Spoil Sports: Giants win 4-1, keep the Braves from gaining the NL East lead

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–This time, the weight of a long, draining baseball season fell squarely on the shoulders of the Atlanta Braves.

The Giants–on the strength of a couple of good night’s sleep in their own beds–were poised to take advantage.

Austin Wynns drove in three runs, and Carlos Rodon cruised through five innings before a blister issue forced him from the mound. The Giants have won four of five, following a five-game slide.

“I think we’re more than capable (of being) a winning team,” Rodon said. “Unfortunately, the way it’s gone this year, it’s been up and down for us and we’ve kind of been behind often. But as of late we’ve played really well.”

The Braves looked sluggish facing Rodon and the four relievers that followed, with their top of the order guys–Ronald Acuna Jr. batting leadoff, Darby Swanson, Austin Riley and Matt Olson–all posting 0 for 4 games.

Charlie Morton, the Braves’ starter with a long history of success against the Giants (15 starts, four wins, 2.55 ERA coming in) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits before he departed in the sixth inning. Morton suffered his first loss since July 27.

The Braves concluded an eight-game, three-city trip (Oakland, Seattle and San Francisco) with a thud. Manager Brian Snitker commented after the game that he felt like his club hadn’t been home in forever. It showed on Wednesday, their fourth loss in five games, and they failed to overtake the Mets for the NL East lead with the loss.

“You’re trying to win every game,” Snitker said. “Every game is big. They all mean a lot now.”

Rodon’s blister issue can’t be taken lightly. So much speculation has been spent on whether the former White Sox pitcher will opt-in to his $22 million option for next year with the Giants, or choose to test the free agent market. Which ever decision he makes, a bunch of money will be involved, and the Giants will want to make their best impression in hopes of keeping him.

“We felt like where we were in the season, it was the right decision to get him out of there,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “I don’t anticipate (Rodon missing time) but we’re going to be cautious with Carlos and talk to him tomorrow and see how he’s feeling and go from there.”

“It’s just something I’ve been dealing with all year,” Rodon said. “Whenever I get a lot of pressure on that slider, it just tends to crack and get that blood blister, so just something we’ve got to manage.”

Rodon improved to 13-8 with the win, matching Logan Webb for the team lead in wins.

The Giants open a weekend set with the Dodgers on Friday night. Webb will be matched with Los Angeles’ Dustin May in the opener.

Braves three run third inning does in Giants in 5-1 loss

Dansby Swanson circles the bases after connecting with his 20th home run of the season against San Francisco Giants pitching in the top of the third inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

Atlanta (88-54). 5. 10. 0

San Francisco (68-74). 1. 4. 0

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–Bay area sports pages and talk shows, when they’re not going on about football and other usurpers of the headlines of September, are full of post mortems for the Giants and Athletics’ autumn hopes.

Since the Giants’ 5-1 defeat by the Atlanta Braves tonight isn’t going to change the fact that the team is, for 2022, dead in the water, I thought I’d bring up one possible cause of the team’s demise before going on to what seemed to me the significant details of tonight’s encounter.

Every so often, the Giants send their fans a survey in which they ask questions like what makes you want to attend Giant games and then give a list of possible answers that the fans are supposed to rank.

In the last one I saw, which was less than a month ago, “because I like baseball” wasn’t one of the options. Now, I understand that baseball is a business and its owners want to put people in the seats (and in front of their screens).

I don’t want to imply that the Giants are indifferent to the team’s inadequate performance this year, but I think the absence of the baseball option says something important-and negative-about the attitude of the San Francisco ownership and, indeed, of the monopoly that is Major League Baseball, Inc.

The Baseball Operations staff was, in fact, busy before this evening’s game began. They recalled southpaw reliever Thoma Sszapucki from Sacramento and optioned right handed ditto Zack Litell to the River Cats

Tuesday game wrap: In tonight’s entertainment, the 87-54 Atlanta Braves sent right hander Kyle Wright (17-5, 3.23) against the woebegone 68-73 Giants. That’s the same Kyle Wright who, in his last start, a week ago today, went into his game against the even more woebegone Oakland Athletics with an ERA of 2.85).

The Bay Area treated Wright more kindly tonight. He went 5-1/3 innings and surrendered one run, earned, on three hits, three walks, and a wild pitch. He threw an even 100 pitches, 42 of which were balls. He earned his 18th win and brought his ERA down to 3.18.

Jakob Junis, coming to the mound at 4-5, 3.98, made his 16th start of the season and first ever against Atlanta.

The slider-sinker artist pitched better than his numbers indicated but still not very well. A few plays that were ruled hits-and, according to the not always fair rule book, those rulings were correct-were just bad breaks.

Junis went four plus innings and allowed four runs, all technically earned, on seven hits, one of which left the park, and a walk. He had five strikeouts and threw 92 pitches, 60 for strikes. He took the loss, his sixth against four wins and saw his ERA rise to 4.15.

The Giants touched Wright for a run right away. Mike Yastrzemski dropped a dying quail to left that got past Eddie Rosario for a one out double in the first. After Evan Longoria took a called third strike, Yaz took second on a wild pitch with Joc Pederson at the plate. Pederson’s single to right drove in Yastrzemski for the initial tally.

The Braves evened it up in their next at bat. Michael Harris II split the difference between Pederson and Yazk to bounce a two bagger off the Game Up sign in left center. He moved up 90 feet on Rosario’s single to center and scored when Robie Grossman beat out second sacker Thairo Estrada’s relay from Brandon Crawford on a missed double play opportunity.

They missed an offensive opportunity when a pair of walks and a single by Joey Bart enabled San Francisco to load the bases with two down in the second.Yastrzemski’s fly to the warning track in left ended that threat.

In the third frame, Dansby Swanson’s fly to left, to just about the same spot as Yaz’s, went a little further and cleared the fence, landing 385 feet into the bleachers with Acuña, who had led off with a single, on base.

That put the Braves ahead 3-1. Two outs later, Travis D’Arnaud whacked a line drive that glanced off González’s glove in right. It was ruled a hit because González had lost it in the lights. Harris singled to center to bring in D’Arnaud with Atlanta’s fourth run of the fray.

When Crawford, attempting a backhanded catch, bobbled D’Arnaud’s lead off grounder to short in the sixth, Kapler, Bailey, & Co., removed Junis and replaced him with portsider Jarlín García.

Wright struck out Longoria with a curve to open the home sixth. It was his 100th and last pitch of the night. His replacement, southpaw AJ Minter, retired David Villar, pinch hitting for Pederson, on a fly that drove Rosario to the left field wall and a strike out of Crawford.

Cole Waites made his major league debut, coming in to pitch the top of the seventh. He had a rocky time of it. He walked the first batter he faced, Ehire Adrianza, on four pitches and then surrendered a double to Acuña, putting runners on second and third.

The rookie showed he had heart and talent. Adrianza held third when Swanson bounded out , Crawford to Villar at first. Austin Riley followed with a grounder to Villar, who threw Adrianza out at home, while Acuña stayed put at second. The powerful Matt Olson flew out to left to end Waites’ scoreless baptism of fire.

Minter remained in the game long enough to strike out Estrada and walk Wilmer Flores, batting for DH Willie Calhoun, in the home seventh. When JD Davis was announced as pinch hitter for González, Collin McHugh took over pitching duties for the visitors.

(Go your left, your right, your left). He walked Davis on a full count, putting the potential tying run at the plate in the person of the resurgent Joey Bart. He slashed a vicious one hop line drive to Adrianza at second, who converted it into a rally killing 4-6-3 double play.

Luis Ortiz, San Francisco’s fourth pitcher of the night, allowed a leadoff single off the left field wall to lead off the top of the eighth. He was erased on a 4-6-3 pitcher’s best friend before Rosario flew out to the center field. warning track.

Raisel Iglesias was Atlanta’s setup man for the eighth. He set the Giants down to a conga beat.

Ortiz came out for the ninth and gave up the bull pen’s only run of the night. A walk to Adrianza, who advanced to second on Acuña’s ground out to the mound and scored on Swanson’s single to left made it 5-2 when Kenley Jansen came in to close it out for Atlanta in the bottom of the ninth.

Wednesday at 12:45 Charlie Morton (8-5. 4.08) will toe the rubber for the Braves, facing the Giants’ Carlos Rodón (12-8, 2.93) to conclude the three game series.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Kaprielian hopes to be effective after returning to starting rotation

Oakland A’s pitcher James Kaprielian has returned to the starting rotation after pitcher Adam Oller created a vacancy going on the 15 day IL. Kaprielian will start Fri Sep 9, 2022 against the Chicago White Sox at the Oakland Coliseum (USA Today file photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 The Oakland A’s announced on Wednesday that pitcher James Kaprielian (3-9, 4.79) will be return to the starting rotation after being sent to the bullpen. Kaprielian was sent to the bullpen when the A’s were in Baltimore during last weekend’s series.

#2 Kaprielian had a struggle in Washington against the Nationals last Wed Aug 31 at Nationals Stadium in a 5-1 loss. After some careful thought and with starter Adam Oller join the 15 day IL due to a rib injury Kaprielian is back in the rotation.

#3 On Oller’s injury Oller said it was a freak accident that when he would start throwing and warming up again the pain would go away but it didn’t and hence he’s place on the 15 day IL.

#4 The A’s had Ramon Laureano back in the line up over the two game series against the Atlanta Braves at the Oakland Coliseum. Laureano did struggle at the plate Wednesday afternoon going 0-4 including getting hit by a pitch.

#5 Jeremiah let’s take a look at the Chicago White Sox who are also out of the AL Wild Card hunt by 7.5 games like the A’s there are call up and rookies fighting for jobs so it should be a competitive four game series which started tonight.

Join Jeremiah for the A’s podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s get beat convincingly 7-3; Atlanta’s Swanson clouts go ahead HR in sixth

Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves hits a solo shot in the top of the sixth inning at the Oakland Coliseum against the Oakland A’s on Wed Sep 7, 2022 (AP News photo)

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 Jerry the magical bat of the Atlanta Braves (86-51) Dansby Swanson was broke the 2-2 deadlock in the top of the sixth inning with a 397 foot blast to leftfield.

#2 Braves pitcher Spencer Strider who has 18 wins for the season and showed why after walking three batters in the first inning and giving up only one hit and two runs settled down for the rest of the game giving up only two hits to the Oakland A’s (50-87).

#3 The New York Mets who won today remained tied with the Braves for first place in the NL Wild Card standings. The Braves certainly showed today why their in first place by sweeping the A’s in a close two game series.

#4 A’s first baseman Stephen Vogt showed no intimidation of facing Strider getting two hits cracking a double in the bottom of the first inning scoring Vimeal Machin later in bottom of the eighth Seth Brown hit a solo home run to centerfield.

#5 The A’s concluded their two game series with the Braves in the Wednesday matinee and open a four game series with the Chicago White Sox righthander Dylan Cease (13-6, 2.13) who just missed a no hitter in his last outing and he’ll be opposed by the A’s JP Sears (2-1, 2.63) a 6:40 pm PDT.

Join Jerry for the A’s podcasts Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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.

Braves hold on to just get by A’s 10-9 at Coliseum

The Oakland A’s Chad Pinder swings for the fences connecting for a three run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning at the Oakland Coliseum against the Atlanta Braves Tue Sep 6, 2022 (AP News photo)

Atlanta (85-51).      10.  13.  0

Oakland (50-86).     9.   9    1

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–This unseasonable September weather in Northern California makes the Bay Area seem less like the haven it is from the torrid temperatures that plague the rest of these somewhat United States and more like two others, Florida and Arizona.

This is the type of baseball we’re getting here in Oakland and, to lesser extent, in San Francisco resembles the type of ball you see in Arizona when summer turns into autumn, a blend of extended spring training and the Arizona Fall League, a chance to get a glimpse future stars, future bit players, and future of might have beens.

It would be grand if the home team wins, but if they don’t, it’s just a shame. That’s not what September baseball in the Coliseum is about. The world will little note that Atlanta edged out Oakland in a slugfest by a score of 10-9. 

A different question hangs over the ballpark like the smoke particles wafting down from the north,  the Coliseum itself. Where will the Oakland A’s play three to five years from now? Will there be an Oakland A’s three to five years from now? And in what state will they play.

Never discount the possibility that  the Athletics’ ownership, in collaboration with MLB, will play both Oakland and Las Vegas for fools. Maybe hokey pokey IS what it’s all about.

The team’s management today engaged in some more straightforward deals with Vegas, where their AAA farm team is located. They promoted  Ken Waldichuk, a left handed pitcher they had acquired, along with JP Sears, from the Yankees in the deal that sent Frankie Montás and Lou Trivino into exile in New York.

They also recalled outfielder Cody Thomas from the Aviators. Right-handed pitcher David McKay was the odd man out, and he was DFA’d for assignment, thereby staying below the 28 player roster limit.

Thomas started tonight in left field, batting in the eighth position. Ramón Laureano also was in the outfield tonight, in center, fresh off the 10 day injured list. Cal Stevenson, in turn, was optioned to Las Vegas.  Adam Oller was placed on the 15 day list, retroactive to the day before yesterday. His spot in the bullpen will be filled by Fremont native Tyler Cyr.

The battery for Oakland tonight  didn’t consist of tryouts. Catcher Sean Murphy has a gold glove to his credit, and his batting average has risen from a distressing .238 on August 1 to mediocre but strikingly improved .254 at game time.

Cole Irvin, the green and gold’s  southpaw starter, now in his fourth big league season if you count 2020, started the day with the lowest ERA among Oakland´s starters with enough innings pitched for the statistic to be meaningful, 3.35 .

 There were also a couple of familiar faces in Atlanta’s starting lineup. One was Matt Olson, to whom Matt Chapman owes I’d say 65%, at least, of his gold gloves. He was cheered loudly by the 6,062 fans present when he was announced.

The other was, switch hitting Robbie Grossman, up ninth and playing in right.The Braves’ roster contained other reminders of what baseball in Oakland used to be. Coaches Kevin Seitzer, Ron Washington, and Walt Weiss and pitcher Jesse Chavez are the ones that caught my eye.

Irvin didn’t pitch well in his last start, on August 30 in Washington. Over 5-1/3 innings, He gave up nine hits leading to five runs, all of them earned. But it garnered him his seventh win against 11 losses. Tonight he was ineffective.

He lasted only 4-2/3 frames and was tagged for nine runs, all earned, on the same number of hits, one of them a home run. He walked four and maintained his fearful symmetry by walking an equal number of Braves. He W L ND and ended the night at 7-11, 3.78. He threw 84 pitches, 55 for strikes 

Irvin’s opposing starter, Kyle Wright, entered the fray as the National League’s winningest pitcher, with 17 to his credit against five defeats. Nor was his 2.85 earned run average anything to sneeze at. He was the fifth overall selection in the 2017 draft. 

His only previous appearance against Oakland occurred in Atlanta this past June 7, when he earned his sixth victory of the year, holding them to two runs, earned, on five hits and no walks over eight frames. His performance this hot, Atlanta-like night in Oakland was as poor as Irvin’s.

Wright pitched four innings and yielded eight runs, all earned, on five hits, three walks, a wild pitch, and two hit batsmen. He surrendered a pair of long balls and escaped with a no decision. His ERA rose almost half a run, to 3.25, while his won-lost mark remained at 17-5

Atlanta beat up on Oakland at the first opportunity.  Ronald Acuña, Jr., and Dansby Swanson rapped out sold singles to inaugurate the festivities. After Riley, greeted with chants of “MVP” flew out to right, Olson walked to load the bases. William  Contreras lifted a sacrifice fly to right that scored Acuña.

For some reason, Dermís Garía decided not to cut the throw off at first, and Swanson and Olson each advanced a base. Vaughn Grissom then whistled a hard bouncer past García down the first base line, and the A’s were behind 3-0 before they had faced the first of Wright’s  challenges.

The A’s got one of those runs back in their half of the initial frame. Tony Kemp smacked a leadoff double to right, moved to third on Ramon Laureano’s ground out to short, and scored when Murphy followed Laureano’s lead.

By the third, the Braves were on the. attack again. Swanson led off with a double that bounced against the left field wall, between the seven Up and Ray Fosse signs. Riley walked on four pitches, setting the stage for Olson’s 28th home run of the year, a 417 foot blast to dead center field off of a 90mph four seamer. It brought his RBI total to 90 on the year. His team now led his old team, 6-1 and then lightning struck

. With one away Nick Allen hit an automatic double over the Sports California  advertisement in left center. He moved up 90 feet on Kemp’s ground out to second and scored on Laureano’s single to left. Murphy continued his hot streak with a 404 foot dinger to center, making it 6-4. It was his 18th round tripper of the year and gave him his 54th and 55th RBI. The A’s reduced their deficit to a single tally three pitches later.

The pitch was an 85mph curve, and, if it wasn’t hanging, Seth Brown certainly hung it out to dry, sending it 394 feet into center field for his 20th four bagger of ’22.The A’s comeback was too good to last long. Allen made a high throw to first on Riley’s lead off grounder to short.

Only a great leaping catch by García at first managed to secure the out. After Olson struck out, it seemed that Irvin had everything under control. He didn’t.

Contreras worked a full count walk. Grissom’s single to right sent him to second. Michael Harris, Jr., singled to center, plating Contreras and sending Grissom to third.

Michael Harris tried to advance, Vimael Machín’s throw to second was accurate, and second base umpire Ramón De Jesús called him out. But the replay crew in New York didn’t see it that way, and the Braves’ challenge was upheld. 

At this point, manager Mark Karsay yanked Irvin and sent Joel Payamps to the mound.

He allowed Marcell Ozuna’s single to left that drove in Grissom and Harris and left the A’s trailing, 9-5. Wright also failed to survive the fifth. He walked Kemp and then hit Luareano with a pitch. A wild pitch to Murphy moved both runners up a base.

A walk to Murphy loaded the bases and ended Wright’s tenure. His replacement, southpaw Dylan Lee, fanned Seth Brown. García hit a grounder to short that forced out Laureano at third. Chad Pinder pinch hit for Machín and put the A’s back in the game  with a 398 foot homer to center.

The teams now were tied at nine. Back to back singles by Langeliers and Cody Thomas sent Lee to the showers and the one time Athletic Jesse Chavez to the mound. It was a tense moment, and he did not receive a warm welcome from the A’s faithful. He struck Allen out to end the inning.

Atlanta broke the tie in the sixth. Acuña led off with a two bagger and advanced to third on Swanson’s fly to right. Riley and Olson also flew out to right. Riley’s fly was of the sacrificial kind. Olson’s ended the inning.  Atlanta now was on top, 10-9.  The sac fly was hit against Sam Moll, who had relieved Payamps after Acuña crossed the plate. The run was charged against Payamps.

Two beautiful plays by Kemp, one on a grounder and one on a pop up got Moll safely through the seventh with Oakland still in striking distance at 10-9.

Raisel Iglesias was Atlanta’s pitcher for the home seventh. It took him a dozen pitches to get Brown, leading off, out on a fly to the back of the right field warning track. But he got out of the inning without allowing the A’s anything more than a single to Pinder.

Austin Pruitt mounted Oakland’s carousel of relievers for the top of the eighth and sent his opponents down to a conga beat and hung around to start the ninth.

It was AJ Minter’s turn in home eighth. Jonah Bride, hitting for Langeliers, hit an opposite field grounder to first. Olson made a great grab of it, and Minter beat Bride to the bag by an eyelash to record the put out. He struck out the next two batters he faced, Allen and Sheldon Neuse, hitting for Kemp.

Riley opened the top of the ninth by beating out a grounder to third, and Pruitt yielded to Kirby Snead. Aside from a single to Grissom, he was unscathed.

The A’s had one last chance left. They had to face Kenley Jansen, tied for the major league lead in saves and ninth on the all time list for that category. Laureano flailed in vain at a cutter for the third strike to lead off. Murphy popped out to first.Brown went down swinging on a sinker.

The win went to Jesse Chavez, now 3-1, 3.36. Payamps took the loss, leaving him with a record 3-4, 3.00.

Tomorrow at 12:37, the newly returned Ken Waldichuk (0-0, 1.93) will go head to head against Spencer Strider (9-4, 2.67)

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: It’s Olson and Braves down for a battle with A’s tonight at Coliseum

 Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) who scored, Austin Riley (27) and Dansby Swanson (7) all congratulate the Atlanta Braves Matt Olson after hitting a top of the eighth inning grand slam at PNC Park in Pittsburgh against the Pirates on Wed Aug 24, 2022. Olson and the Braves are in Oakland to open a two game series at the Oakland Coliseum Tue Sep 6, 2022 (AP file photo)

On That’s Amaruy’s News and Commentary’s podcast:

#1 Seth Brown was swinging the heavy bats for the Oakland A’s (50-85) hitting two home runs and Oakland got some nifty pitching out starter Adrian Martinez and four relievers for a 5-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles (71-62) at Camden Yards in Baltimore to avoid getting swept in three games.

#2 The Orioles who had a six consecutive game win streak going had it snapped with the loss and drop to 2.5 games behind third place Toronto for the final AL wild card spot. The O’s in order to get back in the hunt will have to do some damage on the Jays starting Monday as they open up a four game series at Camden.

#3 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 Atlanta Braves started slowly this year but have been on fire.

#4 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. 

#5 The Braves will be starting Kyle Wright whose 17-5 and former Athletic Matt Olson will be facing his old teammates tonight at the Coliseum and he could very well be the reason why the A’s will get extra fans out at the Coliseum tonight.

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

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

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: Brown supplies the home runs and Martinez provides the pitching

Oakland Athletics shortstop Sheldon Neuse can’t handle the hot potato hit to him at shortstop by the Baltimore Orioles Ramon Urias at Camden Yards in Baltimore on Sun Sep 4, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara Oakland A’s first baseman Seth Brown had himself an after noon slugging two home runs off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Spencer Watkins.

#2 Oakland starter Adrian Martinez and four A’s relievers combined for a shutout giving up a combined three hits, two walks and four strikeouts in six innings of work.

#3 The loss for the Orioles reduces them in the AL wild card standings and increases the number of games in chasing the third and final wild card spot held by the Toronto Blue Jays by 2.5 games.

#4 The win for the A’s avoids them from getting swept by the O’s. The A’s did have to work for it scoring a run in the top of the second and another two runs in the top of the third.

#5 The A’s return to the Oakland Coliseum for a brief two game series starting Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves starter Kyle Wright (17-5, 2.85) goes for the Braves and the A’s will start Cole Irvin (7-11, 3.35) a 6:40 pm PDT first pitch.

Join Barbara for all the A’s podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Giants Trade Duggar and Lose: 4-3 loss in Atlanta ends a rough trip for SF

By Morris Phillips

Steven Duggar was traded, Alex Wood was upset and manager Gabe Kapler was a bit exasperated. That was the Giants’ Thursday, not exactly a feel-good getaway day in hot, suburban Atlanta.

The Giants got little uplift from Wood, who started and fell behind 5-1 in the second inning when he was removed for reliever Zach Littell. A four-pronged rally that started in the fifth merely brought the Giants close in a tough, 7-6 loss.

“These guys have been grinding,” Wood said. “We’ve had a brutal travel schedule and these guys have been playing their butts off and for me to go out there and do that is really deflating.”

The Giants finished 3-4 on their two-city trip, and lost three games to the Braves, each by one run. They open a weekend set at Oracle Park on Friday with the Reds.

Darby Swanson homered in the first and fourth innings, a continuation of his hot streak now a month in the making. Swanson homered on Wednesday as well, part of a .385 hitting stretch over the last 30 games.

“It’s not surprising to see what he’s been doing,” starting pitcher Kyle Wright said of Swanson. “He’s very strong mentally, physically. He does all the things to put himself in a great position to be successful, and he’s reaping the benefits.”

Wright pitched into the sixth inning despite giving up ten hits and four runs. That was good enough to win it on a day the Giants failed in eight opportunities with runners in scoring position, along with hitting into four double plays.

“The tying run came to the plate. It felt like we did everything we could to stay in that game,” Kapler said. “I feel like we had some good at-bats today and kept fighting back all the way through the end of the game. I feel like that’s a moment to be proud of the club for not laying down.”

The 2 through 5 hitters for the Giants combined for eight hits–two hits from each guy–and only one RBI. That’s hard to do, but again only one of the hits was timely, and the double plays wiped out a couple scoring chances too.

Before the game, the Giants traded Steven Duggar to Texas for speedy, 27-year old outfielder Willie Calhoun, who has friendly minor league options and a different, offensive approach. Duggar had been with San Francisco’s organization since 2015, when he was a sixth round draft pick. The deal also clears the needed space for Luis Gonzales, who has been a breakout performer for the Giants in Duggar’s absence. Gonzales experienced back tightness and missed the concluded Braves’ series.

Cincinnati’s Graham Ashcraft and Alex Cobb are the announced starters for Friday night’s series opener at 7:05pm.