The Oakland Athletics are a terrible, no good, rotten baseball team. They are making a run at being the absolute worst baseball team in MLB in 2017 with their sites perhaps set on being one of the worst teams assembled in recent history. It is quite the accomplishment to see them on the field of play. The most brutal aspect of watching them play is not their free swinging, poor contact skills of the hitters that led them to 59 strikeouts in a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians (just a shade under 15 strikeouts per game). The most wretched portion is watching their defense. Perhaps it should be called -efense as there is certainly no “D” being played. The 2015 first half Cleveland Indians defense would be embarrassed for them. In fact, most observers begin to feel pity for both the pitchers and fans of the team despite the efforts of the fielders directly benefiting their rooting interests. Tom Hamilton said it best as manager Bob Melvin continued to go to the mound when he said “The pitchers are saying ‘Can’t we stay in here and change out the defenders?'”
Let’s walk through some of the ummm…. highlights?
OK, sure. Jrahel Cotton threw a bad pitch into the opposite batter’s box. But, Josh Phegley got in front of the ball in time. He just did not position his body to insulate the bounce to keep the pitch in front of him. It was a tough play, but a MLB catcher has to block it.
Cotton sure was not helping himself. Walking home a run is the second most exciting play in baseball!
Looked like the pitching could use some help this inning. So, when Carlos Santana sends a nice high fly ball into left field, maybe catch it? The ball hung up for six seconds, which was enough time for the shortstop or left fielder to make a play on it. Instead, the ball drops, everyone is safe, and the Indians score. Again.
Weirdest ever non-double play turned RBI single for Bradley Zimmer (also Indians almost became the first team to ever have all three outs recorded at home plate in an inning)
Hey, an out! The double play almost happened- but didn’t. Probably would have made sense for Yonder Alonso to confirm with the first base umpire rather than walking off to the dugout. An alert Santana hustling home was finally picked up, but the throw was late and- after a review- both Zimmer and Santana are called safe. Interestingly, despite (or because of) the drama, the A`s almost recorded all three outs of the inning at home plate, which I have not been able to find another instance of such occurring in the history of MLB.
OK, where’d the ball go? Is it in my glove? Nope. Ummm…. oh here it is. Everyone is already on base? Shucks. Another run-scoring play.
Hey, a real hit for a RBI. Thanks Frankie.
A tough play at shortstop, but that isn’t embarrassing enough so the left fielder is going to have to Little League the ball to the fence. That’s more like it.