By John Hickey
Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 9:10 pm in 2013 regular season.
Chris Resop knew he wasn’t going to pitch as well all season as he did in the season’s first two weeks.
The right-handed reliever pitched in seven games, didn’t give up a run and barely allowed a loud foul ball.
When the tables turned on him they were vicious.
After giving up three runs in 1.2 innings Monday in the A’s 7-3 loss to Cleveland, he’s now allowed 14 hits and 10 runs in his last 8.2 innings. He’s pitched in the big leagues a long time, so he knows how things go in cycles, but …
“But it doesn’t make it any easier,’’ he said. “It sucks. I thought I threw the ball very well tonight. I didn’t get the calls, and that’s the way it goes.’’
Resop retired the first four batters he faced, then went into what he called an “eight-pitch slump,’’ walking Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher on eight pitches with one out in the seventh. One out later, he intentionally walked Carlos Santana to face Jason Giambi, the former A’s slugger who’s been struggling to stay above the Mendoza line at .207 coming into the game.
Just like that, Resop was right back in form. He got two quick strikes against Giambi, then thought he had him struck out a couple of times. Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez didn’t agree. Eventually Giambi hit a 3-2 pitch for a two-run single that turned a 4-2 A’s deficit into much longer odds at 6-2.
“I didn’t get the calls; that happens,’’ Resop said. “But it’s one pitch. That hurts. I thought I pitched pretty good. And just like that, it’s wrecked
“It’s the unfortunate part of baseball. You have some of your greatest moments on the field. And other times it can absolutely suck. With time I’ve learned how to let stuff go. You can’t take tonight into tomorrow.’’
Resop’s catcher, Derek Norris, said the difference in the game was that the while both sides felt that Hernandez slapped them around with his inconsistent strike zone, the Indians didn’t get hurt by it.
“Both sides had calls they didn’t like,’’ catcher Derek Norris said. “The difference was that ours went against us at significant times. Theirs went against them in non-threatening situations.’’
–Josh Reddick said getting called out on strikes by Hernandez in the fifth inning was as frustrating a moment as he’s had all season.
And this is a season that sees Reddick with a .152 batting average with more than five weeks elapsed, so there has been no shortage of frustrating moments.
“This is probably it,’’ Reddick agreed.
He’d doubled in his last at-bat Sunday and singled in his first at-bat Monday, and even in his second trip to the plate, he felt good about striking out against Ubaldo Jimenez.
“My confidence was up after those two hits,’’ he said. “It was a real good at-bat. I worked it full, I fouled off a good pitch, and when I struck out, he just threw a good pitch.’’
That’s not the way his third at-bat went. Facing lefty Nick Hagedone, Reddick looked at one strike, swung through a second one, then watched as Hagedone missed badly with a pitch down and away.
Only Hernandez called it strike three. Reddick threw his bat a little over his head and said some things Hernandez probably didn’t want to hear. Reddick probably should have been thrown out of the game. That he wasn’t may be an indication that Hernandez may believe he blew the call.
No matter. Reddick went from confident to frustrated again, just like that.
“It’s a tough time for him right now,’’ manager Bob Melvin said.
How Reddick comes back from all this trouble will help determine how the A’s do this season.
At one level, it’s probably beneficial to Reddick that the A’s are down a couple of outfielders. If they weren’t Melvin might be tempted to pinch-hit for him.
On the other hand, a big hit with the bases loaded could have been the at-bat to turn a sour season around.
It just didn’t happen.