Last night, we went to see the A’s host the Chisox at the Coliseum. Loaiza started for the A’s and continued his second half resurgence, allowing 2 runs only four baserunners in 7 innings. The offense had plenty of opportunities and did enough damage to give Oakland the 4-2 victory. The win lowered the A’s magic number to 11, with 16 games to play. The two points I’d like to make are two examples of incompetence due to lack of focus of what was happening on the field.
In the fourth inning, Chavez led off with a walk, and Payton followed with a double to right center, giving the A’s runners at second and third with no outs. Swisher came to the plate, and hit a shallow fly ball to right field. RF Dye, who has an outstanding throwing arm, settled under it and made the catch flat-footed. To his surprise, Chavez dashed for the plate and scored ahead of a delayed throw from the outfield. On the play, Payton moved up to third, scoring when Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to center. Replays of Dye showed him in absolute disbelief that Chavez, who’s been hampered by leg problems this season, would attempt to score on a shallow fly ball to a strong-armed outfielder. If he would have set up to catch the ball and get it back to the infield, he could have prevented a run (for a play at least). The result of the inning was a 2-1 A’s lead, which they would not relinquish.
There were a group of French-Canadians down the row from us. I suspected early on that they weren’t entirely familiar with the game. My hypothesis was confirmed when I saw one of them taking a picture of the guy selling churros in the stands. Bizarre.