melvin called on Davis to pitch the 8th.  The bullpen ate up 6 innings last night and had already pitched 2 more tonight.  Each pitcher gave up at least 2 runs.  But not Ike!  He came in and mowed the Angels down 1-2-3!  Okay, maybe mowed them down is a little generous, but he did go 3 up and 3 down. 

Tomorrows match-up is a classic.  Jared Weaver for the Angels vs Sonny Gray for the A's.  Check back tomorrow.

Final Score   Angels - 14  A's - 1

For the MLB.com box score click here.

  Truefans Athletics recap for April 20th 

Stephen Vogt was the key ingredient in the A's comeback tonight in Anaheim.  Kendall Graveman started for the A's and struggled, going just 3 plus innings and giving up 3 runs, 2 of them earned.  Dan Otero came in to relieve Graveman and shut the door on the Angels.  Otero threw 4 innings giving up 1 hit, period.  Scribner and Clippard got the hold and the save, respectively.

Stephen Vogt delivered the big blow in the 3rd, and Marcus Semien had a solo shot in the 4th.  The A's only had 8 hits to get their 6 runs, but 5 of those hits went for extra bases. 

Final Score   Athletics - 6  Angels - 3

For the MLB.com box score click here.


  Truefans Athletics recap for April 19th 

  I usually save this spot for a picture.  But I thought this video that I spotted on YouTube, posted by Jimmy Brough that gives you a little bit of the vibe going that was going on in Kaufman Stadium today.  So I am leaving you with it instead of a picture.                                            Check the video out here. 

The picture to the left is Scott Kazmir, who deserved a better fate for his fine work today.  He ends up with a no decision.

Today was tough for A's fans and Scott Kazmir in particular to handle.  Kazmir was taken out of the game with 1 out in the 8th inning.  Today's game of base ball, with all the attention that is paid to the numbers, dictated that Bob Melvin should probably take Kazmir out of the game.  But the eye test said different to me.  Yes he had walked Paulo Orlando to start the inning, but only because Orlando battled.  Kazmir was throwing hard stuff early followed by changeups with about 15 MPH difference back to the hard stuff, but Orlando fought it all off and on the 9th pitch of the at-bat he drew a walk.  Mike Moustakas hit a grounder that was fielded by Ike Davis for the 1st out but Melvin had decided that 103 pitches was enough.  Eric O'Flaherty came in to face Lorenzo Cain who ripped a double to the gap in Left-Center that Mark Canha just missed.  After that I thought I saw Kazmir in the dugout on TV.  I could swear I read his lips as he said, "Why'd he take me out for another lefty?"  I was thinking the same thing the minute I saw it was O'Flaherty.  Nothing against Eric but why switch a lefty for a lefty with Lorenzo Cain coming up?  Eric Hosmer drew a walk and Cain and Hosmer both came home when Kendrys Morales hit another double to score them.  Wade Davis came in and shut the A's down to close it out.  You don't want to give the Royals bullpen a lead to work with!  They have been kryptonite so far. 

Final Score   Royals - 4  A's - 2

For the MLB.com box score to this game click here.


  Truefans Athletics recap for April 18th 

My internet was down and I couldn't get one written for the victory on Saturday.  I am behind, but will get back here to cover it soon.


  Truefans Athletics recap for April 17th 

The Kansas City Royals new right fielder Paulo Orlando did something that has never been seen in the modern era.  In his first 4 games he already has 4 triples.  His triple in this game produced the eventual game winner.  Sonny Gray had his toughest outing of the year for the A's giving up 4 runs on 11 hits in 6 innings but was not involved in the decision.

Gray looked fine for a bit.  He got out of a jam in the first and walked the leadoff man in the second but went 1, 2, 3 after that.  The third was when the wheels got a little shaky.  The first two royals made outs but they were followed the heart of the order.  Lorenzo Cain started the rally with a single and was followed by four more singles in a row that brought three runs to the plate.  Stephen Vogt hit two homers and Ike Davis hit his first as an Athletic, but the A's could not get the runs that would give them the lead.  They tied it right back in the top of the fourth on back to back homers by first Davis then Vogt.  The Royals scored in the Sixth to make it 4-3.  The A's again came right back in the top of the seventh on the second Vogt long ball to right.  But the Orlando triple that drove in the speedy Jarrod Dyson to take the lead and a sac fly brought Orlando home for the insurance run.  Greg Holland came in and closed it down in the ninth for his 4th save of the young season. 

Final Score   Royals - 6  Athletics - 4

For the MLB.com Box Score to the game, click here.



  Truefans Athletics recap for April 15th  

The streak and the juggernaut offense have left the building.  The Astro's young right handed pitcher Collin McHugh brought an end to both tonight by shutting down the A's tonight.  In 5 2/3 innings he struck out 11.  I can't say he was blowing the A's hitters away so much as he just kept fooling them.  He was in the strike zone early, keeping ahead in the count.  That made the curves and sliders he threw later in the counts pretty devastating.  For the night he threw 102 pitches and 71 were for strikes.  They looked like strikes until the late break that had the Athletics swinging at balls in the dirt and out of the strike zone for strike three all night.


Collin McHugh had the A's hitter basically baffled for 5 2/3 innings tonight getting 11 strikeouts.

The A's tried to over come an early 2-0 deficit, but Mchugh was just sly enough to get through the inning, and the rest of his outing, giving up his only run.  In the top of the second, Billy Butler and Ike Davis led off the inning with consecutive singles.  McHugh got the next two batters on swinging strike three.  Eric Sogard got another single to load the bases and Marcus Semien got the fourth hit of the inning to drive in the lone run for the A's. 

The A's get a rest and travel day tomorrow.  Friday they start a 3 game series against the red hot Kansas City Royals.  Sonny Gray is scheduled to start for the A's and his counterpart for the Royals will be Jeremy Guthrie.  The day off should help Ben Zobrist, who  sat out the game Wednesday with a bruised right heel. He is expected to be in the lineup for Fridays game.

Final Score   Astros - 6  Athletics - 1

For the MLB.com Box Score click here.



  Tuesday April 14th 
  Truefans Athletics recap  

Kendall Graveman got his second start of the young season, and he was not dominant but he was good enough.   With his pitching and some timely support by the hitters the A's took the second game of the set 4-0.  The A's offense dipped to .299 as a team by the end of the night.

Josh Reddick and Sam Fuld both each knocked out 2 hits and Billy Butler stayed hot with an RBI double in the 6th.  The Astros are struggling right now to get the hit when they need it.  They outhit the A's and had four walks but all that meant was they ended up with 11 left on base.  Brad Peacock was called up to make the start since the planned starter had to come in last night for a stint out of the pen.  He was serviceable but the A's are not to be denied lately.  They got one in the first for the only run Graveman would really need. Tomorrow, the Drew Pomeranz will take the hill for the A's and try to help the A's sweep the thre game set.  He will be matched up with Collin McHugh, who is also 1-0 for the Astros.  Come back tomorrow for our coverage.

Final Score   A's - 4  Astros - 0

For the MLB.com Box Score click here.



  Monday April 13th 
  Truefans Athletics recap  

In the Truefan's Athletics recap for April 13th, I have so many good things to talk about, it's hard to pick one thing to call the key to the game.  The offense stayed hot, with 12 hits and 8 runs for the game.  As a team the A's are batting .306 for 2015.  In fact, of the 9 batters in the lineup tonight, 7 of them are over.300 for the season.  The 2 players that aren't are Brett Lawrie who is at .281 and Josh Reddick, who has been back for 2 games now.  I want to talk about Billy Butler in particular.  True, he only had one hit tonight, but that ball might still be flying into the Houston night sky.  The ball he hit in the 5th inning was crushed, literally leaving the park.

All that offense is great but may have been a case of overkill.  I say this because except for a 3 batter stretch to start the 4th inning, Kazmir was almost unhittable.  For his 2 starts in 2015 he has given up 1 run in 13 innings on just 4 hits with 18 strikeouts.  I think all A's fans hope for more of the same.

Considering the offensive production and the great performances by some of the starters, it is hard to figure how the A's are only playing .500 ball.  On the field they look like they are better than those numbers tell us.  We shall see if these things adjust themselves over time and the breaks that went against them versus the Mariners even out over the course of the season.  Confidence should be high given the play though and that bodes well for the rest of this series.  Tomorrow Kendall Graveman will take the hill for the A's in his second start of the year.  He had a great spring and the A's are hoping he can return to that form.  If he does and the A's keep hitting the ball, that's a pretty good combo.  If I was a gambling man, my money would be on the A's tomorrow.

Final Score   A's - 8  Astros - 1

For the MLB.com Box Score for this game click here.



  Sunday April 12th 
  Truefans Athletics recap  

For the second day in a row the Oakland Athletics showed their fans that they have the grit necessary to never say die.  Unfortunately the A's players also had to deal with the fact that for the second day in a row they were given the chance to watch Nelson Cruz deliver a home run.  This one came in the top of the 10th inning and proved to be the game winner. 

The A's had started the day quickly.  Jesse Hahn took the hill and started the day with 5 hitless innings.  But the sixth proved his undoing.  He gave up 4 runs, but only one of them was earned, due to an error in Right Field by former gold-glover Josh Reddick on a ball that was hit by Robinson Cano. 

Eric O'Flaherty tried to stop the bleeding and got out of the 6th, but the 7th was not so kind.  He gave up a 3-run shot to pinch hitter Rickie Weeks that seemed like it was going to be all the Mariners would need.  Fernando Rodney, who had shut the door in yesterday's game, came in for the 9th inning to try to close it out again.  He didn't have what it takes today.  The first 5 batters of the inning for the A's all reached base safely, including Sam Fulds 2 run double to cut the deficit in half, to 7-5.  So when red-hot Billy Butler stepped into the box with no outs and the bases loaded, A's fans throughout the Coliseum were ready to go crazy over the first walk-off of the year.  But when Butler grounded into a double play you could feel much of the energy drain out of the fans.  So when Eric Sogard was tabbed to pinch hit for Cody Ross and drove in Mark Canha to tie the game it felt like the walk-off was going to happen after all. 

But Nelson Cruz stepped up in the top of the 10th and delivered another big blow to send A's fans home with another tough loss to swallow. Brutal stuff!

Tomorrow the A's will be in Houston to play the Astros.  Game time is 5:10 here in the Bay Area. Scott Kazmir will take the mound and try to give a repeat of his first start of the year and change the tides for the A's.  Come back tomorrow to catch the Truefans Athletics recap of the game.

Final Score   Mariners 8 - A's 7 in 10 innings

For the Box Score to this game click here.


  Saturday April 11th 
  Truefans Athletics recap  

Saturday April 11th presented Sonny Gray with start number 2 of 2015.  The A's and their fans are going to be looking forward to each and every time Sonny has a chance to take the hill.  His command of the strike zone was solid and with the exception of one swing of the bat he was in control.

Josh Phegley, the A's new backup catcher came up in the 7th and on the first pitch of the at-bat he stroked a low pitch out to right field to drive in the first run for the A's.  As I mentioned in a recent article, the A's offense has been hot or cold so far this year, with no in between.  Marcus Semien stepped up as the next batter and keep the trend alive with a solid line drive to left to drive in the lead run.  I disagree with the ruling on the next play.  Tyler Ladendorf stepped into the box and dropped down what should have been a successful squeeze.  But the ump called him out and when they reviewed it they still couldn't see that Phegley's foot touched the foot that was touching the plate before he got tagged.  It is debatable whether he actually touched the plate itself, but it seemed pretty clear to me he was on the plate before the glove touched him. 

The A's had taken the lead though and with Sonny coming back out for the eighth everything looked good.  With one out Gray gave up his sixth hit of the day and Bob Melvin decided it was time to call it a day.  Gray threw 96 pitches on the day with 63 of them for strikes.  Review came into play again on the very next play.  Again I saw the play differently than the umpires.  A ground ball back up the middle was stabbed by the new pitcher, Eric O'Flaherty, but his throw to Semien was a little behind him.  I saw the same thing as the umps, namely that there was space between the bag and his foot, but I also saw that same foot slide into the bag as he is completing the throw.  And it appears that it touches the base before the runner arrived.  Since it was originally called an out, the overturn seemed absolutely wrong to me!  So instead of a man on first and two outs. there were two on and one out.

It might have meant nothing but for Nelson Cruz, who stepped up two batters later and with two outs (Should have been three) he pounded a pitch into the left field bleachers for a 3 run shot to give the Mariners a 4-2 lead and giving Sonny Gray a no decision instead of the win he deserved.

The A's showed they had no intention of lying down, coming right back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th to tie it up 4-4.  It stayed that way until the bottom of the 10th.  Ben Zobrist led off the A's half of the tenth with a base hit to right and when Ike Davis smashed an opposite field drive high against the fence in left-center it looked like it would be over.  But a perfect bounce off the fence by Austin Jackson and a nice relay cut down Zobrist at the plate with Ike Davis ended up at third.  The A's got a couple of walks to load the bases but they couldn't drive home the run to win it and the game moved on to the 11th. 

In the 11th the Mariners finally took advantage of all the lucky calls and bounces they had gotten and made them mean something, driving in one run to take a 5-4 lead.  Fernando Rodney, the Mariners closer with a unique approach to how to wear his hat, came in and shut the door 1-2-3 to win the game and even the series 1-1.  The two teams will be back tomorrow to do it again at 1PM and decide the winner of the series.

Final Score    Mariners 5 - A's 4

For the Box Score to this game click here.

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