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

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.

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

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

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Chapman saves the A’s bacon with 2-run bomb; A’s stay 1/2 game up in wild card

Photo credit: halosheaven.com

On the A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 The A’s dropped two crucial games — one against Texas last Sunday at the Coliseum and another on Tuesday night in Anaheim. The A’s in never give up style, down 2-1 on Wednesday night in the top of the ninth, got a two-run jack from Matt Chapman his 34th to get the A’s a 3-2 one-run win.

#2 You look at that score last night in Anaheim 2-1 going to the ninth, manager Bob Melvin just had to have that bad feel in his stomach that the club was going to go down three in a row, but these never give up A’s have a hero every night when they win a game.

#3 Talk about A’s starter Frankie Montas’ return back in the rotation. He misses 60 games and he comes back pitches six innings and gives up four hits and an earned run, two walks and six strikeouts.

#4 Jerry talk about the relievers the A’s used four relief pitchers and they held it together to beat the Angels in the Big A. Everybody is up to beat the A’s in the wild card drive and the A’s are doing everything to stay at the top.

#5 A’s are headed for Seattle to open up a four-game series with the Mariners on Thursday, who can be tough customers in their own right. The Mariners, who got two hits and shutout 3-0 on Wednesday night by the Houston Astros, are not too happy and are looking to take things out on the A’s, but the A’s will scratch and claw to try to keep their heads above water in the AL wild card race.

Jerry does the A’s podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com each Thursday

Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O: Lynn’s command a big factor in keeping runs down against A’s

Photo credit: beyondtheboxscore.com

On the A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 On Sunday, it was too much Lance Lynn of the Texas Rangers. Lynn struck out 12 A’s hitters, walked one and allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work as the Rangers avoided getting swept at the Oakland Coliseum.

#2 Seth Brown and Khris Davis’ hitting in the five and six holes combined for seven strikeouts,.Davis was able to get a double in the eighth off the Rangers.

#3 Attendance is up for the A’s at home. The A’s increased their attendance by 88,595. They drew 38,453 to boost their season home total to 1,662,211.

#4 The Texas Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo tied the Rangers’ all-time record for leadoff home runs matching Ian Kinsler. The Rangers had five homers off the A’s on Sunday.

#5 The A’s are in Anaheim and they’ll be starting Homer Bailey (13-8). The A’s heavily depend on Bailey as every win counts at this juncture of the season.

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


Preview of the A’s final week of the season in LA and Seattle

By Jerry Feitelberg

Here we are. The A’s have just six games left in the regular season. They had an off-day on Monday as they traveled to Los Angeles to face the Angels. They have two games left with LA and then fly to Seattle to play four with the Mariners to end the season. The A’s own a record of 94-62 and lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 1 1/2 games for the first Wild Card. The Rays beat Boston on Monday to pick up 1/2 game on the A’s. The Rays play the next two games at home against the AL East champs, the New York Yankees. New York could help the A’s bt sweeping the series. The Rays then go to Toronto for three.

The A’s have to continue winning. They cannot let up as both Tampa and Cleveland have a chance to make the playoffs. The Angel and Mariners would love nothing better than upsetting the A’s applecart. The Angels and M’s will finish in fourth and fifth places in the AL West. Each team has had a season of adversity. The Angels have had to deal with the loss of Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs’ death put the Angels in a season-long funk. Also, their start centerfielder, Mike Trout, is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury. The Angels have been devastated by injury and are limping to the finish. The Mariners got off to a good start. They have traded away many of their star players as they are in rebuild mode. The A’s cannot afford to take them lightly.

The A’s Will send Homer Bailey to the hill Tuesday night in Anaheim. Bailey is 13-8 with an ERA of 4.55. The Angels will counter with lefty Dillon Peters. Peters is 3-3 with an ERA of 4.81. Peters will be making his first start ever against the A’s. This is a situation where the A’s cannot afford to relax. They will be going against a pitcher they have never seen. The A’s cannot afford to lose this game. It could happen, but it will be up to manager Bob Melvin to figure out the matchups. On Wednesday, it will be a battle of lefties. Brett Anderson will go for Oakland, and he will be opposed by Andrew Heaney. Anderson is 12-9 with an ERA of 4.00. Heaney is 4-6 and has an ERA of 5.10. The last time Heaney faced the A’s, he went six innings and gave up five runs.

The A’s finish with four against the Mariners. On Thursday Mike Fiers (15-4, ERA 3.91) will handle the pitching chores for Oakland. The M’s will counter with the veteran righty, Felix Hernandez. King Felix is nearing the end of his illustrious career. Hernandez has beaten the A’s many times over the years, but these days, he is a shadow of his former self. His record is 1-7, and his ERA is 6.51. He would like nothing better than handing the A’s a loss. Lefty Sean Manaea (3-0, 1.14ERA) will make his fifth start of the year, and lefty Justus Sheffield (0-1, 5.81 ERA) will go for Seattle. Saturday will feature Tanner Roark and the M’s Marco Gonzalez. The Rangers sent Roark to an early shower last Sunday. Roark gave up at least four home runs early in the game, and the A’s could not recover. His opponent, lefty Marco Gonzalez, the M’s best pitcher with a record of 16-12 and 4.09 ERA) has given the A’s a tough time all season long. The final game of the year will see Homer Bailey going for Oakland and Justin Dunn pitching for Seattle. Dunn will be making his third start of the year.

The A’s know that they cannot let up for one second. Even though they are playing teams with losing records., they must not take either team lightly. If they win four of the last six, that should be enough to give them the first Wild Card. They would then host the one-game playoff in Oakland. They would later play either the Yankees or the Houston Astros in the ALDS. The A’s won the season series from the Yanks 4 games to two. The Astros won the season series from Oakland 11-8. The A’s, however, won six of the last eight games from Houston. The Yanks and the Astros know that the A’s are a good team. The A’s have solidified their starting rotation with the addition Of Bailey and Roark. The bullpen will feature Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Jake Diekman, A.J.Puk, Jesus, Luzardo, Chris Bassitt, Blake Treinen, and closer, Liam Hendriks.

The A’s have power up and down the lineup. They have three infielders with 30 or more home runs. Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson all can change a ballgame with one swing of the bat. Outfielder Mark Canha had hit 26 bombs. Ramon Laureano is back, and he had 22 in the books before he was injured. Versatile Chad Pinder can also put the ball out of the park.  The A’s are excellent on defense, and they do not beat themselves. They have all the ingredients necessary to make a run to a championship. They can do it. No one knows what will happen. The Kansas City Royals won the 2014 Wild Card game against Oakland and went to the World Series. They won it all the following year. Anything can happen in baseball. They have to make the playoffs. Anything can happen. Baseball is unpredictable. The A’s are playing great baseball at this point in the season. They know they can win. They just have to do it.


Oakland A’s podcast Joey Friedman: A’s keeping pace with Rays in AL Wild Card race; Road to the World Series goes through Houston and New York

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder, right, celebrates with Ramon Laureano (22) after hitting a three-run home run off Texas Rangers’ Mike Minor during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Oakland, Calif

On the A’s podcast with Joey Friedman:

#1 The A’s are keeping up with the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card race. The A’s are ahead of Tampa Bay by two games close out their series on Sunday with Texas and then the Rays host the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

#2 Is it true Joey that the A’s could stand in the way of the New York Yankees and Houston Astros dreams to get to the World Series? Either way, one of those three teams is the road to the World Series.

#3 Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers has been the ace all season long on Friday night he went eight innings, two hits, and struck out five throwing 95 pitches and kept the visiting Texas Rangers off balance for the 8-0 win. Fiers has been doing it all season and improved his record to 15-4.

#4 Oakland A’s broadcaster Ken Korach, whose always been available to talk with his colleagues in the press, was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Korach has been broadcasting A’s baseball since 1996 amongst his highlights calling the Oakland A’s 2002 20 consecutive game win streak and he mentioned on the scoreboard vision Friday night during a pre game sit down that his biggest highlight of all-time came when Dallas Braden threw a no-hitter on Mother’s Day May 9th 2010 not only to call the game, but Ken said he got emotional remembering his late mother during the moment when Braden embraced his mother after the game.

#5 The A’s close out their regular home season schedule Sunday against the Texas Rangers at the Oakland Coliseum. For the Rangers, Lance Lynn (14-11, 3.77 ERA), and for Oakland, Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.12 ERA).

Joey does the A’s podcasts Sundays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s Saturday game wrap: It’s a laugher, A’s trounce Texas 12-3; A’s could sweep Rangers Sunday

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Marcus Semien (10) celebrates with Matt Olson, right, after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.

Texas: 3 | 8 | 2

Oakland: 12 | 14 | 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND — Before today, the only time the A’s had faced Brad Burke, tonight’s starter for the Rangers, was last week in Arlington on Friday 13th. It was an unlucky day for Texas, who lost the game, 14-9, and the left handed rookie, who was lifted after six innings of work with his team leading 7-6. In his brief stint on the mound, all of the six runs scored against him were earned, coming on six hits, three of which were home runs.

Nonetheless, Burke is a promising youngster. He came to Texas in the three way trade between the A’s, Rangers, and Rays that brought Jurickson Profar to Oakland this past off season. Before that, he had been in the Tampa Bay organization, where he was the 2018 pitcher of the year, with a combined record in advanced-A and double-A of 6-2, 3.08 ERA. It’s noteworthy that his numbers were better in the higher classification. His main pitch is the four-seam fastball, which he mixes with curves, sinkers, change ups, and the very occasional slider.

His opposite number tonight was Sean Manaea, whose long awaited return from shoulder surgery and its consequent rehab assignments he celebrated with a 2-0, 0.50 ERA record in his three starts. One of those was on the road against Texas, where he threw six innings of three hit shutout ball, chalking up three strike outs in the process. That was a week ago Sunday.

Manaea got off to a shaky start, but a timely double play and a running catch in right by Laureano with a runner on second got him out of trouble. Burke, on the other hand, had a nightmare of a first inning. Two-thirds of an inning, to be exact. The A’s batted around, with hits by Chapman, Olson, Laureano (a double) off Burke and by Phegley and Chapman off his replacement, Luke Farrell, bringing in seven runs, all charged to Burke. A wild throw to first by third baseman Danny Santana on what would have been a double play ground ball by Canha allowed runners to advance, but they would have scored any way. So, after one inning of play, Oakland was up by seven.

Manaea continued to be unsteady in the second frame, allowing two hits before the second out was made, but, once again he followed the Lefty Gomez plan for successful pitching, clean living (we assume) and a fast outfield, to escape unscathed.

There was no reason for Farrell, who had surrendered two hits and a walk in his one-third of an inning performance, to remain in the game, and he didn’t. Jonathan Hernández was didn’t fare any better. He gave up two hits and three walks and already had allowed two runs when he left with the bases loaded and two outs in the second. Adrian Sampson, the Rangers’ fourth pitcher in two innings, came in and struck out Chapman on a full count.

The Rangers’ third was notable for two spectacular defensive plays: Laureano’s diving, rolling over catch of Andrus’s fast falling foul in right and Chapman’s backhand grab in the shift of Willie Calhoun’s hard shot towards left and then his off balance throw to get him at first.

Sampson’s effective relief work restored a semblance of order, so when Shawn Kelliey replaced him to face the top of the A’s lineup in the bottom of the fifth, the score still was 9-0. That expectation lasted three pitches. On the fourth Semien blasted Kelley’s 80 mph offering into the left center field seats for his 35th home run of the year. Three men later, Canha made it 11-0 by going long for the twenty-sixth time of the season, slamming a 368-foot drive over the left field fence. Kelley finished the inning but gave way to Joe Palumbo, who pitched the home sixth without allowing anyone except Davis, who got to second on a throwing error by Odor, to reach base.

The top of the sixth finally saw the Rangers get on the board. Elvis Andrus led off with his 11th dinger, a no doubter to center. Danny Santana hit his 26th two outs later, a fly to left that narrowed the gap to 11-2. The long and short of it is that Rougned Odor then dropped a bunt down the third base line against the shift for a single, and JB Wendelken came in to relieve Manaea, who either was tiring or had lost his concentration. He had worked 5 2/3 innings, allowed two runs, both of which were earned, on six hits, two of them home runs. one walk, a wild pitch, and a hit batter. His ERA ballooned to 1.14. He would get the win.

Wendelken got his man, DeShields, out on a grounder to Neuse at second.

Joe Palumbo took care of the A’s with a scoreless bottom half of the sixth, and Jesús Luzardo answered the bell for the visitors’ seventh, punching out two of the four Rangers he faced. Of the remaining two, one walked, and the other flew out.

Ryan Bouchter took his turn on the mound for Oakland in the eighth and coughed up the Rangers’ third solo home run. It came from the bat of Nick Solak and ended up over the left field fence.

Jeffrey Springs was the last Texas pitcher the A’s had to face. They touched him for their 12th and final run, Phegley driving in Davis from third on a single to left.

Once Manaea had lost his touch, hitting was the story for the A’s. Semien went three for three; Chapman, two for four; Canha, two for four; and Neuse, three for four. Semien and Canha homered.

Daniel Mengden closed out the game, throwing a shut out ninth with the help of two splendiferous plays by Franklin Barreto at short.

Because Tampa Bay pulled another victory out of the jaws of defeat back in St. Petersberg, they stayed two games behind Oakland in the race for home field advantage. Cleveland’s loss to the Phillies dropped the tribe to a game behind the Rays in the battle for the second wild card slot. The A’s magic number dropped to six. The magic number to eliminate any threat from Cleveland now is five.

Tomorow will be September 22nd, an appropriate time for number 22 Ramón Laureano bobblehead day. Game time is 1:07 p.m.Tanner Roark will try continue the A’s winning ways, facing Lance Lynn, who will take the mound for the Rangers.

In a brief ceremony before tonight’s contest, the A’s inducted Rickey Henderson, Walter Hass, Campy Campanaris, Vida Blue, Mark McGwire, and Tony LaRussa into the team’s Hall of Fame.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Roethlisberger heartbroken over season-ending injury; Brees seeks second opinion on torn thumb; plus more

Photo credit: cbssports.com

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow and will need surgery and said after last Sunday’s game that it was heartbreaking to be out on an injury. The injury knocked Roethlisberger out for the rest of the season and Roethlisberger said he looks forward to coming back next season.

#2 New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees torn thumb will need surgery. Brees sought a second opinion in Houston, and after being looked at in Los Angeles, Brees will miss six to eight weeks of the football season, which would put him at Week 10 at the latest that he can return.

#3 The Oakland A’s continue to believe in miracles. They got a huge win past the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. The A’s, who lost the first game of the series Monday night to the Royals 6-5, who came back on them, came back on the Royals on Tuesday night after being down 1-0 scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the 2-1 win. The A’s lead second place Tampa Bay by two games.

#4 What happen to the Raiders after having a 10-0 lead on Sunday? The visiting Kansas City Chiefs took over in the second quarter scoring four touchdowns and won it 28-10 and the Raiders couldn’t score in the second half.

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes, who have lost three of their last five games battled against one of the MLS’ best NYC FC, on Saturday losing 2-1. The Quakes’ Chris Wondolowski continues to find the back of the net with the Quakes’ only goal — his 14th of the season.

Join London for Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com