Pitching Stumbles as Oakland Athletics Topped 8-5 by New York Mets

The wheels fell off for Jeff Samardzija in the third inning, as the Oakland Athletics lost 8-5 to the New York Mets on Wednesday afternoon.

The A’s record now stands at 74-52 following the loss in front of 20,312 fans at the O.co Coliseum. Samardzija, who has won just one of his last five starts, endured a rough outing, as the 29-year-old allowed seven earned runs in just 3.2 innings of work.

“A day your team comes out and gives you five runs, you got to turn those into victories,” said Samardzija. “It was a big day game today and I didn’t do my part. It stinks.”

The Mets grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third as Eric Campbell launched a solo shot to left-center field. The home run was the first hit of the game for either team. Curtis Granderson then looped a soft line drive to third base that avoided the shift before a single from Daniel Murphy eluded the shift as well. Samardzija then walked David Murphy to load the bases and uncorked a wild pitch, which allowed Granderson to score.

Lucas Duda provided the Mets with a 5-0 advantage as he deposited an offering from Samrdzija beyond the wall for a three-run home run. With the drive, Samardzija has now allowed eight home runs in nine starts for Oakland after allowing the seven in 17 outings with the Chicago Cubs. After the loss, Samardzija referred to the the shot by Duda as the “dagger.”

The A’s immediately got two runs back half an inning later. Eric Sogard drew a two-out walk and then Coco Crisp smashed a double to right field to bring home the second baseman. John Jaso followed with a two-out double of his own to make it 5-2.

However, in the fourth, Samardzija immediately got into trouble again. The right-hander allowed an RBI-single to Granderson and then a two-run hit to Murphy to end his afternoon.

In the A’s half of the fourth, Murphy provided Oakland with some help. The second baseman booted a grounder off the bat of Andy Parrino, which allowed the A’s to score a pair of two-out runs.

In the fifth, Oakland was once again unable to find a shutdown inning, and this time Jesse Chavez was at fault. The right-hander allowed an RBI single to Wilmer Flores as the Mets claimed an 8-4 edge.

“For any pitcher, when you score some runs you want to go out there and shut them down and get the momentum back in your dugout,” said manager Bob Melvin.  “And we weren’t able to do that today and that had a lot of, probably had an effect on where the game went.”

Chavez ended up working two innings and allowing one run, but it could have been worse if not for Fernando Abad. The left-hander entered in the sixth with two out and the bases loaded and induced a fly ball to right to end the frame. Abad has now stranded all 26 runners that he has inherited in 2014.

“He seems to do really well when you bring him in and there’s some traffic out there,” said Melvin.

“It just seems like he turns it up a notch when there’s guys on base, and not afraid to come in there an just execute pitches and not worry about the base runners.”

In the eighth, the A’s made it 8-5 when Jeurys Familia issued a bases-loaded walk, but a ground out from Josh Donaldson ended the rally.

The A’s are off on Thursday and return to action on Friday as they take on the Los Angeles Angels at the Coliseum. Sonny Gray (12-7, 2.99 ERA) gets the call opposite of Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.46 ERA). As closer Sean Doolittle explained, the team remains an optimistic approach entering the series with their division rivals.

“Even though things haven’t gone out way recently, the energy in here is still upbeat, still positive.”

“We haven’t gone through something like this yet this year, and it’s something that just about every team goes through. So, it can also be one of those things where a team comes out of something like this that much better off and that much stronger after overcoming a little but of adversity.”