18/12/2018

Victory at last — A’s Daniel Mengden wins first game at Coliseum

Hace 8 meses

Victory at last — A’s Daniel Mengden wins first game at Coliseum

Starting pitcher Daniel Mengden was sharp in winning his first game at the Coliseum against the White Sox.

Starting pitcher Daniel Mengden was sharp in winning his first game at the Coliseum against the White Sox.

OAKLAND — Daniel Mengden sprinted to the mound in the ninth inning, and it wasn’t so he could beat the traffic out of the parking lot before the Warriors game finished up next door.

Mengden (2-2) was all set to put the finishing touches on a long run of futility with his second career shutout. A leadoff home run by Jose Abreu ended that quest, but Mengden was plenty pleased to win his first-ever game at the Coliseum in an 8-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox Monday night.

Incredibly, Mengden went in to the game with an 0-10 record in 13 starts due to a combination of bad luck, a few too many bad pitches and some occasionally shaky defense.

None of that was in evidence Monday night, as Mengden became the first pitcher other than Sean Manaea to go deeper than the sixth inning, giving up six hits in eight innings with one walk and six strikeouts. He threw 106 pitches, 70 of them strikes.

When Bob Melvin went to get him after Abreu’s home run and brought in Yusmeiro Petit to finish up, the monkey on Mengden’s back was gone.

“I mean, I guess you can consider it a monkey, but my job’s not really to win games, it’s to keep our team in it for as long as possible and have a chance to win,” Mengden said. “Wins and losses happen here or there, but yes, it was nice getting the first win.”

Mengden was in command throughout, attacking hitters with his fastball early in the count the first time through the lineup and then going off-speed to set up hitters later on.

“It was similar to what we saw at the end of last year,” Melvin said. “He had the complete-game shutout in Philadelphia, an eight-inning complete game after that, pitching up, pitching down. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us because we saw it a couple of times last year.”

Mengden had already thrown 100 pitches through eight innings,but Melvin let him take a shot at his second shutout in the ninth.

“I told Luke (catcher Jonathan Lucroy) it’d better happen fast because I had a number in mind that I didn’t want him past this early in the year but he deserved to go out there,” Melvin said.

Mengden was backed by errorless defense highlighted by three excellent plays in center field by Mark Canha.

In the third inning of a scoreless game, Canha came in on a shallow, sinking liner by Abreu and caught the ball on a dive for the third out with a runner on third. It was 2-0 in the sixth when he chased a deep shot to right center off the bat of Matt Davidson and collided with the wall.

Canha, normally a corner outfielder, said tracking balls in center is actually easier but conceded both were do-or-die plays.

“On both of them, I was going to do everything I could to catch them and my instincts took over,” Canha said.

While the Athletics were playing stellar defense, the White Sox were a mess. Having lost an entire series in Minnesota to bad weather, Chicago hadn’t played since Thursday and looked at times as if they’d never played the sport at all.

It was a scoreless game until the fourth inning when first baseman Matt Olson, coming off an 0-for-11 road trip in Seattle that included six strikeouts, unloaded on starter Reynoldo Lopez for a home run to deep right field.

A two-out RBI double by Khris Davis in the fifth put the A’s up 2-0, with a comedy of three errors contributing to a three-run seventh inning. The only hit in the inning was a single by Marcus Semien.

The A’s scored three more times in the bottom of the eighth to make absolutely sure Mengden went out a winner, with Stephen Piscotty contributing a run-scoring single and Jed Lowrie driving in a run with a single to give him a team high 17 RBIs.

“(Mengden) was lights out today. There was some assertion behind everything he was throwing,” Canha said. “He was just going in and challenging them with that heater, hitting both sides of the plate, and when someone is doing that itm akes his breaking balls o much better.”

— The A’s announced attendance of 7,479 (it seemed much smaller) was no surprise given the presence of the Warriors next door, the Sharks being int he Stanley Cup playoffs and the free-for-all 50th anniversary game Tuesday night. It is the fourth time this season in nine games the A’s have had attendance under 10,000. Last year it happened three times in 81 games.

— Piscotty is in a 9-for-22 run and has hit safely in six straight games.

— A’s ptichers have given up at least one home run in 12 straight games and 14 of 17 this season.

 

 

 

 

 

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