Don’t get me wrong here, the Oakland A’s are thrilled to have Yoenis Cespedes and his game-changing ability back in the lineup following a two-week stint on the disabled list. Look no further than his four RBI night on Tuesday for an illustration of the impact he has the potential of making on a nightly basis. He just had one of those days on Wednesday, particularly in the latter innings, that probably made him wish he’d taken another one off.
His afternoon was highlighted (or lowlighted) by two major miscues that ended up playing major roles in the A's 5-4 loss to the Angels.
The first came in the eighth inning with Mike Trout at the plate. On a 2-2 pitch, Trout drove one in Cespedes' direction in center field, sending him back to the warning track. It wasn't exactly a routine play, though it certainly would be easier for a player more accustomed to the position like their currently injured regular out there Coco Crisp. Still, Cespedes appeared to be in good shape, but as the ball neared him his feet completely came out from under him and he took an embarrassing spill, allowing it to land safely.
Now all eyes turned to Trout as the possibility of an inside-the-park home run became real. He opted to play it safe, though, settling for an easy triple. One batter later, it paid off for him as Albert Pujols delivered a sacrifice fly to give the Angels a 5-2 lead.
Now, fast forward to the bottom of the ninth inning where Cespedes led off representing the tying run. He's promptly plunked by closer Ernesto Frieri, which only added to his bad afternoon. However, it was what happened on the base paths that truly capped the day off.
With Josh Donaldson at the plate, Cespedes attempts to steal second base and actually takes the bag easily, only he overslides it and is quickly tagged by Howie Kendrick for a critical first out in the inning. And I do mean critical. Donaldson and Josh Reddick would go on to walk to revive the rally, but with two outs Eric Sogard popped out to end what had to be an incredibly frustrating loss.
A different result on either Cespedes play easily could have changed the outcome for Oakland. And given the unusual circumstances involved, the odds of both turning out the way they did would have to be extremely low. Basically, we're talking about one of the unluckiest and embarrassing conclusions to a game that you can imagine for one individual player. But just as the odds would suggest that's the case, I think they would just as strongly suggest that Cespedes is a good bet to bounce back nicely in the next one.