A’s fall again 4-1, this time to Toronto’s Cesar Valdez, a former Athletic

July 25, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

by Jerry Feitelberg

Toronto- Having followed baseball for many years, I have come to expect the unexpected. Toronto’s starter, Cesar Valdez, is 32-years old and had started the season with Oakland. He made a start in April for Oakland, but the journeyman pitcher somehow made his way onto the Blue Jay roster. Toronto used Valdez mainly in relief, but due to injuries to the Jays’ starters, Valdez was pressed into service and did he ever come through big time as he dazzled the A’s and won his first game of the year. The Blue Jays downed the ‘s 4-1 The A’s starter, Sonny Gray, had pitched well in his last five starts and looked dominant at times in his six innings of work.

The game was decided in the second inning, With a man on first, Sonny fielded a ball that went past the mound on the first base side of the diamond. Instead of getting the sure out at first base, Sonny wheeled and made an awkward throw that sailed into center field to put men on at first and third with no out. Troy Tulowitzki drove in the first run of the game when he grounded out to third base. Justin Smoak scored on the play. Ryan Goins, who has killed the A’s in both games played so far, doubled to drive in two more Jays. Joey “Bats” Bautista hit a ball to right field that bounced into the stands for a ground rule double. Goins scored on the play. All four runs were unearned.

The A’s scored their only run in the fourth inning. Khris Davis drove in Matt Joyce for the A’s only tally.  Valdez went six plus innings allowing just one run and five hits. He walked one and struck out four. This was the first victory for Valdez in seven years. Sonny Gray’s line was six innings of work, and he allowed five hits, four runs, all unearned, and walked two and struck out nine. The A’s are now 1-4 on the seven-game road trip.

Sonny had this to say about his wayward throw:”I made a costly mistake. It was such a big hole early in the game and (it was) to deep to dig out of. I just airmailed (the throw” to second.” “I made a quick decision.” and it was one the sank the A’s ship Tuesday night in Toronto.

The trade rumors about Sonny and Yonder Alonso are flying all over MLB. There were six scouts in attendance at the game, and the big news was that the talks between the A’s and the New York Yankees have heated up. The Yankees apparently need Alonso to play first for them and the loss of Michael Pineda for the rest of the season has created an urgent need for a right-handed starting pitcher.

Game three of the four-game series will be played Wednesday night in Toronto. Paul Blackburn will go for Oakland and Toronto will have Marco Estrada will handle the chores for the Blue Jays. Game time will be at 4:05 pm.

Game Notes- The A’s have taken Chris Bassitt off the 60-day DL and added him to the 40-man roster. Bassitt, recovering from Tommy John surgery, has finished his rehab work and has been assigned to Triple-A Nashville. To make room for him, the A’s transferred Bobby Wahl to the 60-day DL.

Commentary- One of our colleagues, Paul Gackle, was stabbed in his home last night in San Jose by a woman. The report by the San Jose Mercury-News stated that Gackle was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The assailant escaped and has not been caught at the time of this report. Everyone at Sports Radio Service wishes Paul a speedy recovery and we all hope to see him at his regular spot in the press box at the Sharks and Barracuda games.

About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger


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