Yankees (once again) make themselves at home against A’s

And the beat goes on for the A’s against the Yankees. They’ve now lost 28 of their past 35 against New York, and Friday’s 6-3 loss proved once again that if you make defensive mistakes against the Yankees, they’re going to make you pay. Coco Crisp could not make the play on a catchable third-inning liner off the bat of Robinson Cano with two outs. That led to a three-run inning for the Yankees, who sent the A’s to their seventh loss in the past 10 games.

Crisp’s error set a sour tone for the A’s. But defense aside, it’s not as if starting pitcher Tyson Ross was sharp on the mound. He gave up 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, and getting left-handed hitters out is proving an especially tough task. Lefties came in hitting .389 (28 for 72) against him, compared to a .253 mark for right-handers. Ross said his split-change (basically a change-up that he throws with a split grip) is a key against lefties. “I think they just see the ball a little bit better against me,” Ross said. “The split-change is something I need to keep working on to disrupt their timing and get them off all the hard stuff. I’m just going to keep working and try to mess around with that grip a
little bit and take some more velocity off that.”

–Crisp can be moody with reporters to say the least. But he was very cooperative after the game and fielded all questions about the error. That’s a play Crisp makes 99 percent of the time. He’s allowed to make a defensive mistake now and then. If I’m Bob Melvin, I’m more concerned with Crisp’s bat. His 0 for 4 night dropped his average to .167. Yikes … The strength of the A’s offense was supposed to be the 1-2 punch of Jemile Weeks and Crisp atop the batting order. But Weeks is balancing right on the Mendoza line at .200, and Crisp has yet to locate his stroke. He spoke candidly about that.

“It’s definitely a grind mentally more so than physically,” he said. “I’m out here working, we all are. We’re doing a good job of staying on top of ourselves and pushing and grinding. We’re giving 100 percent before and during the game, which makes it that much harder when you’re not actually succeeding.”

Watch how — or if — Crisp comes around at the plate. That could dictate some of the A’s manuevering at the July 31 trade deadline. A scout told me about a month ago that Crisp would be a great trade target for contending teams, but certainly his value is tied to whether he picks it up at the plate. …

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich