The Game 1 jinx continued for the A's on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Despite jumping out to an early 5-3 lead over the Houston Astros in the opener of the American League Divisional Series, the A’s couldn’t close it out.
Here are three things to know as the A’s fall to 0-1 in the series.
J.B. Wendelken looked unhittable in the sixth inning. He struck out Carlos Correa on five pitches, Yuli Gurriel flew out weakly to center fielder Ramon Laureano and when Josh Reddick rolled over on a grounder to Marcus Semien, it looked like an eight-pitch inning for the A’s reliever.
Instead of going to the seventh with a 5-3 lead, the normally sure-handed Semien had Reddick’s trickler kick off his glove. 11 pitches later, Wendelken left the game with three unearned runs on the board and Jose Altuve standing at second. In all, the A’s would give up four unearned runs in the inning and they never recovered.
In the wild-card round, the A’s struggled to get White Sox leadoff hitter Tim Anderson out. The star shortstop hit .643 against Oakland pitching and posted a 1.429 OPS. If Game 1 against the Astros is any indication, the A’s struggles against the top of the order might be more of an alarming trend.
Every time manager Bob Melvin looked out of his dugout, Houston’s leadoff man George Springer was on base. The Astros center fielder went 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
If the A’s hope to slow down the Astros, they are going to have to do a better job of handling Springer. Then again, they never figured out Anderson and they found a way to win that series 2-1. They should also work on their approach to Carlos Correa, who lit A’s pitchers up for two home runs and drove in four.
Chris Bassitt played Houdini in the first two innings as the Astros hit one dribbler after another for infield hits. He escaped both frames without damage and then Khris Davis gave him some run support.
After a one-out walk to Matt Olson, Davis went opposite field. The former home run champ punished a fan cutout in the right-center bleachers with a 418-foot jack.
KD gets the A’s on the board 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8yB0hf5pKP— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) October 5, 2020
Davis hit two homeruns in 99 at bats during the regular season. He now has two in the last three playoff games for the Athletics. The A’s didn’t win the game, but if Davis is rounding into form, he makes the A’s a very different team.