New dad Anderson takes setback in stride

July 26th, 2019

OAKLAND -- Fresh off the birth of his first child, seemed to be pitching on pure elation through four innings against the Rangers on Thursday night. But the sleepless nights eventually caught up.

After cruising through four scoreless frames with a three-run lead, Anderson was ambushed by Rangers hitters. The left-hander turned in his shortest outing since June 23, knocked out of the game with just two outs in what ended up a five-run fifth as the A’s fell, 11-3.

You can’t really blame Anderson, who entered the night allowing three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his past 11 starts, for not being at his best. With his wife, Morgan, giving birth to their son, Brody, on Monday in Arizona, Anderson’s routine in the days leading up to Thursday’s start consisted of changing diapers and preparing baby formulas in the wee hours of the morning.

“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” Anderson said. “I think under different circumstances, I would be a little more upset. But I can’t be too upset because I just had a kid that’s healthy and a wife that’s healthy after the fact. You’d like to win a ballgame and pitch better, but at the end of the day, things change when you have a kid.

“You’re not the only one you’re relying on, so 31 years of living, breathing and dying baseball kind of goes out the window with a newborn.”

Anderson hadn’t picked up a baseball since playing catch before Sunday’s game against the Twins, so there was a bit of rust, which he said he felt even in the first four innings as he gave up more hard-hit balls than he usually does. He said it was the rust and not the fatigue that did him in during the five-run fifth.

“I wouldn’t say I ran out of gas, I just couldn’t finish them off,” Anderson said. “I left too many strikes in the middle of the plate, and they did a good job of squaring some balls up. Even the ones they didn’t square up good found holes. It was kind of a death by a thousand cuts.”

Even with Anderson's early departure, the A’s still were within striking distance at just a two-run deficit. But things quickly got out of hand in the sixth when Lou Trivino entered the game.

Trivino had been feeling sick, which A’s manager Bob Melvin realized after a mound visit earlier in the inning along with the training staff following a hit batter and a walk to begin the frame. Trivino talked his way into staying in the game, allowing a single and recording a walk before Melvin decided to pull the plug.

“When he went out there, we had an idea he wasn’t feeling great,” Melvin said. “We went out there and he wanted to try to finish, but just didn’t look very good.”

Wei-Chung Wang took over for Trivino with the bases loaded and surrendered a grand slam to Danny Santana that capped off another five-spot for Texas.

The A’s were looking at their return to the Coliseum from a grueling seven-game road trip as a remedy to get back on track. Instead, the rare blowout at the Coliseum snapped a six-game home winning streak.