By John Hickey
Thursday, June 20th, 2013 at 4:14 pm in 2013 regular season.
A year ago, Thursday’s loss in Rangers Ballpark would never have happened.
The A’s had right-hander Ryan Cook and left-hander Sean Doolittle throw a combined 16.2 innings against the Rangers in 2012, and the two setup men didn’t allow a run. They could barely get a hit, going a combined 9-for-57 (.158)
Oakland is only halfway through the 2013 season, and already the Rangers have scored three runs off the two, including one each Thursday. Texas hitters are 10-for-33 (.303) off Cook and Doolittle this time around.
The numbers are of relatively little import to the two men. More significant is that fact that each man had a chance to put together a shutdown inning on the Rangers after the A’s had taken a one-run lead, and both failed to do so.
Cook threw a wild pitch with a man on third base in the sixth inning. Doolittle gave up a two-run bases-loaded single to Ian Kinsler in the seventh.
“It was frustrating, yes, a tough game to lose,’’ Doolittle said. “At the same time, it’s just one game. We’re not going to make too much out of hit.’’
Doolittle said that while failing to secure the shutdown innings was a problem, sometimes bad things just happen. He was referring to a broken-bat grounder hit by Leonys Martin. Brandon Moss caught the ball, but Doolittle, whose motion takes him to the third base side of the mound couldn’t beat Martin to the base.
Kinsler singled as the next batter.
“I blew him up, broke his bat,’’ Doolittle said. “It was a little chopper to first base. But with his speed, he beat it out. That’s baseball.’’