All of a sudden, and out of nowhere, Oakland is the epicenter for home runs win 8-3; A’s take three straight from Sox in four game series

May 21, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics


By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND-The first home run, off Mark Canha’s bat, was a blast. The media address would soon label it 453 feet in length.

Khris Davis, the guy most likely to have role in such a gargantuan display, launched his next, over the centerfield wall. A majestic shot that bounced off the support for the centerfield camera deck, Davis’ shot with a runner aboard gave the A’s a sixth-inning lead.

Holy Toledo! The familiar refrain flashed on that new neon display just a few feet behind where Davis’ ball came to rest.

Then two batters later, Chad Pinder tagged the longest home run measured in the big leagues this season, and one of a handful of the biggest home runs in the history of the Oakland Coliseum at 460 feet, then measured by a different system as 485 feet.

Three monster home runs, more than a quarter-mile in length, in one inning? Even with the reaction within the stadium muted due to the heavy presence of Red Sox fans, the display felt like the second coming of the Bash Brothers.

“It seems like they got longer and longer,” manager Bob Melvin said after being relegated to a vantage point in front of a big-screen TV following a second inning ejection. “Canha crushed that ball. K.D., we’ve seen it, and the Pinder one, I don’t even know how to explain that.”

Pinder, the sneaky tall and freakishly strong author of the mega homer, couldn’t add much to Melvin’s explanation, but just like the saying, his soft speaking accompanies his big bat.

“It’s one of those swings where you kind of just black out,” Pinder said. “You see it and you hit it, and you don’t know what happens after.”

Well, compared to the how, the what is easy. A conundrum of clout, built on an impressive platform of power, that being the 25 home runs the A’s hit in their previous 13 games, the outburst of three prodigious blasts in one inning announced the mostly youthful A’s collection of sluggers as the American League’s undeniable, new source of power.

Now, 43 games into the season, the A’s, not the mighty Yankees, lead the senior circuit in home runs with 63.  And it’s not just the toy tank, Davis, or the suddenly powerful Yonder Alonso.  It’s Canha, finally regaining his health, it’s Ryon Healy, it’s the timeless, sneaky power of Jed Lowrie.

And Pinder? Deserving of a category of his own.

“It’s not a surprise,” Melvin said. “Everyone we have in development, from our hitting coaches to the managers that have had him, rave about him. He’s a bat, for sure. It’s finding a position for him. It might be the versatility and playing some outfield that ends up being the right spot for him. But he can hit, and he’s done it everywhere he’s gone.”

Pinder’s homer came without a toe tap, or repositioning of his feet, making it a feat of upper body strength.  The swing was violent, the pitch poorly executed, and the flight of the ball otherworldly. It landed above the lowest level of outfield suites, in the middle third of the seats within Mount Davis.

Reminiscent of home runs hit by Larry Walker in 1999, and the Giants’ Jarrett Parker of the Giants in last year’s Bay Bridge Series, Pinder’s shot made an impression. Capping a five-run fifth, it helped turn a one-run deficit into an A’s 7-3 lead, and made an impression on the struggling Red Sox, who have dropped three straight in Oakland, after winning both games in an abbreviated series in St. Louis.

Sean Manaea outlasted former Athletic Drew Pomeranz to earn the win, with Manaea slogging through five innings, and Pomeranz lasting just four, but needing 97 pitches to get there.  Manaea didn’t walk anybody, but did allow a home run to Hanley Ramirez.

The pitching star for the A’s undoubtedly was Frankie Montas, who followed Manaea with three innings of scoreless relief. Melvin lauded Montas after the game as a guy who’s establishing himself as a reliable, versatile arm out of the bullpen. Montas had his breaking pitches going–along with his signature 100 mph heater–in striking out five of the 11 batters he faced.

The A’s look for the rare, four-game sweep on Sunday with Andrew Triggs on the mound. Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez goes for the Sox, a fill-in for a Boston rotation that is currently without David Price.

, , ,


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: