There is no sugarcoating the fact that the A’s have been struggling and it cannot come at a worse time. They have now dropped five straight and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. But Thursday night’s series opener against the hottest team in baseball in the New York Yankees showed real promising fight in the team. They stormed back into the game to tie it despite being down 6-0 in the third inning.
For many fans it almost feels like a not again scenario, as 3-of-the-last-4 games resulted in the team losing a lead in the eighth inning or later. But this one was a different story. The other losses saw the team’s offensive struggles come to light. Even with the team’s solid pitching core, no low-scoring lead should feel safe. It showed as the A’s failed to score more than five runs in the four other losses. But on Thursday night, the offense showed up.
The A’s took advantage of a bases loaded with one out opportunity in the bottom of the fourth. Matt Chapman showed great plate discipline to walk in the first run of the rally. Elvis Andrus came through with two outs and two strikes lining a two-run RBI single up the middle. This inning brought the team back in the game and put them down 6-5. In the recent games they squandered offensive opportunity-after-opportunity with runners in scoring position. But on Thursday they finally broke through. The team will need more of this if they want any shot at getting back on the winning track.
Speaking of Chapman, the third baseman had himself a game going 2-for-2 with two walks and a home run on the night. Chapman, who has lacked consistency at the plate this season has looked better as of late, and tonight could have very well been a turnaround.
The Yankees starters will not to get any easier in the weekend series. However, their ability to get to starter Jameson Taillon who has been a factor in the Yankees success as of late should be a confidence booster in the team.
The next step will be to translate this promising play into some winning.
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