The Oakland Athletics jumped out to 4–0 lead early in Monday’s big tilt with the division leading Astros. The A’s have been hot as hell, and closed Houston’s lead in the AL West to a game and a half, and this had the look of another stirring Oakland victory to kick off an all-important series in Houston.
But the Astros stormed back in the bottom of the third inning, putting five runs on the board and chasing Oakland starter Brett Anderson, who incidentally hadn’t allowed more than four earned runs in any game since May 7. It was a brutal inning, but it wasn’t the brutal inning. No, the truly brutal inning, the time when the Astros blew the game wide open, was the eighth, and it started with this amazing clown show from Oakland’s defense:
Josh Reddick gives up on this play before he’s even halfway to first, and winds up at second on the bobbled catch by outfielder Nick Martini. He gives up on the play again, at second base, and winds up at third when Martini’s throw squirts away from Matt Olson, with no one around to keep it from rattling off the wall in foul territory. My absolute favorite part of this is Martini’s throw from the outfield—you can almost hear the ragged squeal of air rushing out of a balloon as that thing whizzes off into low orbit. FVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV!
For whatever reason Martini was only credited with one error on the play, for the wild throw and not for the crooked route and bungled catch. The inning spiraled all to hell from there, with Alex Bregman and Tyler White each crushing three-run dingers to stretch Houston’s lead from one run to seven, and the Astros cruised to an 11–4 victory.