Oakland A’s Preview: A’s prepare to pay a visit to Anaheim to face Ohtani and the Angels

Instead of getting the big fly the Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani flies out against the Minnesota Twins on Sep 24, 2022 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Oakland A’s open a three game series at the Big A in Anaheim Tue Sep 27, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s have nine games left to play in 2022. Oakland has won 56 and lost 97. The team is hoping not to lose 100 games, but they would have to win seven of the last nine to avoid that fate. Their record would indicate that they would win three and lose six.

They will play the Los Angeles Angels six times, three at Anaheim and the last three at home. The A’s will travel to Seattle for three with the Mariners. Those games will occur after the A’s finish with the Angels on Thursday.

The Angels had high hopes for the 2022 season. The team played well early in the year. Their season derailed when they had a fourteen-game losing streak. The Angels fired their manager, Joe Maddon, in midseason. Maddon had great success managing the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs.

Maddon was the skipper of the Cubs when Chicago won its first World Series Crown in 2016. The Cubs ended 108 years of futility. The Angels, like many other teams, lost key players to injury. The Angels’ starting rotation did not live up to expectations.

The bullpen was a problem, too. Their three-time MVP Mike Trout spent time on the IL with a back injury. Their other MVP, Shohei Ohtani, continued to wow the baseball world with his exploits. As a pitcher, Ohtani is 14-8 and has an ERA of 2.47.

Ohtani probably is in the race for the AL Cy Young Award. As the Angels’ DH, Ohtani is hitting .271 with 34 home runs, 93 RBIs, 87 runs scored, and an OPS of .887. The AL 2022 MVP will be Ohtani or the New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge. Judge may win baseball’s Triple Crown. He currently leads the league in hitting, home runs, and RBIs.

The Angels have other players that love to beat the A’s. Their second baseman Luis Rengifo had had key hits against the A’s. First baseman Jared Walsh and outfielder Taylor Ward can give the A’s headaches.

The A’s dismal season is coming to an end. The team has used 63 players. The A’s have made so many transactions in the last month. It’s a case of here today and gone tomorrow. The team will look at many new players to see if they fit into the A’s future next year.

The A’s will send James Kaprielian to the hill Tuesday night. Kap is 4-9, and his ERA is 4.43. Kaprielian had his best outing of the year last week when he went seven innings and allowed two hits. Kaprielian had made 34 prior starts without going past the sixth inning. The big righty would love to finish the season pitching well. Lefty Patrick Sandoval will go for the Angels. Sandoval is 6-9 with an era of 3.01.

Adrian Martinez pitches for Oakland on Wednesday. Martinez came to Oakland from the San Diego Padres in the trade for Seam Manaea. The 25-year-old righty from Mexicali, Mexico, is 4-5 with a high ERA of 6.10. The Angels will have Michael Lorenzen on the mound. Lorenzen is 7-6 and has an ERA of 4.78.

Thursday night’s game features lefty Cole Irvin for the A’s going against Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. Irvin has struggled a bit in the second half of the year. The A’s didn’t give Irvin a lot of run support earlier in the season. Irvin is 9-12, and his ERA is now 4.11. Ohtani is an incredible athlete. Ohtani has a fastball that can exceed 100 miles per hour. His hitting prowess was noted earlier in the preview.

Neither team will be going to the playoffs. Both teams will evaluate players who want to be on their roster for the 2023 season. Some of the A’s players to watch are Shea Langoliers, Nick Allen, Jonah Bride, Dermis Garcia, Jordan Diaz, and Conner Capel. Even though the teams won’t be in the playoffs, the fans should watch the games. Ohtani and Trout are not to be missed.

Mariners beat A’s 9-5 to win finale of three-game series; Met’s and Chris Bassitt face A’s Friday night at Coliseum

Chris Bassitt pitcher of the New York Mets faces his old teammates the Oakland A’s Fri Sep 23, 2022 at the Oakland Coliseum for game one of a three game series. Here Bassitt pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sat Sep 17, 2022 at Citi Field in New York. (AP file photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Seattle Mariners salvaged the third game of the three-game series Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. The Oakland A’s pitching had kept the M’s offense in check on Tuesday and Wednesday. The M’s knew they needed to win. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

The A’s plated five runs in the third to go ahead 5-3. The M’s refused to wilt. The M’s scored one in the fourth, three in the sixth, one in the seventh, and one in the eighth to win the game 9-5. Neither starter figured in the decision. The difference was the bullpen. The A’s bullpen gave up four runs, and the M’s bullpen stopped the A’s cold.

The Mariners, down in the dumps after losing the first two games of the three-game series, put together four hits, including two doubles and two walks, to grab an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

The M’s Rookie of the Year candidate, Julio Rodriguez, doubled to get things going for Seattle. Mitch Haniger singled to drive in Rodriguez with the M’s first run. Martinez struck out Carlos Santana for the first out. Ty France singled, sending Haniger to second.

M’s catcher Cal Raleigh doubled to drive in Haniger, and Ty France stopped at third. Martinez walked Travis Kelenic to load the bases. France scored the M’s third run when Martinez walked Jessie Winker. The inning ended when Dylan Moore hit into a 5-4-3 double play. The M’s lead 3-0 midway through the first.

The A’s sent 11 men to the plate in the bottom of the third. They put together a rally that featured five runs, five hits, and three walks. Vimael Machin started the rally with a double. Sean Murphy singled, sending Machin to third.

Mariners’ starter, George Kirby, walked Seth Brown to load the bases. Stephen Vogt’s line drive went into the corner in right-field that cleared the bases. Kirby retired Jordan Diaz for the first out. Conner Capel walked.

Shea Langeliers followed with a double to drive in Vogt. Capel stopped at third. Nick Allen walked to load the bases. Tony Kemp singled to drive in Capel with the fifth run of the innings. The A’s led 5-3 after three.

The Mariners put their fourth game run on the board at the top of the fourth. M’s centerfielder, Jarred Kelenic, led off the inning with his fifth home run to make it a 5-4 game. 

In the top of the sixth, Seattle scored three times to retake the lead 7-5. Ty France started the rally with a triple. A’s manager Mark Kotsay replaced Martinez with lefty Kirby Snead. Jarred Kelenic doubled to drive in France with the tying run.

Kelenic went to third on a wild pitch. With two out, the A’s gave Dylan Moore an intentional walk. The strategy backfired as the left-handed hitting Dylan Moore doubled to drive in two runs to put the Mariners ahead 7-5. 

The M’s added another run in the seventh. Mitch Haniger singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Carlos Santana grounded out 4-2, and Haniger went to third on the play. Ty France plated Haniger with a sacrifice fly to left to increase the M’s lead to 8-5.

The M’s scored an unearned run in the eighth. With two out, Dylan Moore singled. Moore went to third on Shea Langaliers’ throwing error. Adam Frazier singled to drive in Moore. The M’s lead 9-5.

The A’s failed to score in the eighth and ninth. The M’s win 9-5.

Game Notes: With the loss, the A’s are now 55-95. Oakland has 12 games left to play. The M’s improved to 82-67.

The line score for Oakland was five runs, nine hits, and one error. Seattle’s line was nine runs, eleven hits, and no errors.

Mariners’ manager Scott Servais had to be pleased with the M’s bullpen. The M’s relievers kept the A’s off the scoreboard for the last six innings of the game.

A’s starter Adrian Martinez went five-plus innings. His line was five runs, six hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Martinez gave up the home run to Jarred Kelenic in the fourth.

The M’s Julio Rodriguez left the game in the bottom of the first with lower back tightness.

A’s veteran catcher Stephen Vogt announced his retirement at the end of the season.

The A’s will host the New York Mets for three games starting Friday night. Former A’s starter, Chris Bassitt, will be on the mound for New York. Bassitt is having a good year with a record of 14-8 and an ERA of 3.32. Bassitt would love nothing better than beating his old mates. The A’s will counter with lefty Cole Irvin. Irvin is 9-11 and has an ERA of 3.79. The game will start at 6:40 pm. 

Oakland A’s preview: Mariners and A’s open up three game series at Coliseum Tuesday night

Oakland A’s starter JP Sears gets the call on Tue Sep 20, 2022 at the Oakland Coliseum to open the first of a three game series against the Seattle Mariners. Here is Sears pitching against the New York Yankees on Fri Aug 26, 2022 (AP News file photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s have 15 games left on the 2022 schedule. For Oakland, it has been a long and difficult year. The A’s will probably finish with their worst record since 1979 when they finished 54-108. The A’s are currently 53-94. They have lost seven of the last ten and have to play two teams that will probably make the playoffs.

The A’s last fifteen games include six with the Seattle Mariners, three with the New York Mets, and six with the Los Angeles Angels. They play the first six at home against the Mariners and Mets, then go on the road to Anaheim and Seattle. They will play the Angels in Oakland for the last three games.

Let’s take a look at the series with the Mariners. Seattle will be the third Wild Card team. They lead the Baltimore Orioles by four games in the race for that slot. The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays are in the first and second slots.

The Mariners will be looking to get some wins over the A’s. Seattle owns an 8-5 advantage over Oakland so far. The A’s would love to play spoiler. A’s manager Mark Kotsay will make sure his team will play hard in the series.

The players want to finish the season with a good run. It will not be easy, as Seattle has good starting pitching and an excellent bullpen. Seattle, however, is scuffling. The M’s are 4-6 in their last ten games. Teams want to finish the season with momentum on their side. The Atlanta Braves got hot near the end of the 2021 season, and that momentum carried them to a World Series crown.

The pitching matchups for the three-game series will see the A’s have lefty J.P.Sears on the mound. Sears is 5-2, with a 3.90 ERA. Sears has had a few rough outings lately, but he wants to show the A’s that he will be in their plans for 2023.

Seattle will counter with righty Luis Castillo. The M’s traded for Castillo at the trade deadline. In his time with Seattle, he is 3-1 and has an ERA of 2.37. James Kaprielian goes for the A’s on Wednesday, and Seattle will send lefty Robby Ray out to pitch. On Thursday’s day game, Adrian Martinez will be on the hill for Oakland. George Kirby will handle the pitching chores for Seattle.

The Mariners have owned the A’s the last two seasons. They have a lineup with several players that can cause damage. The M’s rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez is a candidate for Rookie of the year. Rodriguez is hitting .279 with 27 home runs and 73 RBIs. Other power hitters in the M’s lineup include Mitch Haniger, Ty France, Jesse Winker, Carlos Santana, J.P. Crawford, and catcher Cal Raleigh.

The M’s have one lefty in their bullpen, Matthew Boyd. All the other relievers are right-handed. The A’s will see these players come out of the bullpen: Chris Flexen, Matt Brash, Andres Munoz, Diego Castillo, Erik Swanson, and Penn Murfee.

The Mariners cannot afford to lose. The A’s have nothing to lose. It should be a very interesting series.

The Astros win their fifth straight as they down the A’s 5-2

Houston Astros Aledmys Diaz gets a warm welcome from his teammates in the dugout after hitting a bottom of the seventh homerun against the Oakland A’s at Minute Maid Field in Houston on Thu Sep 15, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s met the Houston Astros Thursday night in Houston to start a four-game series. The A’s, buoyed by their dramatic 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, they hoped the magic would carry over to Thursday’s game. There were a couple of bright spots for the A’s, but the end result was a 5-2 loss. 

The A’s starter, James Kaprielian, pitched one of his better games. Kap gave the A’s a quality start. He went six innings and allowed five hits and two runs. He walked four, struck out four, and threw 105 pitches. The other bright spot was A’s catcher Sean Murphy.

Murphy had a double and triple in four trips to the plate. The A’s offense produced just three hits. Dermis Garcia had the other hit, which was a single. Garcia drove in both of Oakland’s runs.

Houston had Lance McCullers, Jr. on the mound to face the A’s. McCullers beat the A’s earlier in the season. McCullers hardly ever throws a fastball. He baffles hitters with an assortment of curves, sliders, changeups, and an occasional heater. McCullers went six innings and allowed two runs and two hits. He walked four and struck out 11. 

The Astros got on the board first in the bottom of the third. Kaprielian walked Chas McCormick to start the inning. Kaprielian retired Jeremy Pena and Aledmys Diaz. The next hitter, the very dangerous Yordan Alvarez, doubled to drive in McCormick with Houston’s first run. 

In the top of the fourth, the A’s rallied to put two runs on the board. Sean Murphy got things going with a double. Seth Brown walked to put men on at first and second with no out. Ramon Laureano hit into a fielder’s choice. Brown was out at second, and Murphy advanced to third.

McCullers walked Stephen Vogt to load the bases. Dermis Garcia, who homered in both games against the Rangers, smoked a single to left to drive in Murphy and Laureano. The A’s led 2-1 midway through the fourth.

The advantage didn’t last long as Houston plated their second run of the night in their half of the inning. With two out, back-to-back doubles by Trey Mancini and Christian Vasquez tied the game. Vasquez broke an 0-for-23 slump. 

The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh. A’s manager Mark Kotsay brought in Joel Payamps to pitch. With one out, Jeremy Pena singled. The next hitter Aledmys Diaz homered to make it a 4-2 game. Kotsay summoned lefty Sam Moll from the bullpen to face Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez greeted Moll with a single. Moll then hit Alex Bregman with a pitch to move Alvarez into scoring position. Moll’s task was to find a way to retire the left-handed hitting Kyle Tucker. Moll lost the battle as Tucker singled to drive in Alvarez with Houston’s fifth run. 

The Houston bullpen, the best in the American League, kept the A’s from scoring in the game’s last three innings. The only hit the A’s had was Sean Murphy’s triple in the eighth. Houston won the game 5-2.

Game Notes: The A’s are now 52-92. Houston improved to 94-50. The Astros have the best record in the American League. If they can finish with the best record in the league, they will have the home-field advantage for the playoffs. 

The line for Oakland was two runs, three hits, and no errors. Houston’s line was five runs, nine hits, and no errors. 

The A’s face the Astros again on Friday night. The A’s will send Adrian Martinez (4-4, 5.59) to the hill to face the potent Houston offense. Houston will counter with Justin Verlander. Verlander, who is 39 years old, is a candidate for the AL Cy Young award. Verland is 16-3 and has a 1.84 ERA. Verlander will be making his first start since coming off the 10-day IL. 

The game will start at 5:05 pm.

The time of the game was 3:16. More than 26,000 people were at Minute Maid Park to watch the Astros win their fifth straight game.

A’s rally to beat Rangers8-7; Vogt gets game winning hit; Acevedo gets the save

Oakland A’s closer Domingo Acevedo shuts the door on the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the ninth for the win at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington on Wed Sep 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s faced the Texas Rangers for the final time in the 2022 season. Still smarting from the walk-off loss to Texas Tuesday night, the A’s turned the tables on the Rangers as Oakland returned from a 7-4 deficit to win 8-7.

For the second night in a row, each team had double-digit hits in the game. Each team homered three times. The only question was who would be the team that would come out on top. The A’s turned out to be the team that would be the winner.

For the second night in a row, the A’s scored first. In the top of the second, first baseman Dermis Garcia blasted his fourth home run. The ball traveled 395 feet over the wall in left field to give Oakland the lead 1-0.

The Rangers tallied four in their half of the second. Rangers’ third baseman, Mark Mathias, who homered twice Tuesday night, homered again leading off the second. It was Mathias’ sixth, and the ball went 415 feet into left-field stands.

With one out, Jonah Heim singled. Sears hit Nick Solak with a pitch to put two men on with one out. Sears stuck out Leody Taveras for the second out. The next hitter was former A’s shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien had three doubles Tuesday night.

As a former Oakland Athletic, Marcus loves to torment his former team. Every time he is at the plate, Marcus wants to show what the A’s lost when Oakland let him leave as a free agent after the 2020 season. Semien blasted his 23rd dinger over the fence in left-center field to put the Rangers ahead 4-1.

In the third, the Rangers put another run on the board. Nate Lowe, a very dangerous and hot hitter, doubled. Sears gave up a single to Mark Mathias, and Lowe scored on the play. The Rangers led 5-1.

The A’s rallied to plate three runs in the fifth. With one out, Sean Murphy worked Dane Dunning for a walk. A’s right-fielder Seth Brown homered for the 22nd time to make it a 5-3 game. Back-to-back doubles by Ramon Laureano and Vimael Machin put the A’s down by one 5-4.

The Rangers answered with two runs in their half of the fifth. A’s manager Mark Kotsay brought in Collin Wiles to pitch. Adolis Garcia greeted Wiles by blasting a triple. Wiles retired Mathias and Josh Jung for the first two outs. Wiles had to face former A’s catcher Jonah Heim.

Heim went to Texas before the start of the 2021 season in the trade for Elvis Andrus. Heim, like Marcus Semien, loves to beat his former team. Heim hit his 14th big fly of the year to propel the Rangers into a 7-4 advantage. 

The A’s fought back. Oakland put two more runs on the board in the sixth. Nick Allen started the rally with a single. Tony Kemp, playing second base Wednesday night, homered to bring the A’s back to within one. Texas led 7-6. 

If the A’s had any hopes of winning the game, they knew the bullpen had to shut down the powerful Texas offense. Kotsay’s bullpen did the job. Kirby Snead, Tyler Cyr, and Sam Moll kept the Rangers off the board in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Then came the fateful ninth.

In the ninth, Sean Murphy singled to get the rally going. Murphy went to second on Seth Brown’s ground out. Kotsay inserted Sheldon Neuse as a pinch-runner for Murphy. Vimael Machin doubled for the second time to drive in Neuse with the tying run. Machin scored the winning run on Ranger’s shortstop Corey Seager’s fielding error. The A’s led 8-7, with Texas coming up in the bottom half of the inning.

Lefty reliever Sam Moll was on the hill to close out the game. Things did not go well for Oakland to start the ninth. Seager reached on Machin’s error. Nate Lowe reached on a fielder’s choice. Seager was out at second.

Rangers’ skipper Toney Beasley sent in the speedy Bubba Thompson to run for Lowe. Bubba was picked off trying to steal second. The play went 1-3-6. All the A’s need was one more out. Moll walked Adolis Garcia. Kotsay brought in righty Domingo Garcia to face Mark Mathias. Mathias, who had a homer and two RBIs, struck out to end the game. The A’s win 8-7

Game Notes: With the win, the A’s are now 52-91. The Rangers fell to 62-81. The Rangers won the season series eleven games to eight.

The A’s line was eight runs, ten hits, and one error. The line for Texas was seven runs, ten hits, and one error.

J.P.Sears had a second consecutive tough outing. Sears went four innings and allowed seven hits and four runs. He walked one, stuck out three, and allowed two home runs. Sears threw 80 pitches. Collin Wils worked one and 1/3rd inning. Willes allowed three hits and two runs. One of the hits was a gopher ball. Snead, Cyr, Moll, and acevedo did not allow a hit or a run.

The A’s travel to Houston to start a four-game series with the Houston Astros starting Thursday night. James Kaprielian (3-9, 4.79) will go for Oakland. Houston will counter with Lance McCullers, Jr. (3-1, 2.20) first pitch 4:20 pm PDT.

Rangers win thriller in walk-off 8-7; Sixth loss for A’s in seven games

The Texas Rangers Mark Mathias is greeted by teammates at the plate after swinging for a game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the visiting Oakland A’s in the first of a two game series at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington on Tue Sep 13, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s and the Texas Rangers played a very entertaining game Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Both teams had no trouble solving the slants of two lefty starting pitchers. Rangers’ starter Cole Ragans went four-plus innings and allowed eight hits and seven runs.

The A’s Ken Waldichuk lasted five innings. Waldichuk allowed eight hits and five runs. Seven of the eight hits were for extra bases. The Rangers had six doubles, one home run, and a single. Texas tied the game in the seventh and won on a walk-off home run to win 8-7.

Oakland drew first blood in the top of the first. With two out, Chad Pinder singled. Pinder went to second on a wild pitch. Ragans then walked Shea Langeliers. The next hitter, A’s first baseman, Dermis Garcia, belted his third home run to give Oakland an early 3-0 lead.

The Rangers weren’t fazed. They put two on the board in their half of the first. Former A’s shortstop Marcus Semien led off with a double. Waldichuk retired the next two hitters. Adolis Garcia doubled to drive in Semien. Third baseman Josh Jung also doubled to drive in Garcia. The A’s led 3-2 

The A’s scored three times in the top of the fourth. With one out, Jonah Bride and Sheldon Neuse singled. Nick Allen’s double drove in two. Cristian Pache singled to give Oakland a 6-2 lead. 

The A’s made it 7-2 in the top of the fifth. Chad Pinder led off the inning with a double. Rangers’ manager Tony Beasley brought in lefty Taylor Hearn to pitch. Hearn Retired Langeliers for the first out. Garcia doubled to drive in Pinder. 

The Rangers plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Waldichuk was tagged for back-to-back doubles by Marcus Semien and Mark Mathias. Waldichuk retired Nate Lowe for the first out. Adolis Garcia blasted his 25th homer to make it 7-5 after five. Waldichuk was done for the night. He allowed six doubles, one home run, and one single in his five innings. He threw 82 pitches.

The Rangers tied the game in the seventh. Austin Pruitt was on the hill for Oakland. Marcus Semien led off the inning with his third double of the night. It was the first time in Semien’s career that he had three doubles in a game. The next hitter, Mark Mathias, homered to make it 7-7.

The Rangers’ relievers, lefties Taylor Hearn and Brook Burke, allowed the A’s just one hit in the last four innings of the game. The A’s A.J.Puk pitched well in the seventh and eighth. A’s manager Mark Kotsay brought in Joel Payamps to pitch the ninth.

Payamps retired Semien for the first out. The next hitter, Mark Mathias, sent the Rangers’ fans home with smiles as he hit his second home run of the night to win it for Texas 8-7.

Game Notes: With the loss, the A’s are now 51-91. Texas improved to 62-80. 

The line score for Oakland was seven runs, ten hits, and no errors. Texas’ line was eight runs, eleven hits, and no errors. The Rangers hit seven doubles, three home runs, and just one lonely single. It was quite an impressive display of power. 

Dermis Garcia doubled and homered to drive in four runs. Chad Pinder had three hits for Oakland. The hitting stars for Texas were Marcus Semien, with three doubles, and Mark Mathias, with a double and two home runs.

The A’s and Texas have played 18 times this year. Texas leads 11-7. 

Lefty J.P.Sears (5-2, 3.33) goes for Oakland on Wednesday. Dane Dunning (3-8, 4.39) will pitch for Texas.

The time of the game was 2:41. 14,916 people watched a very entertaining game.

Oakland A’s Preview: A’s and Rangers open up two game set in Arlington on Tuesday

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s, suffering from their worst season since 1979, have 21 games left on the schedule. They are on the road for two with the Texas Rangers and four with the Astros in Houston. They return home for three with the playoff-bound Seattle Mariners and three with the National League first-place New York Mets. Oakland travels to LA for three with the Angels and three more with the Mariners. The A’s finish the season hosting the Angels for the final three games of the year. The A’s are 51-90 so far this season. They must win twelve of the last 21 games to avoid 100 losses. It will not be easy as they play three teams heading for the playoffs; the Astros, the Mariners, and the Mets.

The schedule has them playing two against the Rangers for the final time this season. The guys that hang out at Globe Life Field are tied with the Angels for third place in the AL West. Both teams own a 61-69 record. Neither team has lived up to expectations this year. Both teams have fired their manager midway through the year. The Angels dismissed Joe Maddon and replaced him with Phil Nevins. The Rangers fired Chris Woodward and named Tony Beasly as the interim manager. Both the Angels and Rangers spent heavily to improve the team. Money did not do the trick.
On the other hand, Oakland traded away several of its top players to reduce payroll. Gone are Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Mark Canha, Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, Jake Diekman, Sergio Romo, Starling Marte, Yan Gomes, and Josh Harrison. The A’s released three veterans midway through the season. Gone are Jed Lowrie, Stephen Piscotty, and Elvis Andrus. The A’s have used 60 players, including 28 rookies and 19 rookie pitchers. They have the worst record in baseball. Their team batting average is .217. The A’s are trying out players that they think will be on the roster in 2023. They have two veterans that may be shopped over the winter. They are catcher Sean Murphy and outfielder Ramon Laureano.

So, this brings us to Tuesday night’s game with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers gave huge contracts to Marcus Semien and Corey Seager before the start of the 2022 season. The Rangers were hoping to challenge the Astros for the AL West crown. The Rangers forgot to get pitching. They have guys who can hit the ball out of the park but need pitching. To contend, Texas, like all the teams in the playoffs race, needs three basic things: good hitting, good pitching, and good defense. It’s called strength up the middle. The Rangers have several core players to build around. They include Nate Lowe, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia, and Jonah Heim. These guys can play. Rookie Bubba Thompson is hitting .296 and could be a player for Texas.

The A’s will be looking to see if players like Nick Allen, Cristian Pache, Jonah Bride, Dermis Garcia, Cody Thomas, Skye Bolt, and Cal Stevenson fit into their plans for 2023. Will the A’s keep veteran players like Tony Kemp, Chad Pinder, Sheldon Neuse, and Seth Brown? So, let’s look at the starting pitchers for the next two games.

On Tuesday, The A’s will send rookie lefty Ken Waldichuk to the hill to face the Rangers. Waldichuk will be making his third start. He is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA. In his last start against a very powerful Atlanta Brave lineup, Waldichuk went five and 1/3rd innings. He allowed three hits and three runs. His only problem was that two of the hits left the park. The Braves won the game 7-3. The Rangers will send their rookie lefty Cole Ragans to the mound. Ragans is 0-2 with a 3.80 ERA. Ragans has yet to win his first game in the bigs.

On Wednesday, lefty J.P.Sears will be looking to rebound from his tough outing against the Chicago White Sox last week. Sears and Waldichuk came to Oakland in the trade that sent Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino to the New York Yankees. Sears lasted two innings and allowed eight hits and six runs. Three of the hits were home runs. Righty Dane Dunning will pitch for Texas. Dunning has faced the A’s twice this year. On May 29th, he went four and 1/3rd inning and allowed seven hits and three runs. Dunning did not figure in the decision. He beat the A’s on August 18th. Dunning went six innings in that game and allowed four hits and two runs. He got credit for the win.

The Rangers want to finish in third place in the AL West. The A’s want to get any wins to avoid losing 100 or more games. The Rangers are 11-6 against the A’s this year. The odds favor the Rangers, but as they say in baseball; “You never know”

Braves beat A’s 7-3 to sweep two-game series; Strider settles down A’s for 10th win of season

By Jerry Feitelberg

On a warm day at the Coliseum, the Atlanta Braves beat the A’s 7-3 to sweep the short two-game series. Atlanta won all four games played between the teams in 2022.

The A’s sent rookie Ken Waldrichuk to the hill to face the powerful Atlanta lineup. Waldichuk performed well. He allowed three runs and three hits. Unfortunately for him and the A’s, he served up two gopher balls. Vaughn Grissom hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Dansby Swanson’s blast in the sixth ended the game for Waldichuk. The Braves Spencer Strider had a rough first inning; Strider walked three and gave up a double to Stephen Vogt. The A’s Strider settled down and allowed just one more hit before exiting the game after the sixth.

The Oakland A’s, hoping to win and split the two-game series, drew first blood in the first inning. Braves’ starter Spencer Strider (9-4, 2.67 ERA) had trouble with his command in the first inning. Strider threw 35 pitches in the inning. Strider walked A’s leadoff hitter Vimael Machin. Seth Brown lined out to center for the first out. The DH, Sean Murphy, worked Strider for a walk to put two me on with one out. Stephen Vogt, playing first base, just missed a home run. The ball hit the wall in left-center, and Machin and Murphy scored. The A’s lead 2-0 after one.

Atlanta tied the game in the top of the fifth. Waldichuk hit the leadoff hitter, Travis d’Arnaud, with a pitch. Second baseman Vaughn Grissom blasted his fifth dinger of the season over the wall in right-center-field.

In the top of the sixth, with one out, Braves’ shortstop, Dansby Swanson, homered to give the Braves the advantage 3-2. A’s manager Mark Kotsay brought in righty Tyler Cyr to pitch. Cyr retired the next two hitters. The Braves led 3-2.

Atlanta broke it open in the top of the seventh. With one out, the Braves put three straight singles by Vaughn Grissom, Michael Harris, and Marcell Ozuna to plate the Braves’ fourth run. Former A’s outfielder, Robbie Grossman, doubled to drive in two more, making it a 6-2 game. The Braves onslaught continued. Norge Ruiz replaced Kirby Snead on the mound for Oakland. Ronald Acuna greeted him with a single to put Atlanta in the driver’s seat 7-2. The Braves batted around, sending nine men to the plate and putting four runs on the board.

Seth Brown homered in the bottom of the eighth with one out. The Braves hurlers shut out the A’s after scoring two runs in the first inning. It was the third hit of the game for Oakland. For Brown, it was his 21st of the year. Oakland trails 7-3 after eight complete.

The Braves bullpen held the A’s scoreless in the ninth to secure Atlanta’s 86th win.

Game Notes- With the loss, the A’s fall to 37 games below the .500 mark. Their record is 50-87. They have 25 games left to play. The Braves needed the win to remain tied with the New York Mets for first place in the NL East. Both teams are 86-51.

The A’s line was three runs, three hits, and no errors. Atlanta’s line was seven runs, ten hits, and no errors. Ken Waldrichuk was the losing pitcher. His line was five and 1/3rd innings allowing three runs and three hits. Strider improved to 10-4. Strider’s line was six innings, two runs, and two hits. Strider stuck out nine. The Braves pitchers recorded 15 strikeouts on Wednesday.

The A’s welcome the Chicago White Sox to the Coliseum for four games starting Thursday night. Lefty J.P Sears will pitch for Oakland. The ChiSox will counter with Dylan Cease. The game will start at 6:40 pm.

The time of the game was three hours and eight minutes. Five thousand three hundred thirty-two fans watched the A’s lose for the 87th time.

A’s Preview: Braves and A’s open two game set at Coliseum Tuesday night

Atlanta Braves fire baller Max Fried is seen here throwing against the Miami Marlins in the top of the first inning at Truist Field in Cobb County on Sun Sep 4, 2022. Fried and the Braves will pay a visit to the Oakland Coliseum Tue Sep 6, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s are returning home after a short road trip to Washington and Baltimore. The A’s won two and lost four on the trip. They now have to face the defending World Champion Atlanta Braves for two games starting Tuesday in Oakland.

The A’s will be facing a team that came from behind in 2021 to win the National League crown and then went on to defeat a very good Houston Astros team four games to two. The Braves started slowly this year but have been on fire.

They trail the first place New York Mets by one game in the standings. Their record is 84-51. The Braves, the Mets, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are the three best teams in the National League. The Braves sit in the first slot in the NL Wild Card race. They have a ten-and-a-half-game lead over the San Diego Padres.

The Braves are a very good team. Atlanta’s starting rotation is excellent. Their rotation includes the lefty Max Fried, righties Carlie Morton, Kyle Wright, Spencer Strider, and Jake Odorizzi. The Braves acquired Odorizzi at the trade deadline from the Houston Astros.

Former LA Dodger closer, Kenley Jansen, has not disappointed the Braves or their fans. Jansen has 31 saves so far this season. The big right-hander has recorded 381 saves in his illustrious career. In addition, the Braves traded for former Los Angeles Angels’ closer Raisel Iglesias.

Iglesias has 17 saves this season and 157 in his career. The Braves feature four left relievers in their bullpen. Their manager Brian Snitker will certainly be calling on lefties A.J.Minter, Tyler Matzek, Dylan Lee, and Kirby Yates to enter the game at some point in the series. The righties in the bullpen are Collin McHugh, former A’s reliever Jesse Chavez, and Jackson Stephens.

The Braves are loaded with talent at every position. Atlanta’s two catchers have provided the team with a lot of production. Travis d’Arnaud, a former Met, is hitting .265 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs. Rookie catcher William Contreras, the younger brother of the Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, has played well when handling the catching chores. Contreras has hit 17 dingers and knocked in 37.

The Braves lost former National League MVP to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves traded for the A’s power-hitting first baseman, Matt Olson, to replace the hard-hitting Freeman. Olson has shown the wisdom of the Braves front office in making the deal.

Olson has responded by belting 27 home runs and knocking in 87. The Braves’ outstanding second baseman Ozzie Albies is on the 60-day IL. Albies fractured his foot back in June. He is currently in rehab and will probably miss the series with the A’s. The Braves will use Vaughn Grissom, Ehire Adrianza, or Orlando Arcia at the position.

The left side of the Braves’ infield features two outstanding players. Their shortstop Dansby Swanson is hitting .282 with 17 dingers and 79 RBIs. Third baseman Austin Riley enters Tuesday’s game with a .287 batting average, and he has hit 35 balls to go along with 88 RBIs, good for sixth most in the National League.

The Braves will use three guys in left field. Their power-hitting left-fielder, Adam Duvall, is on the 60-day IL with a fractured wrist. The Braves acquired former A’s outfielder Robbie Grossman from the Detroit Tigers to help at that position.

Eddie Rosario also will see playing time in left. Marcel Ozuna, another slugger, can also be used. Ozuna had 21 dingers and 49 RBIs. The Braves have a 21-year-old phenom in center-field. Michael Harris has had 314 at-bats in his young career.

Harris is hitting .309 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs. Ronald Acuna, Jr, another young, outstanding player, will be in right. Acuna is 24 years old. In his brief career, and after missing a lot of playing time due to an injury, he is hitting .273 with 11 big flies and 38 RBIs. For his career, he has a lifetime BA of .279 with 116 home runs and 284 knocked in.

Contreras, Ozuna, or Orlando Arcia will be the DH.

The A’s received two young players from the Braves in the Matt Olson trade. They are Cristian Pache and She Langeliers. Pache had a tough time earlier in the season and was sent down to work on his hitting. Langeliers spent most of the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Langeliers has shown that he deserves to play at the Major League level. While the A’s are having a dismal season, other young players like Nick Allen, Jonah Bride, Cal Stevenson, and Skye Bolt are showing what they can do on the diamond.

The pitching matchups for the two-game set will see the A’s send Cole Irvin (7-11, 3.35 ERA) for Tuesday night. Irvin did not pitch well in his last start against the Washington Nationals. He did get credit for the win. He was better in his outing against the Miami Marlins as he allowed three hits and one run in seven innings.

The A’s have not given Irvin much offensive support this season. The Braves starter will be Kyle Wright. Wright has had an excellent season for Atlanta. He is 17-5, and his ERA is 2.85. Wednesday night’s game will see A’s lefty Ken Waldichuk make his second big league start.

Waldichuk is 0-0, with an ERA of 1.93. Waldichuk made his debut against the Washington Nationals last week and went four and 2/3rds innings, allowing just one run. Spencer Strider will go for Atlanta. The game will start at 6:40 pm.

The young A’s would love to upset the Braves’ applecart. Under manager Mark Kotsay’s watchful eyes, the A’s will play hard. The A’s have nothing to lose. The Braves need every win as they are in a dogfight to win the NL East Division crown. Should they beat out the Mets for the title, they would have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. I think it will be a very interesting series

Joey Meneses’ three-run walk-off homer in the tenth, wins game for Washington 7-5

Joey Meneses gets quite a greeting at home plate after hitting the game winning 10th inning three run home run against the Oakland A’s at Nationals Park in DC on Thu Aug 31, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Washington Nationals (45-86) beat the A’s 7-5 in ten innings on Thursday to win the series two games to one. In a game that took four hours and two minutes, the Oakland A’s (49-83) scored two runs in the top of the tenth to take a 5-3 advantage. With rookie Norge Ruiz on the mound for Oakland, the Nats scored four runs in their half of the tenth to win in a walk-off.

The A’s had two players in the lineup making their Major League debuts. They were Ken Waldichuk and Cody Thomas. Thomas came to the A’s in a trade for Sheldon Neuse in 2021.
Lefty Ken Waldichuk was acquired from the Yankees in the trade for Frankie Montas. Waldichuk, who played his college ball at St. Mary’s in Moraga, went four and 2/3rds innings.

He allowed five hits and one run, struck out six, and walked four. Waldichuk showed grit as he worked out of jams in the first three innings. The Nats’ centerfielder Lane Thomas doubled on Waldichuk’s first pitch.

Joey Meneses singled to drive in Thomas with the Nats’ first run of the game. Nelson Cruz singled to put men on at first and third with one out. Waldichul retired the next two hitters to end the threat. The Nats’ Alex Call led off the frame in the second inning with a triple. The Nats failed to score as Waldichuk retired the next three hitters, two on strikeouts.

The Nationals threatened to score in the third. They had men on at first and second with one out. Waldichuk struck out Ildemare Vargas for the second out. Cesar Hernandez walked to load the bases. Alex Call was retired on a fly ball to left to end the inning. Washington led 1-0 after three.

The Nats’ hurler, Paolo Spino, kept the A’s off balance with his mix of sliders, curveballs, and a 90-mile fastball. Rookie catcher Shea Langeliers broke the spell in the top of the fifth. Shea led off the fifth with his third home run of the year. The ball just made it over the fence in left.

The game remained tied until the top of the seventh. Cristian Pache, pinch-hitting for Thomas, drew a walk. Nick Allen laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to send Pache to second. With two out, Tony Kemp singled to drive in Pache.

Sean Murphy singled to right. Joey Meneses overran the ball, allowing Kemp to go to third. Seth Brown singled to drive in Kemp. The A’s led 3-1. Washington got a run back in their half of the inning. With one out, Meneses singled. It was his third hit of the game. Luke Voit followed with a single and sent Meneses to third. Nelson Cruz hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in Meneses with the run.

The Nationals tied the game in the eighth. Sam Moll was now pitching for Oakland. Moll hit Cesar Hermnadez with a pitch. The ball appeared to hit Hernandez on the top of his foot. The A’s challenged the call. After a short review, the call on the field was upheld. Hernandez stole second and scored the tying run on a single by Gargas.

Neither team scored in the ninth. In the tenth, the A’s scored two runs to take a 5-3 lead. Sean Murphy was the ghost runner at second base. Hunter Harvey, armed with a 100-mile-an-hour fastball, retired Brown and Stephen Vogt. Vimael Machin walked. Shea Langeliers doubled to drive in both runners to put the A’s ahead 5-3.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay summoned Norge Ruiz from the bullpen to pitch the tenth. Cesar Hernandez was the ghost runner. Ruiz retired Josh Palacios for the first out. Keibert Ruiz singled to drive in Hernandez. The A’s led 5-4 at this point in the game.

Vargas struck out for the second out. Ruiz walked Lane Thomas. The next hitter Joey Meneses, who had three hits earlier in the game, homered to win the game for the Nationals. The Nats win 7-5. It was the Nationals’ first walk-off win of the year.

Game Notes- With the loss, the A’s are 49-83. Oakland has 30 games left to play in 2022. The Nationals improved to 45-86.

The hitting star for Oakland was Shea Langeliers, with a home run and a double. Langeliers drove in three runs. The Nats’ Joey Meneses had three singles and a game-winning three-run home run.
The line score for Washington was seven runs, 11 hits, and one error. The A’s line was five runs, 11 hits, and no errors.

In his first Major League game, Cody Thomas recorded his first hit in the fifth inning.

Oakland set a franchise record, having used 58 different players in 2022. They set an Oakland record using 29 rookies, another Oakland record with 15 rookie pitchers.

The A’s meet the Baltimore Orioles for three games starting Friday night. J.P. Sears (5-1, 2.28) will go for Oakland. The O’s will counter with righty Drew Kremer (6-4, 3.24 ERA) a 4:05 pm PDT.