They woke up this morning surely feeling better about themselves courtesy of the A's, who can only hope the rest of their season-long road trip takes a turn for the better. The Mets used great starting pitching, lots of timely hitting and their dangerous speed to complete a three-game sweep of the A's with Sunday's 10-2 rout in front of 50,143 fans.
And what did the A's have clicking in their first trip to Shea Stadium to face the Mets? "Nothing really went well this series," shortstop Bobby Crosby said.
That's a concise way to summarize things. The A's were swept in a series of three games or more for the first time since June 30-July 2 of last season. That span of 45 series without being swept was the second-longest streak in Oakland history.
But more alarming than losing three in a row was how quietly the A's went down. They hit .192 in the series, posted runs in just three of the 27 innings played and were outscored 20-3.
This from a team that had been showing signs of coming together offensively.
"It's really the first series where we really got beat," manager Bob Geren said. "There were other series we lost, but we seemed to be in games. This series we didn't."
"It didn't seem like anybody was really hot," Crosby said. "Everything was sporadic. When you can't string two or three hits together, it's pretty tough."
Mets right-hander John Maine (8-4) went seven strong innings and gave up just five hits, struck out six and walked none.
The A's have dropped six of their past eight games as they open a four-game series tonight against the Cleveland Indians.
They'll get a chance to erase their bitter New York memories when they return Friday for a three-game set with the Yankees.
"That's the beauty about this team," catcher Jason Kendall said. "This one's over with. We go get them tomorrow."
Jose Reyes provided an early omen of what was to come Sunday.
The Mets' fleet-footed shortstop led off the bottom of the first with a bloop double off Joe Kennedy that fell just inside the right-field foul line. But as Crosby tried to take right fielder Jack Cust's throw at second, he was screened by second-base umpire Bill Miller and the ball got by him. As left fielder Shannon Stewart tracked the ball down, Reyes raced around third and crossed home plate standing to put the Mets up. Interestingly, both Geren and Kennedy shrugged off the impact of the play, but it whipped the crowd into a frenzy and set the tone for the day.
Reyes would strike again in the fourth, shooting a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield to make it 5-0. The Mets had lost 15 of 20 coming into the series but showed how the power and speed in their lineup can create headaches for opponents.
Kennedy lasted just four innings and gave up eight hits and five earned runs.
The A's pulled to within 5-2 on Cust's opposite-field homer to left in the fifth and Eric Chavez's RBI single in the sixth. But Jose Valentin connected for a three-run homer off Jay Marshall in the seventh to break the game open. The A's finished 10-8 in the interleague portion of their schedule, and Geren is happy to be done with National League ballparks.
He started Cust, normally a designated hitter, in right field primarily to get his bat in the lineup as a way to shake up the offense. Shannon Stewart got the start in left field with Travis Buck sore from recent injuries to his wrist and elbow.
"We definitely have a better lineup when we have a DH in there," Geren said. "But it's nothing different from anyone else in interleague."
Contact Joe Stiglich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
METS 10, A'S 2
The A's were swept in a series of three or more games for the first time since June 30-July 2, 2006, against Arizona. A look at the series:
Runs 20 3
Batting avg. .340 .192
Extra-base hits 12 4
ERA 1.00 6.00
Bullpen ERA 0.00 10.56