Preview of the Bay Bridge series between the A’s and Giants

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By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s have an off-day on Monday. They finish the eight-game road trip by visiting the San Francisco Giants to play two starting on Tuesday at Oracle Park in San Francisco. Since the game will be played in a National League Park, the A’s will not be able to use a designated hitter.

Tuesday night’s game will feature a battle between two left-handed pitchers. The A’s will send Brett Anderson to the hill to face the Giants. Anderson is 10-7 and has an ERA of 3.99. Anderson earned a win over the Chicago Cubs last week when he went seven innings and allowed just two runs. The Giants will counter with their ace, Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner is 7-7, and his ERA is 3.74. Most people felt that Bumgarner would not be with the Giants at this point in the season, has pitched well lately. He has an ERA of 2.78 over his last nine starts. Bumgarner has started seven games against the A’s and own a record of 4-2.

The A’s and Giants finish the short two-game series on Wednesday. It will be a day game, and Homer Bailey will go for Oakland, and he will be opposed by Tyler Beede. This will be Bailey’s sixth start since coming to Oakland from the Kansas City Royals. His record is 9-8, and his ERA is 5.54. Baily had a bad outing against the Cubs last week. He went 4 2/3 innings and was tagged for seven runs. Beede’s record is 3-6, and his ERA is 5.61. Beede, in his last start, went five innings and allowed five runs. His ERA over his previous four outings is 8.38

The A’s will be seeing a lot of familiar faces in the Giants’ lineup. The Giants’ infield will be Brandon Belt at first base, Brandon Crawford at shortstop, Evan Longoria at third, and newcomer Scooter Gennett at second. Pablo Sandoval is day-to-day with inflammation in his right elbow. Donovan Solano is the backup utility man. The Giants have remade their outfield. They acquired Kevin Pillar from the Toronto Blue Jays. Pillar is an excellent defensive centerfielder. Also, Pillar can steal a base, and he has a lot of pop in his bat. He has hit 15 homers and driven in 62. Austin Slater will probably be in right field, and Mike Yastrzemski will be in left. Mike’s grandfather, Carl Yastrzemski, is in the MLB Hall of Fame.

The catching chores will be handled by Buster Posey and Stephen Vogt. Vogt, who was designated for assignment by the A’s in 2017, would love nothing better than beating his old team. It would be a reminder that they made a huge mistake cutting him loose. Vogt was a huge fan favorite when he was with the A’s.

Bruce Bochy, who is in his final year managing the Giants, has a strong bullpen. The Giants did trade away three relievers at the trade deadline, but they still have standouts such as righties Trevor, Gott, Sam Coonrod, Jandal Gustave, and Reyes Moronta. They will use lefties Williams Jerez, Andrew Suarez, Tony Watson, and Will Smith. Smith has 26 saves and represented the Giants at the All-Star Game.

Both teams have a lot to play for. The A’s are in a dogfight with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card. The A’s trail Tampa by just 1 and 1/2 games. The A’s are also in second place in the AL West with a record of 67-51. The Giants had a beautiful month of baseball in July. Their record was 17-3, and that propelled them into the race for the second Wild Card in the National League. They have been struggling a bit in August, but they are 59-60 and are 3 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

The A’s would like to sweep the Giants. They return home to face the two best teams in the American League. They start a four-game set with the rampaging Houston Astros. The Astros have improved their starting rotation and have tormented the A’s this year. Following the Astros series, the A’s meet the New York Yankees for three starting a week from Tuesday. The Yankees, even though they have had so many injuries, sport a potent lineup. Their starting pitching has been suspect, but they have an outstanding bullpen. The A’s pitchers will have their work cut out for them as they try to shut down the Yankees offense. After the Yankee’s series, the A’s finish the homestand with two more games against the Giants. The next 11 games should be terrific baseball. It is what the players live for.

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