Milwaukee came back again and again in this game.
In both the eighth and ninth innings, the Brewers scored runs to tie the game. To keep the game tied, Craig Counsell sent Josh Hader out in the tenth inning. Things didn’t go so well, but more on that to come.
For the first two-thirds of this game, it was about the two starting pitchers. Adrian Houser started this game out of necessity, because there just really was not anyone else. He came through.
In fact, Adrian Houser was fantastic in this one. His fastball had life, and he kept hitters off balance with a very nice curve ball. He used the curve early and often, and with exception of hitting the first hitter of the game with that pitch, the curve was very effective.
Over five innings, Houser gave up just one run that came in the bottom of the third inning, Jurickson Profar worked a walk. What often happens with walks is that they come around to score. In this case, Profar would come around to score on a double by Matt Olson that split the gap between Lorenzo Cain and Ben Gamel. When all was said done for Houser, he pitched the 5 innings giving up just 3 hits and striking out 6.
Chris Bassitt was just a bit better, utilizing a similar pitching repertoire as Houser, with his fastball averaging 95 mph, and a 12 to 6 curve that made multiple Brewers’ hitters look foolish. He went 6 innings giving up 3 hits and striking out 6.
Junior Guerra took over for Houser in the bottom of the sixth. He was able to wiggle out of some trouble aided by a fine defensive play by Cain.
Matt Albers got into a little trouble in the seventh as he opened the inning by giving up a double to Chad Pinder, but struck out Marcus Siemen and Matt Chapman to get out of it.
The Brewers finally got things going in the top of the eighth inning. Orlando Arcia led off the inning with a single up the middle off Yusmeiro Petit. With two outs, Ryan Buchter was brought in to face Christian Yelich who singled into right field. Arcia aggressively took the extra base with two outs (a no-no if you get thrown out to make the last out) to make it first and third with Yasmani Grandal coming up.
Bob Melvin brought Liam Hendriks in to face Grandal. The Brewers’ catcher punched a single by Marcus Siemen into left, and Arcia scored easily from third. That RBI resulted in the A’s 21st blown save of the season.
Alex Claudio took the ball to open the bottom of the eighth inning. His sole purpose in this one was to get Matt Olsen, and he did. Freddy Peralta replaced him. Unfortunately, he gave our old friend, Khris Davis, a first pitch curveball that he launched for a solo home run. It was his first home run since June 18, and it gave the A’s a 2-1 lead.
Liam Hendriks came back out for the ninth after blowing the save in the eighth. Eric Thames took a high fastball over the right field wall to tie the game once again. With that outcome Hendriks blew a save for the A’s for the 22nd time of the year, and for the second time on this night.
Fastball Freddy would come back out for the bottom of the ninth. With the exception of a lead off walk to Robbie Grossman, Peralta was able to hold the A’s scoreless and send the game to extras.
This extra inning affair failed to live up to the last one. Josh Hader took the bottom of the tenth. He struck out Matt Chapman to open the inning. Matt Olsen followed. Hader threw a 96 mph fastball low and in, but not low and in enough. Olsen launched the pitch over the centerfield wall to end the game.
Brewers lose, 3-2.
They’ll face the A’s again Wednesday night at 9:07 p.m., about 6 hours after the trade deadline passes.