That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Ohtani-A man for a Century

The Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani takes the Colorado Rockies deep for a two run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Tue Jul 27, 2021 for his 36th home run (AP News photo)

Othtani – A Man for a Century

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Shohei Ohtani will probably win the Most Valuable Player of the American League. And if there was an MVP for all of baseball he will also win it. Even if his team, the LA Angels do not make it to the playoffs. What he is doing has mesmerized baseball fans and the media all over the country and baseball world.

Recently while playing at Target Field, he hit his 35th home run and during his next turn at bat he was walked intentionally, the people at Minneapolis Target Field who root for their home team, the Twins, were booing their Manager’s decision Rocco Baldelli on the intentional walk.” Joe Maddon the Angels manager said after the game “I was booing, too”.

Everyplace the Angels play, Shohei aka Shotime is what the fans want to see. A two-way player, something that nobody has seen since Babe Ruth. Joe Maddon, his manager with the LA Angels “He should be the Most Valuable Player, it’s not even close”. Tuesday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim he hit his No. 36 a majestic blast to the right center-field seats, as a pitcher Shotime has struck out over 100 hitters this year.

Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is having his best season of his young career, and MVP-type season, but unlike Shohei Ohtani he doesn’t pitch and that is the main difference why Ohtani will win the MVP this season and not Guerrero Jr. Many scouts believe Ohtani has the stuff to be a No.1 starter, others say “at least a No.2 at this time”. What makes him such a good pitcher?

He throws a four-seam fastball that clocks sometimes over 100 miles per hours, also a very effective splitter plus a slider as his best three pitches, but he also shows a cutter once in a while to keep hitters honest. His splitter in 2018 was his killer pitch when hitters went two for 55 against it, while striking out 35, is back this season. Ohtani splitter is the most unhittable pitch in the game.

As a hitter the Japanese phenom is leading all of baseball in home runs with 36. He is the fastest American League hitter to hit 35 or more home runs in a season during his team first 98 games, since Chris Davis in 2013. Leads the league in extra-base hits also in slugging, and home runs per at bats, he hits a home run every 9.5 at bats.

Plus he is among the top hitters is most other categories. Oh yes, he is good stealing bases. Ohtani got a paycheck of $150,000 for taking part of the Home Run Derby during the All Star Game. He distributed all the money to around 30 staffers, including trainers, clubhouse workers and media relations employees with the LA Angels, a source told the OC Register.

If you are wondering if any player has won an MVP on a losing team? You do not have to go too far, Ohtani’s teammate Mike Trout, considered the best player in the game, and who should be back soon in the lineup, has won three AL MVP Awards and in two of those, 2016 and 2019 the Angels had losing records. We are in the middle of the Olympics and the word Athlete is the main word when it comes to the Olympic Games.

Shohei Ohtani is an Athlete that can do just about anything on a baseball field. He is a six-tool player. Some quotes about Ohtani: Shohei Ohtani’s manager, Joe Maddon: “I would really refrain from advising him on a whole lot of stuff. He knows what he wants to do and he knows how he wants to do it. He’s got that kind of a baseball mind, so you really want to stay out of there.”

Mike Scioscia was Ohtani’s first manager in the major leagues. In 2018 Scioscia said towards the end of the season about Ohtani “He should be the Rookie of the Year”. Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox Manager said on Twitter: About Ohtani for MVP, ‘We should make a new award for him.

This is something MLB hasn’t seen since Babe Ruth. … He’s not the best hitter. He’s not the best pitcher. But he’s the best player”. Washington National’s Max Scherzer started for the National League the 2021 All Star Game at Coors Field in Denver, opposite Shohei Ohtani who started for the American League.

Future Hall of Famer Scherzer said: “It would be awesome if I could hit. Right now, I’m 0-for-the-first-half.” Vladimir Guerrero Jr: “Ohtani deserves the American League MVP Award, nothing that I am doing right now, tops his pitching and hitting ability.”

Finally: Could it possibly be a tie for MVP between Guerrero Jr. and Ohtani? Not likely and for obvious reasons, the novelty and the success of something we have not seen for a century. Shohei Ohtani is the Most Valuable Player. Only tie for MVP: 1979 in the National League, Keith Hernández (Cardinals) and Willie Stargell (Pirates) received an equal number of points.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s Spanish flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NFL podcast with Rich Perez: Gruden says safety first as Raiders fully vaccinated; Former Eagles assistant Chung looking for a chance; plus more

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has learned a lot about Covid 19 protocols since this photo was taken during the second half against the New England Patriots on Sun Sep 27, 2020. Gruden says that most of the staff, coaches, front office and players are fully vaccinated going into camp 2021. (AP photo file)

On the NFL podcast with Rich:

#1 Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that maybe for five players most of the Raiders staff and players are fully vaccinated Gruden says while he respects people’s opinion he said he’s proud that most of the players, staff, coaches, and front office is fully vaccinated.

#2 Last season you might recall the Raiders were fined a hefty $250,000 and Gruden personally was fined $100,000 during week 2 during a home game at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders were also fined an additional $50,000 when a non credentialed employee got access into the Raiders locker room after that same game.

#3 Former Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach and offensive tackles coach Eugene Chung was told that he “wasn’t the right minority” Chung 55, a Korean American is speaking out now that he hasn’t had an NFL job since 2017 and is seeking an audience from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying the term minority termed by the NFL is a little misleading and wants an another NFL opportunity.

#4 Former Raiders head coach Tom Flores 84, is being into the NFL Football Hall of Fame on August 8th. Flores is amongst a growing community of Latino coaches in football as College Division I has seven Latino coaches. Flores was hired by the late owner of the Raiders Al Davis in 1972 as quarterbacks coach and became head coach in 1979 to 1987. Flores is three time Super Bowl Champion once as assistant coach and twice as head coach.

#5 Aaron Rogers avoided the $50,000 daily fine and reported to the Green Bay Packers, Rogers skipped mini camp, and off season events with the Packers and could be fined $93,000 for those absences. One thing that could be said the Packers are happy to have Rogers back in camp. The Packers and Rogers are still working out details regarding Rogers contract.

Join Rich for the NFL podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: 49ers rank top ten for injury reserves; Lance signs for four yrs for $34.1 mil; plus more

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) seen here working out in the 49ers camp on May 25, 2021 signed a four year deal with the 49ers which was announced on Wed Jul 28, 2021 (AP file photo)

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 You know the 49ers were going to rank in the Top 10 in the NFL for the fifth consecutive year in injury reserve transactions. 49ers rusher Jeff Wilson while working at the team facility in May suffered a torn ligament.

#2 San Francisco 49ers have signed quarterback Trey Lance for four years for $34.1 million and got a $22 million signing bonus. The $34.1 million part of the deal is guaranteed the fifth year will be an option year.

#3 Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the past has suffered his share of injuries but as long as he says he’s healthy and is under center winning games he won’t have to look over his shoulder to see Lance standing there in the wings.

Join David for the 49ers podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Padres take game one of two-game set from A’s 7-4

Fernando Tatis Jr fists pumps after the bat flip taking the Oakland A’s deep in the third inning for a two run homer at Petco Park in San Diego to open a brief two game series on Tue Jul 27, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s came into San Diego to play two interleague games against the Padres. The A’s were facing one of the elite teams in the National League. Would the A’s pitching be able to keep the Padres’ 22-year-old superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. in check?

Could the A’s stop Manny Machado? It was going to be a daunting task for A’s starter James Kaprielian. Kaprielian, with his father watching from the stands, entered the game with a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 2.65. The Padres’ starter Chris Paddack had not pitched well in his home park, Petco Field. His record in Petco was 2-4 and the worst home ERA (6.94) in the Majors.

The A’s plated three runs in the top of the third. Kaprielian started the rally with his first hit ever in Major League baseball. With one out in the third, Kapreielian singled to right-center-field. Singles by Mark Canha and Ramon Laureano followed with singles to load the bases.

Matt Olson drove in Kaprielian with the A’s first run with a sacrifice fly. Canha tagged and went to third on the play. Jed Lowrie singled to drive in Canha to make it 2-0. It was Lowries’ 49th RBI of the year. A’s catcher Sean Murphy blooped a double down the right-field line to drive in Laureano with the third run of the inning. The A’s led 3-0 midway through the third inning.

The Padres put two on the board in the bottom of the third. With two out, Adam Frazier, playing in his first game as a Padre, singled. The next hitter was Fernando Tatis, Jr. Kaprelian’s pitch was a hanging slider. Tatis did not miss. He hit a monster shot that went deep into the second deck in left-field. The Padres were back in the game, trailing 3-2 after three.

In the bottom of the fifth, Kaprielian ran into a wee bit of trouble. The Padres sent eight men to the plate as they scored five times. A’s manager took Kaprielian out of the game after the Padres took the lead 4-3. There were still two men on the bases when Yusmeiro Petit entered the game. The first batter he faced, Manny Machado, hit a ball into the seats in right field to put the Padres ahead 7-3.

The A’s added a run in the eighth when Sean Murphy hit his 13th home run of the year. The A’s could do no more as they fell to the Padres 7-4.

Game notes and stats- With the loss, the A’s are 56-46 for the year. They lost their fourth in a row and the nineteenth in the last 32 games. They are now six and 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros. They still lead the Seattle Mariners by one game in the race for the second AL Wild Card.

The A’s line was four runs, 11 hits, and no errors. The Padres’ line was seven runs, 12 hits, and no errors. The two keys plays for San Diego were Tatis’ two-run homer and Machado’s three-run blast.

Ramon Laureano had three hits for Oakland. Jed Lowrie had a single, double, and an RBI.
James Kaprielian took the loss, and Chris Paddack was the winning pitcher for San Diego.

The time of the game was three hours and eight minutes. 40,162 fans watched the game.

The teams meet Wednesday afternoon again at 1:10 pm in San Diego. It will be a battle of two left-handed pitchers. Sean Manaea will go for Oakland, and Blake Snell pitches for the Padres.

Bellinger’s throwing error gives Giants dramatic victory 2-1

This was not Los Angeles Dodgers Cody Bellinger’s kind of night here is Bellinger walking back to the Dodgers dugout after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in the seventh. He would later make a throwing error that would allow Giants catcher Buster Posey to score in the eighth inning. (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

Once again, the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played a tight knit game that came down to the final at-bat.

Buster Posey scored on a throwing error on a ball hit by Darin Ruf, when Cody Bellingers throw to Justin Turner was airmailed that easily allowed Posey to score from third base in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Giants took game one of the three-game series with a 2-1 victory over the Giants at Oracle Park.

Blake Treinen walked both Posey and Mike Yastrzemski to start the rally for the Giants, then Ruf grounded out to Max Muncy, who threw to Bellinger for the first out and then instead of trying to get Yastrzemski at second base, Bellinger tried to get Posey at third base; however, his throw went half way up the netting past third base and Posey scored the eventual game-winning run.

In the first 14 games between the Giants and the Dodgers, nine of those games have been decided by two runs or less.

Treinen was able to regroup and got Wilmer Flores to ground out to Muncy for the second out, and got LaMonte Wade, Jr., to strikeout for the fourth time on the night to end the inning.

Despite giving up two hits to Luke Raley and recent nemesis Chris Taylor that allowed the Dodgers to put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the eighth inning, Tyler Rogers was to get out of the jam, as he got Muncy to ground into a fielders choice that saw Ruf throw to Posey and get Raley for the second out. Rogers was able to get out of the jam, as he retired Turner on a fly ball to Yastrzemski in right field.

Rogers pitched one inning and picked up his second win of the season against one loss.

Jake McGee came on in the top of the ninth inning to nail down his 21st save of the season, as he retired his former team in order and the Giants increased their lead over the Dodgers in the National League West up to three games.

It was a pitchers duel between Logan Webb for the Giants and Julio Urias for the Dodgers, that is until the Dodgers finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning.

Bellinger, who was 0-for-27 on the season against the Giants singled against Webb for the Dodgers first hit of the night, and then scored on a Billy McKinney single to centerfield; however, McKinney was thrown out at second base by Austin Slater to Thairo Estrada.

That would be the score until the bottom of the sixth inning, as Posey singled to centerfield that scored Slater to tie up the game between the two longtime rivals.

Webb went the first six innings for the Giants, as he allowed one run on three hits, walking just one and striking out five; however, he did not fare in the decision.

Like Webb, Urias also did not fare in the decision, as he went five and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on six hits, not allowing a walk and striking out five.

NOTES: This was the Giants 100th game of the season and with their 63rd win of the season, they tied the 2003 team for the third-best record since moving to San Francisco in 1958. Only the 1962 and 1993 teams had more wins after 100 games.

On the season, the Giants have scored 486 runs and allowed 365 runs to opponents, and the difference of 121 runs in the third biggest difference in the majors, trailing the Dodgers (plus 145) and the Giants next opponent, the Houston Astros, who are plus 141.

Sammy Long was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and to make room for Long, Zack Littell was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.

UP NEXT: Anthony DeSclafani goes for his 11th win for the Giants on Wednesday night, while the Dodgers will send Walker Buehler to the mound, as he also looks for his 11th win of the season.

They Were Giants? Dale Long and Dave Philley

Signed Dale Long autograph picture circa 1960 (photo from famousfix.com)

Dale Long – 1B – 1960 – # 7

Dave Philley- OF – 1960 – # 32

They Were Giants?

By Tony the Tiger Hayes

These short-lived Giants were a pair of badass hitters. Even their names: “Long & Philley” gave opposing pitchers fair warning they weren’t dealing with routine milksop batsmen.

The burly tandem – who each hold or share major league records – were grizzled roughnecks with square jaws, crew cuts and massive forearms.

In 1960, Long and Philley were added to gird the bench of a highly talented, but largely peach-fuzzed faced San Francisco team.

Why Were They Giants?

The Giants were a thrilling act in 1959 – their final season at Seals Stadium. With a lineup power packed with back-to-back Rookies of the Year (Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey) and the iconic Willie Mays leading the charge, the Giants were contenders until the later stages of the campaign.

All they seemingly lacked was a No. 1 starting pitcher and a veteran presence on the bench as the club moved into a new Candlestick Park.

With future ace Juan Marichal ready for the bigs, the only box left unchecked was the bench.

That need was fulfilled with the addition of the left-handed swinging Long and switch-hitter Philley – both coming aboard in cash transactions with the Cubs and Phillies respectively.

Before & After

By the time he joined San Francisco, Philley had established himself as one of the games elite pinch hitters.

But before that, he was a regular for several American League clubs, including the renowned 111-win, 1954 Cleveland Indians whom the underdog Giants famously swept in the ‘54 World Series.

The sturdy Texan would play for eight clubs including, coincidently, both Philadelphia clubs, over 18 seasons.

As a pinch hitter he would bat a sterling .296 – collecting 92 lifetime sub safeties.

Philley still holds the AL record for most pinch-hit hits and at-bats in a season (24 and 72 respectively) for the 1961 Baltimore Orioles. And he shares the major league record (Rusty Staub) for most consecutive pinch hits with eight when he was a member of the 1958 Philadelphia Phillies.

Long set a conservative game streak of his own in 1956, slugging home runs in eight straight games for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He held the record by himself for 31 seasons. The mark has since been duplicated by Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey, Jr.

While not as accomplished a pinch hitter as Philley, Long did launch eight career long balls in the pinch – including three as a Giant – to augment his 132 career round trippers over ten seasons.

After leaving San Francisco, Long played for the Yankees and faced the Giants in the 1962 World Series. Long had a RBI single off the bench in Game 1, a 6-2 New York win at Candlestick Park (10/4/62).

They Never Had Their Own Bobblehead Day. But…

The high expectations of the 1960 Giants never materialized in the standings.

After getting off to a good start, the club stalled in June, losing eight of 12 games. Manager Bill Rigney was ousted and the club limped to a disappointing fifth place finish.

Both Long and Philley were gone by that point – peddled off to the Yankees and Orioles respectively near the end of the ‘60 season.

Though he crushed those three pinch homers for the Orange & Black, overall Long batted a disappointing .167 in 37 games. Philley hit a similar .164 in 39 tilts.

On August 6 at the home of the eventual world champion Pirates, the Giants played a game that encapsulated the entire trying season. After the clubs had traded the lead five times, the Giants came to bat in the top of the ninth of the see-saw affair trailing 5-3.

With one out, Philley was sent up to pinch hit for C Bob Schmidt and he promptly muscled a single into the outfield off Bucs starter Vernon Law.

Giants skipper Tom Sheehan then inserted McCovey to bat in place of SS Andre Rodgers, but Law managed to fan Big Mac.

With the club down to it’s final out, Sheehan turned to his third straight pinch hitter and sent Long to bat for P Sherman Jones.

Long wasted little time reminding the Steel Town faithful of his ‘56 exploits, crushing a towering shot into the Forbes Field bleachers to tie the contest.

The Giants would take the lead in the 10th when Cepeda blasted his 19th home run of the season – a two-run dinger – off Law who was miraculously still in the game, and San Francisco took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the 10th.

Alas, it was not to be as Pittsburgh plated three runs in the bottom of the frame to win 8-7.

And that was basically the Giants season in a nutshell.

Giant Footprint

After World Series hero Madison Bumgarner left the Giants in 2020, word leaked out that while under contract with San Francisco the iron-armed pitcher had secretly competed in calf roping competitions, using a alias.

But he wasn’t the first Giant to employ the arts of the Cowboy. Philley actually owned and personally operated his own Texas-based 557-acre cattle ranch.

After tending to his steers all offseason he would report to spring training with his hands already pre-calloused. Of course he would have laughed at any thought of using batting gloves.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Is crime in Oakland another factor A’s want to leave so anxiously? Sen Boxer robbed at Jack London Sq

On That’s Amaury’s Podcast:

#1 In the latest in a series of robberies, shootings, and mugging in Oakland former California Senator Barbara Boxer 80, was robbed of her cell phone and she was pushed and the phone was taken. The suspect ran off and Sen Boxer was not seriously injured there is a $2,000 reward for the suspect. The crime took place near the location where the Oakland A’s want to build their new ballpark Jack London Square.

#2 After last week’s City Council vote in Oakland that voted 6-1 to support the A’s for a new ballpark but didn’t meet the A’s request for more infrastructure A’s president David Kaval who was in the greater Las Vegas and South Nevada area looking for a location for a new A’s stadium is well aware of the crime in downtown and Chinatown Oakland could that be also a added factor to leave town?

#3 Tonight the Oakland A’s are in San Diego to battle the San Diego Padres in a two game series. A’s starter James Kaprielian gets the call for tonight’s game. This will be Kaprielian’s 12th start and has 68 innings under his belt. Kaprielian is 5-3 with a 2.65 ERA he’s had some good outings.

#4 The A’s added pitcher Andrew Chafin to the bullpen strengthening the bullpen Chafin comes from the Chicago Cubs with two minor league prospects. Chafin is (0-2 ERA 2.06).

#5 Amaury, A’s reliever JB Wendelken relieved for the second time since the All Star break. Wendelken pitched 1 2/3 innings against Seattle on Sunday. A’s manager Bob Melvin says that Wendelken is coming off an injury and their trying to find spots for him to come in and releive.

#6 Amaury after the A’s lost three out of four games in Seattle how important was it for the club to have Monday off in getting prepared for their two game series in San Diego.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play voice for the Oakland A’s flagship station at 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Here Comes the Trade Deadline: Giants will be buyers, albeit smart buyers

By Morris Phillips

The Dodgers have the shiniest rings, the flashiest talent and superior depth, and money, always good at the trade deadline.

The Padres have a deep roster, Fernando Tatis Jr. and a wheeler-dealer mentality that trumps any seen previously at the big league level.

The Giants? They have a two-game lead in the NL West, the most remaining home games, and a pragmatic approach that’s almost guaranteed to underwhelm most trade deadline evaluators.

How will the Giants make this work?

As best they can, given their obvious restraints.

Team president Farhan Zaidi has made a bunch of progress in his nearly two years at the helm. The Giants farm system is healthy, the salary structure has clear definition, and this summer–when numerous, big ticket contracts come off the books–is the critical period for the organization to strike in the free agent market.

But the team wants to win now, and capitalize on its stature of being ahead of schedule, and ahead of the pack with MLB’s best won-loss record through 99 games. The schedule will be a factor in the decision making: only six of the remaining 63 games are against the Dodgers. Instead the Giants will see San Diego and Colorado 10 times, and Arizona nine. They’ll also see Milwaukee seven times, and the Braves and Mets six times each. Their home heavy schedule is considerably softer than say the Dodgers, who are on the road for 12 of the next 17, and nine straight within the last three weeks of the season.

The Giants won’t do as much as the Dodgers or Padres. The Dodgers want another starter–Trevor Bauer may not pitch again this season–and that won’t be cheap. The Padres are weighing big options as well. The Giants will settle for an extra bullpen arm, or an under-the-radar starting pitcher as long as neither cost them a Joey Bart or Marco Luciano, who are being groomed to be future, homegrown stars.

Positionally, the Giants will rely on their trainers to get Evan Longoria, Tommy La Stella, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford healthy. With those four in the mix, the Giants will be loaded with lineup options around the diamond. Any new names added to that mix would have to be overwhelming, and likely replace on the names already in the fold.

Oakland A’s preview: A’s open two game set in San Diego; A’s take an interest in Rangers’ Gallo

A number of clubs have taken an interest in Texas Rangers Joey Gallo, the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland A’s so far have all stepped up to the plate in the Gallo Sweepstakes (file photo USA Today)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s continued to flounder as they lost three of the four games played against the Settle Mariners this past weekend. The A’ continued to fail to get clutch hits with runners in scoring position. Since June 18th, the A’s are 13-18. Yes, they are playing a lot of one-run games.

Yes, they have had chances to win. Yet, they fail to come through. On June 18th, the A’s were in first place in the AL West. They are now 5 and 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros. They led the Seattle Mariners by 3 and 1/2 games in the second AL Wild Card race.

That was before the weekend series. They now lead the Mariners by 1 and 1/2 games. They have lost seven of the last ten series played. They won two and split one with the Texas Rangers. The only team in the AL West that they can beat has been the LA Angels. The Astros, Rangers, and Mariners all have a winning record against Oakland.

The A’s missed the boat by not trading for Nelson Cruz. Tampa Bay sent two prospects to Minnesota for the slugger. Oakland could have worked out a deal. The A’s have not gotten the production they hoped for from the two guys in right field.

Mitch Moreland has been on the 10-day IL twice. Moreland has hit seven dingers and driven in 24. The A’s are rumored to be interested in acquiring Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers. The New York Yankees are also interested in trading for Gallo. Maybe Billy Beane and David Forst probably would go after Khris Davis. He is available.

The A’s are on their way to San Diego to play two against the San Diego Padres. The Padres are in third place in the NL West. They trail the San Francisco Giants by 5 and 1/2 games and are 3 and 1/2 games behind the LA Dodgers in the Wild Card Chase.

The Padres made several moves over the off-season to bolster their starting pitching. They acquired Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs and Blake Snell, a former Cy Young Award winner, from the Tampa Bay Rays. Their general manager, A.J. Preller, engineered a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates to acquire second baseman/ outfielder Adam Frazier for three prospects. The deal hasn’t been finalized but is expected to be announced soon. Preller is working on a deal to get pitcher Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins.

The Padres have not announced their starters for the series with the A’s. Chris Paddack (6-6, ERA 5.17) last pitched on July 21st, and his next turn would appear to be against the A’s. Lefty Blake Snell (4-3, ERA 4.93) would go on Wednesday. Oakland will send James Kaprielian to the mound Tuesday night. Kaprielian is 5-3, and his ERA is 2.53. Lefty Sean Manaea (7-6, ERA 3.16) will pitch for the A’s Wednesday afternoon.

The A’s pitchers will have their work cut out for them against a very potent San Diego offense. They have two guys on the left side of the infield that can hammer the baseball. Third baseman Manny Machado, in his tenth season, is hitting .275 with 17 homers and 68 RBIs.

Machado has hit 240 homers so far in his career. At shortstop, the Padres have the 2-year-old phenom, Fernando Tatis, Jr. The young man from the Dominican Republic is hitting .289 with 30 home runs and has 67 RBIs.

Eric Hosmer will be at first base for the Pads. Hosmer owns a .266 batting average, and he has hit eight dingers in driven in 48. Second baseman Jake Cronenworth is hitting a solid .275. Jake has hit 13 big flies out of the park and knocked in 24 mates.

The Padres have four players they use quite a bit in the outfield. Tommy Phan will probably start in leftfield. Pham is batting .260 and has hit 13 dingers. Trent Grisham will patrol centerfield. Grisham is at .262, 11 homers, and 39 RBIs. Will Myers (.254, 12 homers, 45 RBIs) will be in right. Jurickson Profar, who was an Oakland Athletic in 2019, will be the backup outfielder.

The Padre bullpen is solid. Their closer, the veteran Mark Melancon has been solid all year. Melancon has recorded 30 saves so far this year. Two former A’s are in the Padre pen. Emilio Pagan, who was with Oakland in2018, and Drew Pomerantz, a starter for Oakland in 2014 and 2025, have done well for the Padres. Other relievers that will see action include left Tim Hill, righties Craig Stammen, Austin Adams, Pierce Johnson, and Nabil Crismatt.

Since the game is being played in a National League Park, the A’s will be without the designated hitter. The A’s will have to figure out a way to put runs on the board. Since resuming play after the All-Star break, Oakland has put slightly more than three runs per game on the board.

After the two-game set with the Padres, the A’s play four against the Angels. The A’s have had their way against LA so far. However, the Angels would love to turn the tables on their foes from the Bay area. After the Angel series, the A’s return home to play two more against the Padres.

The Texas Rangers, in last place in the AL West, will play three more in Oakland. They have not been kind to the A’s this year. The A’s then go on the road to play three in Cleveland, three more with Texas, and four against the Central Division leaders, the Chicago White Sox. After that trip, the A’s host the San Francisco Giants for three, the Mariners for two, and the Yankees for four more games.

The A’s do not have an easy road to the playoffs. They need help to strengthen the offense. Lou Trivino has done a reasonably good job as the closer. Lefty Jake Diekman has had some control issues. Diekman has not been as effective as he was last year. Sergio Romo has regained his form and has been quite a surprise. Yusmeiro Petit has also done a good job.

It will be interesting to see if the A’s get active before the July 30th trade deadline. They need to upgrade the offense. First baseman Matt Olson is the A’s most valuable player. The big guy is hitting .287 to go along with 27 home runs and 66 RBIs. Mark Canha, Jed Lowrie, and Tony Kemp are the only other hitters above the .250 mark. Seth Brown is at .201, Stephen Piscotty at .205, Sean Murphy .212, Matt Chapman .218.

Hopefully, the A’s can get the offense going. If they don’t, they may not make the playoffs. Let’s hope they can make a couple of deals and they get back on the winning track.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Has Gausman run out of gas, concerns in most recent outings

San Francisco Giants number one starter Kevin Gausman seen in a previous game has struggled in his last two outings including Saturday night at Oracle Park on Sat Jul 24, 2021 against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates (Mercury News file photo)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko for Morris:

#1 San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman was all the rage going into the All Star Break with a record of 9-2 he was the ace of the Giants pitching staff and is the number one starter. But his last two games have been rough particularly his last start on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates were he got lit up in four plus innings for eight hits and six runs.

#2 In his first loss last Monday the Dodgers scored six runs and eight hits off Gausman in over four innings of work identical numbers of his work on Saturday night against the Pirates.

#3 Gausman’s splitter was dropping and he didn’t have Pirate hitters hitting off balance like he did in his previous wins. He didn’t have his old effectiveness and also didn’t throw as many splits. Could Gausman be hurting, is his mechanics off?

#4 Gausman’s wife Taylor was giving birth and experienced complications and Gausman had to take emergency family leave to be with Taylor in Louisiana that could also be on Gausman’s mind as well.

#5 The Giants have Monday off and host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The two clubs last met last week and the Giants took three out of four in LA. After this rough Pirates series could the tide change in the upcoming series on Tuesday?

Marko Ukalovic filled in for Morris Phillips who does the Giants podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com