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Athletics @ Cardinals 8.27 recap: Reyes good in debut, Cards lose anyway

A good but short Alex Reyes start wasn't enough to keep the A's from taking game 2.

Scott Kane/Getty Images

Oakland Athletics @ St. Louis Cardinals

Zach Neil vs. Alex Reyes
6:15 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium - Saint Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups -

Jake Smolinski - CF Greg Garcia - SS
Marcus Semien - SS Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Yonder Alonso - 1B Brandon Moss - 1B
Khris Davis - LF Stephen Piscotty - RF
Ryon Healy - 3B Yadier Molina - C
Max Muncy - 2B Jhonny Peralta - 3B
Brett Eibner - RF Randal Grichuk - CF
Bruce Maxwell - C Jeremy Hazelbaker - LF
Zach Neal - RHP Alex Reyes - RHP

Some News -

Things that happened -

Top halves -

Alex Reyes debuted as a starter with a 4-pitch walk to Jake Smolinski.  But then he got three quick outs, two fly/pop outs sandwiching a strikeout.  He looked overpowering to opposing batters from the start.

The first two pitches of the second inning were 78 mph curve balls that made Ryon Healy just bail out of the box as the balls drifted back into the strikezone.  So pretty.  On the third pitch, Healy swung through a 98 mph fastball up in the zone that he had no chance of catching up with.  Simply overpowering.  Brett Eibner got lucky enough to hit a slow grounder that he was able to beat out for an infield single, and Bruce Maxwell walked, but their stay on base was short-lived as the opposing pitcher, Zach Neil grounded out back to Reyes.

Smolinski worked a 9-pitch walk to start the third.  After a couple balls to Marcus Semien, Yadi thought it necessary to visit Alex to calm him down.  It took him a fair amount of pitches, but he stranded Smolinski at second.

Alex had a 1-2-3 fourth, including two strikeouts, and featured a couple pretty changeups that just buckled hitters.

Bruce Maxwell lined a single up the middle in the fifth.  Alex got a couple outs, a pop up bunt and a fly out to right field.  But then Reyes walked Semien and that was enough for Matheny.  He went and got him in favor of Zach Duke.  Zach faced pinch hitter Danny Valencia, and put him on base with a HBP.  Khris Davis drew a walk to drive in their first run, ruining Alex' 0 ERA.  Cards up 2-1.

Reyes' final line: 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 89 pitches thrown.

Duke pitched the sixth as well.  He got them in quick 1-2-3 fashion.

Matt Bowman pitched the seventh.  He looked particularly nasty in picking up a couple strikeouts in a quick clean inning.

Bowman again in the eighth after his efficient seventh.  He got into some trouble when Davis singled and then Healy doubled.  So with one out and runners on second and third, Matheny went to Seung-Hwan Oh to bail them out.  Max Muncy hit a hot grounder to Brandon Moss, who made a nice diving play to prevent extra bases, but instead of taking the out at first, he made an ill-informed throw to try to cut the runner at home, but was wayyyyyy too late (not to mention off line).  So they gave up the run AND the out, and it tied the game and put runners at the corners with still only one out.  Eibner made them pay.  He hit a little liner into center.  Randal Grichuk made the play on it, and made a nice throw to the plate, but it was too late to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. Athletics lead 3-2.

Jonathan Broxton in the ninth.  He calmed things down and set the A's down in order.

Bottom halves -

Greg Garcia tested the fates stretching a single into a double, a liner into right.  He just about got thrown out at second, but was safe.  Nice hustle, Greg.  But Jedd Gyorko struck out, and Brandon Moss and Stephen Piscotty grounded out to end the inning.

After two quick outs in the second, Randal Grichuk blasted a super-long homer into left, just right of Big Mac Land.  It was quite the blast.  Cards up 1-0.

Alex Reyes worked a decent at bat (the third AB of his career) leading off the third, but ended up grounding out.  Garcia singled.  Gyorko blooped a single into right.  Stephen Piscotty hit a hot grounder to third.  Healy was unable to handle it, and Garcia scored.  It was scored an error.  Cards up 2-0.

The Cards looked like they'd get something going in the fourth when Jhonny Peralta and Grichuk singled to start things off, but a double play and a strikeout later, they exited the field with nothing to show for their efforts.

Zach Neal had a quick 1-2-3 fifth, inducing three groundouts.

He had an easy 1-2-3 sixth, too.  That was his last inning.  His final line: 6.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 91 pitches thrown.

Daniel Coulombe checked in in the the seventh.  He continued where Neal left off, mowing Cardinals' batters down in order.

Coulombe again.  He did his job and struck out Garcia, and then Bob Melvin brought in Liam Hendriks to face the power of the Cards' order.  He struck out Gyorko and Moss.

Ryan Madson came in to close things out for the A's.  He struck out Piscotty, got Molina to ground out, and got Matt Carpenter to fly out to end the game.  A's win 3-2.

Final Notes -

  • The 89 pitches and four walks were just too much for Mike to handle, I suppose, in the fifth when he decided to pull Alex.
  • All in all, it was a good start for Reyes, if not indicitive of the worries the team had for him from his minor league season.  He issued a few too many walks for comfort, and wasn't super efficient.  It's hard for me to say whether or not he should have gone further.  89 pitches is a fair amount for someone who's been in relief duty for a couple weeks, in my view.  But, goodness gracious, he's nasty.  Early on he mixed his dominant fastball with his dominant curveball, and later on he was mixing in his dominant changeup with success.
  • Fangraphs
  • Game notes AthleticsCardinals

Looking ahead -

Tomorrow, the Cardinals finish their three game set with the Athletics, starting at 1:15 CT.  Andrew Triggs takes the mound for the A's, while Jaime Garcia goes for the Cardinals.