Let me guess you’ve heard this story before: an A’s rookie pitcher starts a pivotal September game and dominates the opponent’s offense as the A’s beat the Angels 4-1.
Today it was AJ Griffin’s turn to show off and that’s exactly what he did. He went eight innings, six strikeouts, scattered six hits and had ZERO walks. He had stellar defense behind him led by Coco Crisp and at the same time made one of the most potent offenses in the American League look foolish.
The game started with the A’s getting a two out double from Josh Reddick, followed by an Erick Aybar error on Cespedes’ ground out which allowed Reddick to score. The Angels would threaten the next few innings, but wound up not executing in key situations with runners in scoring position. After the third inning Grifin would settle down and get into a grove through eight innings.
In the sixth inning Cespedes would come up against Ervin Santana and blast his 18th homer of the year. His second in as many days and a true sign his power is coming back. The A’s offense would have other chances in the seventh but would leave the bases loaded.
In the eighth inning, Josh Donaldson would lead off the inning with a double, then Derrick Norris would promptly double him in. As an added bonus, Coco Crisp would single and score Norris to put this game out of reach for the Angels, 4-0 going into the ninth.
The ninth would start off a little bumpy for A’s as Albert Pujols would homer off of Sean Doolittle. Erick Aybar doubled, prompting Melvin to make the change to Ryan Cook. Ryan Cook would settle down and get the final out of the game as the A’s won 4-1.
Another convincing game for the A’s. What stood out to me the most was the ability of the A’s to execute in key situations whereas the Angels have struggled all series in executing in those same situations. It’s cliché, but the teams that execute in September are the teams that play in October.
The A’s go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon in what might be the pitching match up of the year for the A’s. Brett Andersen pitches against Jared Weaver. Tomorrow’s give-away is dustpans to go along with the brooms fans are bringing.