Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O: Should A’s manager Bob Melvin be worried about wild card game?

Photo credit: bleacherreport.com

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 How much worry, how much concern should A’s manager Bob Melvin take into a game like the wild card on Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum?

#2 How big, how huge was Marcus Semien at the shortstop position for Oakland this season and as leadoff batter?

#3 Melvin sat Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Mark Canha on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners resting them for Wednesday night’s soiree at the Coliseum.

#4 Talk about how important it is for Stephen Piscotty to get into the line up after being out and just in time for the wild card game.

#5 A’s pitcher Sean Manaea might be starting on Wednesday night. He’s had such a great return now at 4-0 with an ERA of 1.21. How do you see him matching up against the Rays?

Charlie O does the A’s podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Will A’s be one and done again? Can they advance this time after wild card losses last two times?

Photo credit: theathletic.com

On Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Will it be a one and done performance or an advance to the ALDS second round for the Oakland A’s? You’ve seen it before when you went to New York last season the A’s were one and done.

#2 A’s pitcher Sean Manaea he’s 4-0, 1.21 ERA. He was out for most of the season and came back and pitched some shutout ball and was impressive. How does he match up against the Rays?

#3 What kind of sendoff was it last Sunday for the San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy, Pablo Sandoval and Madison Bumgarner. People we won’t see in a Giants uniform again. Maybe Bum.

#4 The Oakland Raiders just got by the Indianapolis Colts, but the win was crucial. The Raiders already have had a couple of tough games, one at home against the Kansas City Chiefs and another on the road to start this six-game out of town schedule with a loss to Minnesota, but they got a big win against the Colts Sunday.

#5 The San Jose Sharks open up their regular season against the Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday night. The Sharks will have their top featured player Erik Karlsson, who signed on for over $90 million for eight years.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for the Oakland A’s on KIQI 1010 San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Wild Card preview: Rays and A’s at Oakland Coliseum

mercurynews.com file photo: Oakland Athletics’ Khris Davis (2) removes his helmet after batting against the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, April 19, 2019.

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — After a long season of 162 games, the A’s and Rays will have to have a one-game playoff to determine which team will advance to the American League Division Series. The winner will then face the Houston Astros. The Astros had the best record in the AL, and the series will start in Houston.

The A’s finished the season with a record of 97-65 to earn the right to host the Wild Card game. The A’s are 52-27 at the Coliseum this season. The Rays are a good road team, and they will not be intimidated having to play in Oakland. The Rays are 48-37 away from home and that record is the second-best in the MLB.

The Rays believe that they have a slight advantage as they will send Charlie Morton to the hill Wednesday night. Morton had a career-year with a record of 16-6. He pitched 194.2 innings and had an ERA of 3.05. Also, he struck out 240 batters and was very stingy in issuing walks. Morton was effective against right-handed hitters. The A’s lineup is loaded with righties as Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano, and Khris Davis will have their collective hands full trying to get to Morton. Morton limited righties to just four home runs in 351 at-bats.

The A’s have not announced their starter as of Monday afternoon. People are speculating that Bob Melvin will go with either Mike Fiers or Sean Manaea. Fiers, like Morton, had a career year. Fiers was 15-4 for the year and had an ERA of 3.90. Fiers also pitched a no-hitter against Cincinnati in May. Manaea made five starts for Oakland after coming off the IL in August. Manaea was 4-0 and was quite effective. He pitched 29.2 innings. Manaea had to learn how to deal with a declining velocity on his fastball. He threw at 93-94 MPH before being shut down with a shoulder injury last summer. His fastball has been clocked around 90 MPH this year, but he has been throwing strikes and moving the ball in the zone.

While the A’s might not have the edge in the starting pitcher department, they do have a better bullpen than the Rays. If the A’s starter, whoever that may be, falters, Melvin will not hesitate to bring in the relievers. The bullpen, missing Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen, has been bolstered by the additions of lefties Jake Diekman, A.J.Puk, and Jesus Luzardo. Luzardo has pitched very well and can be used as a closer. Melvin will also rely on Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, and Liam Hendriks. Hendriks has performed exceptionally well and went to the All-Star Game this year.

The Rays’ bullpen includes Diego Castillo, Chaz Roe, Colin Poche, and Oliver Drake. The long relievers are Yonny Chirinos and Jalen Beeks. Current Cy Young winner Blake Snell is back and throwing well. Six-foot seven-inch Tyler Glasnow will also be available. They will be ready to shut down the A’s offense when called on.

The A’s will also have the advantage on offense and defense. The A’s have three players in the infield that hit over 30 homers each this year. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson led the team with 36 dingers each. Semien had a career-high 33 round-trippers. Chapman and Semien are candidates for AL Most Valuable Player. Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano, Chad Pinder, Jurickson Profar, and Josh Phegley can all drive the ball out of the park.  On defense, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson are again candidates to win a Gold Glove. Marcus Semien at shortstop has worked hard to improve his defense. He worked with Ron Washington to get better and he, too, is a Gold Glove candidate.

The Rays offense is led by Austin Meadows. Meadows had 33 home runs to lead the team. The Rays’ other hitters are Jesus Aguilar, Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz, and Nate Lowe. Fans on the West Coast may not be familiar with these names, but they are the reason that the Rays won 96 games this season.

The A’s won the season series four games to three. The Rays are a very determined team. The A’s are also highly motivated to move to the ALDS. This will be the A’s third Wild Card game since 2014, and the first-ever in Oakland. The A’s lost a wild one 9-8 to the Kansas City Royals in 2014. They fell to the Yankees last year 7-2 in New York. The A’s believe that they can go to the World Series. The first step will be defeating the Rays. The Houston Astros are hoping the A’s win. They won the season series 11-8. The Astros have to be careful about what they wish for. The A’s won six of the last eight played. They have the confidence to do it.

The game with the Rays should be very close. The Rays do not quit. Neither do the A’s. Each team knows that they have to win or go home. The A’s will have a large crowd cheering their every move. Let’s hope the home field advantage will prove beneficial to Oakland. I think the A’s will prevail and win by a score of 5-3.

Does It Matter?: A’s off their game day after securing Wild Card home field against the Rays, lose 3-1

By Morris Phillips

With 97 wins in the bank and an important date booked for the Coliseum on Wednesday, the A’s weren’t in the mood to make any more deposits on Sunday.

The final day of the regular season played out without fanfare, as the A’s dropped the series finale to the Mariners, 3-1. Kyle Seager’s two-run homer in the first inning off Tanner Roark probably prompted the A’s disinterest as much as anything else.

“It was a 12 o’clock game, last game of the season, we’ve already clinched a wild-card spot, so I’m sure you guys can imagine where our minds are at,” Roark admitted afterwards.

Saturday provided all the clarity the A’s needed: the Rays dropped their penultimate game to the Blue Jays, and then the A’s held on to a nail-biter, 1-0 victory over the Mariners a few hours later. That combination clinched home field advantage for the A’s on Wednesday, which is a big deal given the fast exit the A’s made last season, spending more time flying to New York to face the Yankees, then they did as a postseason participant, losing to the Bombers, 7-2.

Sunday was significant only for loose ends. Stephen Piscotty, fresh off the disabled list, got a start in right field to shake off the rust. And Marcus Semien started then departed, playing in all 162 games in a season for the first time in his career.

“Give him 161 and cut him off, but that’s not going to happen,” manager Bob Melvin said of Semien’s achievement. “So we’ll get him an at-bat today. He deserves it.”

Mark Canha was a non-participant because of his groin injury. The outfielder missed the entire Seattle series, putting his Wild Card participation in doubt.

The A’s will choose between Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers as the starting pitcher versus Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Oakland A’s podcast with Joey Friedman: A’s ready to begin workouts at Coliseum and host Tampa Bay for wild card Wednesday

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Ramon Laureano hits a solo home run on a pitch from Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales during the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Seattle.

On the A’s podcast with Joey F

#1 The Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays will workout at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the AL wild card game on Wednesday it will give both teams some time to adjust to two days off and getting ready for the contest.

#2 There’s no doubt that having home field advantage is huge for the Oakland A’s for a one and done wild card game.

#3 Talk about Wednesday’s starting pitcher for Oakland Sean Manaea since returning recovering from Tommy John surgery he’s gone 4-0 with an ERA of 1.21.

#4 The Rays come into the Coliseum with a winning 96-65 the A’s 97-64 both are evenly matched the Rays have players to look for Travis d’Arnaud, Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe, and Tommy Pham.

#5 The A’s have some big boppers Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Mark Canha all have home run success this season and they might apply that for post season.

Joey Friedman does the A’s podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

The A’s beat the Mariners and secure home-field advantage for the Wild Card

AL Wild 1
Graphic/Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 on Saturday night to win their 97th game of the season which tied their win total from the 2018 season. More importantly, the win guarantees them home-field advantage for the single-game Wild Card contest with the Tampa Rays on Wednesday night.

The A’s are 52-29 at the Coliseum this season and are 7-3 over their last 10 games. The Rays are 48-32 on the road in 2019 and 7-3 in their last 10 games. The tarps will be off on Mount Davis and the crowd could be up to 59,000-plus fans on Wednesday night to cheer the Athletics on to victory and into the AL Playoffs. The Coliseum can be an intimidating place for a visiting team.

The difference on Saturday night

It was a home run by Ramon Laureno that made the difference for the Athletics on Saturday night. Laureno hit his 24th HR of the season off Seattle pitcher Marco Gonzales in the top of the third inning with two out and count of 3-2. The ball traveled 392-feet over the left-field wall.

The A’s have hit 35 home runs versus the Mariners this season tying their franchise record for the most home runs in a single season against a single opponent. Oakland also hit 35 home runs against the Rangers this season.

Anderson gets the win

Brett Anderson was credited with the win. He now a 13-9 record for the season with a 3.89 ERA. Anderson worked 5.0 innings allowing no runs off three hits. He walked one and struck out three Mariners.

“I was willing to let him go out for the sixth. He got a little bit of elbow tightness so we took him out. But, I mean, good stuff. The best [velocity] of the year. I know it’s been eight, or nine or ten days or whatever. But we saw some 94s, some 93s, it looked good. (He) just felt a little something after the fifth. We didn’t want to push that,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin.

Luzardo gets the save

Jesus Luzardo worked 2.0 innings to earn his second save of the year. He allowed no runs off one hit. Luzardo walked none and struck out three.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said, “(He was) pretty calm. And we’ve seen him, in bases loaded nobody out situations in Texas too. I don’t think the nerves are really there. (He) hits a guy, then makes good pitches with his breaking balls in the last at-bat. And (Tim) Lopes is
swinging pretty good too. That’s kind of how we look at it today, we didn’t want him throwing too many pitches, but as long as he was under 30, we felt good about it. Now, three days rest for him as well…”

Melvin on Wild Card Home Field Advantage

“There’s going to be 50,000 people in Oakland, I got a feeling. When we get that bigger crowd at home, they have an effect. So, we’re excited about going home in front of our fans. There’s a great bond between us and the fans there, and they can get pretty loud.”

 

 

MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: It’s Rays and A’s for the Wednesday wild card, but where?

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Marcus Semien rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Seattle.

On the MLB The Show podcast with Matt:

#1 The Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays both qualify for at least one game of wild card baseball the site is yet to be determined as it’s too close to call but either way there’s no doubt it should be a nail biter.

#2  The Rays Tommy Pham led the way with a two run homer and they got quality pitching from Tyler Glasnow who pitched 4 1/3 innings of no hit ball against the Toronto Blue Jays as the Rays beat the Jays 6-2 to clinch for a wild card birth.

#3 In the National League the Los Angeles Dodgers are in a four game win streak they took the first game game of their series against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night 9-2 and ran away with the NL West this season by over 20 games on top.

#4 The Oakland A’s announced they will start Sean Manaea who came in the season after recovery from Tommy John surgery and in his first two games he threw shutout ball. Manaea has won his last four starts with 1.21 ERA.

#5 The timing is good for the return of A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty who just came off the IL manager Bob Melvin said it will be an adjustment period over the weekend in Seattle in preparation for Wednesday’s wild card game vs. the Rays.

Matt Harrington does the MLB podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s Don’t Help Themselves, Wild Card Race Tied After M’s 4-3 Walk-off Win

Photo credit: @Mariners

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland A’s clinched a postseason berth Friday night, but it was hardly cause for celebration. By virtue of the Cleveland Indians losing earlier in the night, the A’s knew they’d be locked into a spot in the Wild Card game. The only question is where will that game be played?

The picture didn’t get clearer Friday. The A’s needed a win in Seattle to stay a game ahead of Tampa Bay for home field advantage in the do-or-die game, with the Rays winning earlier in the night. All signs were pointing up when Matt Olson hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give Oakland a 3-2 lead. But closer Liam Hendriks couldn’t hold on to the lead and the Mariners rallied to walk the A’s off 4-3 on a J.P. Crawford double. Now both Oakland and Tampa sit at 96 wins apiece.

Hendriks got a quick out before Mallex Smith singled. The A’s closer bounced back with a punchout of Dylan Moore, but Smith advanced to second and third base on wild pitches and scored easily on a Shed Long single to tie the game. Crawford then took a 3-2 pitch to left field on a line for the walk-off winner.

The A’s were trailing 2-1 heading into the top of the seventh after Seattle scored runs in the top of the first and third innings off Mike Fiers. Marcus Semien’s 33rd homer of the season in the leadoff spot was the lone as run off Justus Sheffield to that point. Matt Chapman singled off reliever Zac Grotz with one out in the seventh, then Taylor Guilbeau was called in to face Olson. Olson hammered a 3-2 count over the wall in left field to give the A’s the 3-2 lead. AJ Puk, Jake Diekman and Joakim Soria all pitched scoreless innings in relief of Fiers, who pitched five strong, but will most likely watch the Wild Card game from the dugout, thanks to the reemergence of Sean Manaea.

The Rays have yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays, but Trent Thornton and his 5.00 ERA will await the Tampa hitters who will step up to the plate eagerly. For Oakland Brett Anderson takes the hill against Marco Gonzalez, who despite a 4.09 ERA has 16 wins to his credit.

A’s near a playoff berth after defeating the Mariners 3-1

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s downed the Seattle Mariners 3-1 on Thursday night at T-Mobile Park. Their magic number to clinch a playoff berth is down to one. Any combination of an A’s win or Cleveland loss will give the A’s a Wild Card berth. The Indians lost again to the Chicago White Sox and are now three games behind the A’s. The Tampa Bay Rays did not play. The A’s lead them by one game in the race for the first Wild Card. If the A’s hold on and win the first Wild Card, the one-game elimination will be played in Oakland next Wednesday.

It was a very emotional night in Seattle for their fans and for Felix Hernandez. Hernandez, who had been the ace of the Mariners’ staff for many years, was probably making his last appearance as a Mariner. His record coming into the game was 1-7. His effectiveness and velocity had been affected by shoulder injuries. Hernandez, in the past, had owned the A’s. The Green and Gold feared facing him. However, times changed, and he was just another pitcher. Hernandez had other thoughts on Thursday night as he wanted to go out as a winner.

Fernandez pitched very well for Seattle. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs. When he left in the top of the sixth, the Mariners fans gave him a standing ovation that lasted well over a minute and Fernandez, with tears in his eyes, made a final curtain call.

The offensive player of the game for Oakland was Matt Chapman. With one out in the first inning, Chapman walked. A’s first baseman Matt Olson singled to right. Chapman went to third on the play, and when he saw the throw from the right fielder was slow coming into the infield, Chappie took off and rounded third and score. The A’s had an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Marcus Semien worked Hernandez for a walk. The next hitter, Matt Chapman, as he did Wednesday night in Los Angeles, blasted his 36th home run of the year to make it 3-0.

The A’s Sean Manaea, making his fifth start of the year, was very effective. He gave up a run to the M’s in the bottom of the fifth. A’s manager Bob Melvin let Manaea go one more inning. Sean went six innings and allowed four hits and one run. Lefty Jesus Luzardo pitched the seventh and eighth and retired all six hitters he faced. Liam Hendriks retired the Mariners in order in the ninth to secure the win for Oakland and earn his 25th save of the year. The A’s won 3-1.

Game Notes: The A’s improved to 96-63 with three games left on the schedule. The Tampa Bay Rays have three games left with the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto. The Indians will finish the season in Washington with three games against the Nationals.

The A’s won 97 games last year, and if they sweep the Mariners, they will finish with 99 wins.

The Houston Astros appear to have the best record in the American League. They will play the winner of the AL Wild Card game. The Minnesota Twins will face the New York Yankees in the other ALDS. The Twins have become the first time in MLB history to hit more than 300  homers in a season. They have hit 301 so far this year. The Yankees need one more to be the second team. They have hit 299.

Up Next: The A’s will send Mike Fiers to the hill Friday night. Fiers is 15-4 for the year, and his ERA is 3.91. Lefty Justus Sheffield will go for Seattle. Game time will be at 7:05 pm PT.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Gruden expects more aggressive offense this Sunday; A’s hold on for dear life, get walkoff HR from Chapman; plus more

Photo credit: @NBCSRaiders

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden says he hopes the offense could provide more vertical shots and that the receivers can be more aggressive.

#2 Gruden did say that the offense needed to be more aggressive and that was before the release of Antonio Brown during the first three weeks of the season.

#3 In the first three games of the season, Raider quarterback Derek Carr has thrown 23 passes for 10 yards past the line of scrimmage and has completed 13 pass for 257 yards.

#4 Turning to baseball, at one time, the Oakland A’s had a two-game lead before Wednesday night. The A’s had just a 1/2 game lead and the Tampa Bay Rays keep winning, beating the New York Yankees on Wednesday and the A’s dropped two straight games and almost lost a third in Anaheim on Wednesday night, but thanks to a Matt Chapman home run, they came back with two runs in the ninth to win it 3-2 and hold a 1/2 game lead in the AL wild card.

#5 The PGA Tour Safeway Open starts today at Silverado Resort in Napa. Some of the big names at the event include the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Phil Mickelson and Hideki Maysuyama, a five-time winner.

Tony Renteria does Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com