NEW YORK – Starting pitcher Jharel Cotton talked about being too amped up in making his return from the minor leagues Saturday in Yankee Stadium.
The A’s have no idea if being too amped up was Will Little’s issue. Whatever was going on with the home plate umpire, the A’s didn’t like it. Oakland batters struck out a season-high 14 times in a 3-2 loss to the Yankees and had second baseman Jed Lowrie and manager Bob Melvin ejected for voicing displeasure over Little’s interpretation of the strike zone.
“All I’ll say is that I got the bat taken out of my hands three times,” Lowrie said. He struck out in the first inning, looking. He struck out in the sixth inning, looking. And he struck out in the eighth inning, looking.
It’s something of an issue for the A’s, because Lowrie had been their hottest hitter with a seven-game hitting streak that included 16 hits, five of them doubles. Not the guy you want to have the bat taken away from.
After the last at-bat his level of dispute rose to such heights that it took Little only seconds to throw him out of the game, the first ejection of Lowrie’s 10-year career. When Trevor Plouffe struck out, looking again, later in the inning with men at second and third and the game on the line, it seemed that Plouffe was ejected. Instead it was a furious Melvin.
“There’s a lot of frustration; big situations,” Melvin said, parsing his words sparingly.
Of the A’s 14 strikeouts, six were called third strikes from Little. The way the A’s saw it, he was taking base…
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