It’s really stunning how bad the Oakland Athletics bullpen has been in 2015, to the point we just expect the A’s to blow late leads every time they have one—like tonight. Leading 8-5 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, there was just the sense of inevitable doom hanging over the Oakland bullpen.
Sure enough, Ryan Dull gave up a solo home run in the inning to see the A’s lead reduced to two runs, and when Sean Doolittle served up a homer in the bottom of the ninth to leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun, it’s looked like the Los Angeles Angels would do it to Oakland again.
Nursing just a one-run lead now, Doolittle proceeded to walk Mike Trout, even though #walktrout was not meant for such moments. The 8-7 lead surely would become a 9-8 loss in Anaheim, but it never did: The A’s closer retired the next two batters in order before giving up another hit. But Doolittle got the final batter with two men on, and the one-run victory was Oakland’s this time.
Amusingly enough, however, the A’s bullpen had already blown one save on the evening in the sixth inning, so the fact it took them two save ops to win the game is pretty funny. That’s your 2015 Oakland bullpen: With an AL-worst 4.65 ERA coming into tonight, the A’s relievers gave up five runs in five innings.
(The first thing General Manager Billy Beane needs to address in the winter months ahead is fixing that bullpen, no?)
The win helped Oakland avoid a sweep in the penultimate series of the year, and with a 66-93 record now, the A’s head to Seattle for their final three games starting on Friday. Oakland has won one series this month (September), sporting a brutal 8-19 record.