HOUSTON -- On the same night starter Jesse Hahn endured a nightmarish outing, the A's had one of their long relievers stuck in San Antonio because of a flight delay. That's just how things went for this team Friday, which ended with a 12-2 loss to the Astros.Right-hander J.B. Wendelken, recalled
HOUSTON -- On the same night starter Jesse Hahn endured a nightmarish outing, the A's had one of their long relievers stuck in San Antonio because of a flight delay. That's just how things went for this team Friday, which ended with a 12-2 loss to the Astros.
Right-hander J.B. Wendelken, recalled from Triple-A Nashville, did arrive at Minute Maid Park on Friday night, but only after the game was put to rest. And by then, infielder/outfielder Tyler Ladendorf had been summoned for his first career pitching performance.
"I went over in the seventh inning and asked him if he had pitched," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He said he'd never done it in pro ball but was willing to do it."
Ladendorf retreated to the bullpen for several warmup pitches before taking the mound in the eighth, flashing a fastball -- and only a fastball -- that topped out at 85 mph and produced more outs than Hahn recorded, working around one hit and one walk.
Several of Ladendorf's 16 pitches registered as a changeup, "but no, just fastballs," he said, smiling.
"Fastball, fastball and fastball," said Ladendorf, who last pitched in high school more than 10 years ago. "I widened the grip a little bit for what I guess I'm calling a changeup.
"I'm not one of those guys who messes around with a knuckleball or anything. I was just kind of winging it out there."
Hahn, even with a plan, fared much worse, allowing seven runs while facing 10 batters and recording only two outs in the drubbing.
The right-hander walked two and was tagged for six hits, including Tony Kemp's two-out, two-run triple off the glove of right fielder Chris Coghlan that opened the floodgates.
After the game, Coghlan acknowledged, "That's a ball I should've caught."
"We had been playing him the other way, so I did have a long way to run, but it's still a ball I caught before," Coghlan said. "I felt bad, because that's three outs. Three runs is a lot different than seven."
Run-scoring singles from Jake Marisnick and George Springer marked the end for Hahn, who was continually falling behind hitters and grooving them fastballs over the middle of the plate.
"Just kind of put the team in a hole there," Hahn said. "I put that one on me. That's a terrible job on my part.
"I felt really good coming into the game. Warmup was great. I thought that was going to be a really great night. I just got out there, and everything kind of felt out of whack."
Melvin turned to right-hander Andrew Triggs following Hahn's 38th pitch of the night, getting four innings from him before eating up a few more with several of his key relief arms: Marc Rzepczynski, Fernando Rodriguez and John Axford all pitched in a game that screamed for Wendelken's help on an off night for Hahn.
"He's right at 40 pitches," Melvin said of Hahn, "and I'm not going to let anybody throw 50 pitches [in an inning]. At some point in time you have to show your team too that you're trying.
"There's a serious balance for that, when it's too much for a guy and that you're continuing to try and compete."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.