The Jacob Turner experiment didn’t work out earlier this week and we dropped our third game in four total plays in the month of August.
We’ll go back to Los Angeles and Angel Stadium, where the Halos continue to press on without Mike Trout. They defeated Oakland in the first game of three this weekend, despite getting down 3–0 four batters into the game.
Young Felix Pena calmed himself and came an out away from getting through six complete innings. Five relief pitchers combined to get the final ten outs of the game without ever running into serious trouble.
The loss for Oakland meant a missed opportunity to slash another game off of Houston’s lead in the American League West. The Astros lost to Seattle, which enters Saturday one-and-a-half behind the A’s for the final playoff spot in the AL.
But Oakland’s bullpen didn’t have to work particularly hard. LA’s four runs came on a pair of two-run homers. The horses will be ready to back up Edwin Jackson, who will make his ninth start of 2018.
The Angels’ win last night was a bit astonishing, given the way the game started for Oakland and how well its pitchers threw the whole night. Brett Anderson gave up four hits in five innings and the bullpen gave up another three. No one issued a walk.
Kole Calhoun homered off of Anderson in a left-on-left matchup and Justin Upton hit a two-run shot for the third consecutive game. He’s hot and he’s 7-for-16 in his career against Jackson, which is my biggest concern about taking Oakland in this game.
The other is the offense. It has a lot of capable hitters but none, other than perhaps Kris Davis, that are bonafide superstars. It can get quiet from time to time, which is what happened in the last eight innings last night. Tyler Skaggs hasn’t allowed an earned run in two starts against the A’s this season (in nearly fourteen innings) and he has some extra rest after ten days on the Disabled List. That could also be a potential challenge for him.
Jackson, meanwhile, has been fantastic in his eight starts thus far, holding a 2.87 ERA and a WHIP just barely over 1.00. He hasn’t started against these Angels yet and should feel confident to be ultra-aggressive against just about everybody except Upton.
Last night was a funny game. Oakland looked to be in control until it wasn’t. The Angels were fortunate and now the A’s must brush it off and get even on Saturday for a chance to win the series, which they still ought to do. As far as I’m concerned, this is a mismatch and the better side is paying out better than 1-to-1.
Play: Oakland +105