That’s Amaury News and Commentary: The best division in baseball plus

Copy of the New York Daily News announcing the New York Mets and New York Yankees in the Subway World Series in 2000 edition could the two cross city rivals meet again in this year’s fall classic? (photo by wikipedia)

The Best Division in Baseball, Plus

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–For the first time this 2022 season there will be a third wild card team on each league. No division in baseball is better than the American League East, with the New York Yankees walking-away with the best record in baseball and Toronto, Tampa Bay and Boston poised for a tremendous race.

For the first time ever, a division could have three wild card teams going into the postseason and a total of four of the five teams in this division playing in October.

The American League East is the only division in baseball with four teams playing over .500. In the AL West, there is only one team to beat, Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros, they are the best team and will stay in first place.

The LA Angels are sputtering again, after a very nice start, they went into a funk lost 14 in a row, from May 25 to June 8,and Joe Maddon (one of the best managers in baseball) was sent packing.

Next managerial change could come from Seattle, where expectations were high for this team to win this year. Manager Scott Servais and General Manager Jerry DiPoto are in the hot seat. The Texas Rangers spend a fortune (close to half billion dollars) signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, they are both starting to play the way everybody expected, but I do not believe they have the pitching to overtake their State rivals Houston Astros.

The Oakland A’s are what they are. All the other teams have more established talent, they are trying to compete with rookie manager Mark Kotsay, a good baseball man, but the best jockey in the world cannot win the race if the horse is limping.

In the Central Division, considered the weakest in all the major leagues, supposed to be an easy one for the Chicago White Sox, but the great Tony LaRussa is not having much fun so far, star closer Liam Hendriks just placed into the IL.

The Minnesota Twins will be in the playoffs, as of today leading that division and the Cleveland Guardians are playing good baseball, leading the way at third-base, José Ramirez an early candidate for MVP. Watch out for the Indians, sorry, the Guardians, they have a good team and a terrific manager in Terry Francona.

There are some 100 games left for each team this season. While in New York they are talking about a Subway Series, Mets vs Yankees. Most recently, in 2000 the New York teams faced each other with the Yankees winning in five games, a memorable series, which I happened to worked for the Latino Baseball Network.

In other cities there is lots of disappointment. In Los Angeles, the Dodgers, whose manager, Dave Roberts predicted a 2022 World Series win during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, when he said “We will win the World Series in 2022. We will win the World Series this year.”

The Dodgers have pitching problems, ace Walker Buehler recently went into the IL, Julio Urias is not going to win 20 games again this season (he was the only to win 20 last season) plus mixed with an inconsistent offense, the Dodgers have stuff to “figure out”, they do have the talent.

The San Diego Padres, at this time, even with the delayed return of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr, looks like the team that could win this division. Bob Melvin is doing a great job, which is nothing new for the three-time Manager of the Year.

The San Francisco Giants, while they are not going to win 107 games again, they find a way to win series, starter Jacob Junis went into the IL, veterans like Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt, can’t seem to stay healthy.

Giants lost some pieces in the off-season, perhaps the biggest one, starter Kevin Gausman who had his best year ever in 2021 with a 14-6 record, and 2.81 ERA, he left for a very lucrative contract in Toronto. Nobody expected the Giants to have a similar season as 2021, which was a dream season, when every player at the same time, had great years.

Trades: The new deadline this year is set for August 2. There will be many trades, some earlier than others, but the greatest commodities are starting pitchers. they are in high demand. Many of the teams with hopes of postseason play will reinforce themselves. In today’s game the old saying “you never have enough pitching” is new again.

Happy Fathers Day weekend.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for all the play by play of Oakland A’s baseball on the A’s Spanish radio network and on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: White Sox surprised Yanks Donaldson got just a one day suspension; Cardinals Molina out for bereavement after pitching Sunday

New York Yankees Josh Donaldson (left) and manager Aaron Boone (right) talk during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago on Sun May 22, 2022 (AP News)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 MLB suspended New York Yankees Josh Donaldson one game for making a Jackie Robinson reference to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday. Donaldson after the game in New York made the Jackie Robinson reference and said he meant no disrespect but White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz was surprised that he only got one day.

#2 The Jackie Robinson reference was an undertone a dog whistle to Anderson who is black and Donaldson is white player. Donaldson said that he was joking around in the past with Anderson about the Robinson reference when Anderson said he feels like today’s Jackie Robinson.

#3 Amaury, Sunday the St Louis Cardinals pitcher Yadier Molina who pitched in relief giving up two home runs and four runs after the Cardinals swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games at PNC Park. The Cardinals have placed Molina on the bereavement list the reason for the bereavement was not disclosed.

#4 The San Francisco Giants are coming off losing a three game sweep against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park. The Giants also lost first baseman Brandon Belt to the 10 day IL for an inflamed right knee. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the team is still in good shape.

#5 The Oakland A’s have lost seven of their last ten games and have lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend including Sunday’s 4-1 loss. A’s pitcher Cole Irvin lost the contest and the A’s are not getting any run support.

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

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Lots of blow back Rangers manager calls Yankee Stadium a Little League Park; Umpire leaves game after getting hit by foul ball; plus much more

The New York Yankees Gleyber Torres gets ready to walk it off against the Texas Rangers last Sun May 8, 2022 at Yankee Stadium after the bottom of the ninth home run Ranger manager Chris Woodward said the stadium is like hitting in a Little League Park (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward called Yankee Stadium a Little League Park after Sunday’s front end of a doubleheader when the Yankees Gleyber Torres hit a walk off home run. Woodward got an avalanche of heat for calling one of baseball’s cathederals a Little League Park.

#2 How much was it based on frustration for Woodward on losing to the Yankees on Sunday as Yankee Stadium does have a short porch. You could be assured Woodward heard it from Yankee fans on Monday.

#3 Scary moment as home plate umpire Ron Kulpa was hit in the mask by Chicago White Sox third baseman Jake Burger by a foul ball on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Burger was checked by trainers after falling at the plate walked off the field under his own power and was replaced by Marty Foster.

#4 New York Mets coach Eric Chavez said that balls are being juiced to get out more there is no secret that all big league clubs are using humidors but on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN prime time games Chavez said that he first didn’t believe it when players came to him about it but watched and said the ball was traveling further on the eye test but it also lined up with what the analytics were telling them.

#5 Amaury the last three games in Minnesota against the Minnesota Twins the Oakland A’s lost by some low scoring games but they can’t seem to break out the bats and get the run production that manager Mark Kotsay would hope. Luckily the Detroit Tigers are a struggling bunch and the A’s got a couple runs to get by them on Monday night to end their nine game losing streak at Comerica Park 2-0.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez with Manolo Hernandez Douen for all the play by play action on the Oakland A’s Spanish flagship station 1010 KIQI San Francisco and for News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Red Sox wait for Astros or White Sox; Braves on the brink; Giants coming off some miracle pitching need one more

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (left) is Amaury’s pick for the 2021 Manager of the Year Award here he has a laugh with bench coach Tim Hyers (right) during game 3 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays Sat Oct 9, 2021 at Fenway Park in Boston (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 The Boston Red Sox who have had their share of walk off wins now wait for their next opponent after getting a ninth inning walk off in their game four victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. The Red Sox will face either the Houston Astros or the Chicago White Sox.

#2 The Houston Astros who have a 2-1 ALDS series lead over the Chicago White Sox tonight at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago need one more to advance to the ALCS and face the Boston Red Sox. But not before battling with Tony LaRussa’s White Sox. Chicago knows they have their backs to the wall against a very well prepared Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.

#3 The Atlanta Braves have had just nothing short of great pitching in their last two games against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. The Braves got two back to back shutouts by scores of 3-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the series after the Brewers took game 1. The Brewers will be starting Eric Lauer a left hander against the Braves Charlie Morton in game five today at Trusit Park in Cobb County.

#4 The San Francisco Giants got their wins on shutouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers mighty line up. The Dodgers are without Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw during this NLDS did that handicap them? The Dodgers got an offensive outburst in game 2 with a 9-2 win against Giants starter Kevin Gausman. The Giants got shutouts out of pitchers Logan Webb and Alex Webb in games 1 and 2 but really depend on starter Anthony DeScafani who matches up against the Dodgers Tony Gonsolin in game four tonight at Dodgers Stadium.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: The Ultimate Baseball Face-off – Dusty Baker vs Tony LaRussa

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (left) and Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa meet at Minute Maid Field in Houston on Thu Oct 7, 2021 for game 1 of the ALDS (file photo NBC Sports)

The Ultimate Baseball Face-off – Dusty Baker vs Tony LaRussa

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

The American League Divisional Series is an attractive one. Two of the best hitting teams in all of baseball with very good pitching also. Manager Dusty Baker of the AL Western Division Champion Houston Astros, who will host Tony La Russa Manager of the Chicago White Sox Champion of the AL Central Division. Two excellent managers, who both return to the show after a few years of “unemployment”.

The two managers cut their teeth here in the Bay Area, Tony (The Hall of Famer) with the Athletics and Dusty (The Players Manager) with the Giants, they are two “old school” managers, not necessarily going by today’s super hyper stats of high-velocity pitches and hits, infield shifts, launch angle and all the other stuff which some media and fans overdose these days. Both not afraid of using the bunt, sacrifice, or as well as the hit and run or ‘run and hit’ and very much manage with their guts in-game situation.

Tony LaRussa is the active manager with the most wins ever 2,821, which places him second all-time behind the legendary owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, Connie Mack who won a total of 3,731 baseball games.

Dusty Baker occupies No.12 in the all-time managers in wins with 1,987. Having covered both managers and traveled with them, there is a rivalry between both, the two oldest managers in baseball this season, Tony 77, Dusty 72.

They both speak conversational Spanish. In the 1980’s I recorded “El Show de Tony LaRussa” which was a three minute inside pregame show for radio. Tony would talk about the previous game with his take as a manager. With Dusty, many times I interviewed him including in the late 1990s when he was managing the Giants including 2002 when he won the National League Pennant and lost the World Series to the LA Angels.

This American League Divisional Series begins this Thursday, October 7 at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, who finished the season with 95-67 winning the West, while the Chicago White Sox ended with 93-69. This is the best-of-5 and Houston owns home-field advantage. Prediction: It will be a 5 game series. Houston is a much experienced postseason-proven team than Chicago. They didn’t clinch until the last week of the regular season.

Chicago White Sox won the Central Division (the weakest in baseball, second-place Cleveland Indians finished 13 games from Chicago). The Sox had their share of injuries, but they were never really challenged, they are a dynamic and mostly young ball club, which many critics believe (before the season) that LaRussa would be “too old” to win with this young group of players, but he proved those guys wrong and here is another Tony LaRussa team in the postseason.

Some great hitters for Houston in the series: José Altuve, Carlos Correa, Jordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Yuliesky Gurriel, who just won the league batting title with a .319 average, which today is the equivalent of hitting .340 decades ago, a breakthrough year for Kyle Tucker who was a First Round pick in the 2015 Draft, for the Astros and ended this season with his best numbers at 24 years of age, hit .294 with 30 home runs and 92 RBI. Their rotation is solid and a good bullpen to complete the game.

The Chicago White Sox can swing it with anybody. Tim Anderson, José Abreu, Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert, César Hernández, Eloy Jiménez, Yasmani Grandal, some of the names that can hit and hit for power. A very good pitching staff with Carlos Rodón, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, and a very strong bullpen with Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendricks to close the game.

I give the edge to Houston in 5 games, but if Chicago wins, they have the potential to run the table and go all the way and win the World Series.

About the Wild Card game: (Note) I never liked the Wild Card game, just one game to decide a season. The LA Dodgers won 106 games this year and finished second. The first team ever to finish with 106 wins and not win their division. The Dodgers play the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct 6.

The winner advances, the other team goes home. Just image winning 106 games and getting eliminated in the first round of the postseason? Something is not right here. This is not the NFL. Solution? Wild Card should be the best of 3 games. Just reduce the season to 152 games instead of 162 to even the whole year schedule, so the World Series doesn’t end by Thanksgiving Day. Who really likes the ‘due or die games’? Fans and especially, television, who usually score very good ratings.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez call post season baseball on CBS Spanish radio and reported for Telemundo TV and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Lewis Rubman: A’s open three game series with Rangers tonight; Blackburn to start for A’s

Oakland A’s starter Paul Blackburn gets the call tonight against the Texas Rangers as the A’s try to scratch for every win until the end of the season to stay alive for a shot at the post season (file photo Athletics Nation)

On the A’s podcast with Lewis Rubman:

#1 After the Oakland A’s (76-64) snapped their four game losing streak to the Chicago White Sox (80-60) on Wednesday night the A’s turned around and won another ball game against the Sox 3-1 on Thursday afternoon. The A’s need to continue winning to keep their post season hope alive.

#2 The A’s 5.5 games behind first place Houston Astros in the AL West a tall order to try and chase the Astros from here to the end of the season.

#3 Another tough customer for the A’s is when the visiting Texas Rangers pay the A’s a visit on Friday night. The Rangers although their last in the AL West and 30 games back have won seven of their last ten games and have given the A’s fits since the second half of the season started.

#4 One of the key developments in the A’s keys to winning in the Sox series is their baserunning they are 37 for 40 in stolen bases since Starling Marte has joined the club and Marte has 21 of 37 steals and the A’s as a team are 85.1% in stolen bases which is fourth in the American League.

#5 Starting pitchers for tonight at the Oakland Coliseum for the Texas Rangers RHP Glenn Otto (0-0 ERA 1.86) and for the A’s Paul Blackburn (0-2 ERA 4.12) a 6:40 pm PDT first pitch.

Lewis Rubman filled in for Jeremiah Salmonson the A’s podcasts are heard Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s rebound take 2 out of 3 from White Sox 3-1; Manaea strikes out 9

Oakland A’s closer Andrew Chafin (left) shakes hands with catcher Sean Murphy (right) at the conclusion of Thu Sep 9, 2021 game at the Oakland Coliseum with a win over the Chicago White Sox (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 Jerry, after getting swept by the Toronto Blue Jays the Oakland A’s (76-64) turned around and took two out of three from the Chicago White Sox (80-60) winning Thursday afternoon 3-1.

#2 The A’s got great pitching out of starter Sean Manaea went seven innings, five hits, one earned run, a walk, nine strike outs.

#3 Jerry, Manaea had all his pitches working for him on Thursday getting nine strikeouts against a line up as good as the Sox and as good as team like the White Sox that has some pretty smart pitching.

#4 The A’s Josh Harrison got picked off second base in the bottom of the first inning 1-4-5 put out. It’s not often you see a leadoff hitter like Harrison like that.

#5 Jerry, the Texas Rangers might be 30 games out and in last place in the AL West but they are never giving up club they’re won seven out their last ten and have won four straight games going into Friday’s series against the A’s.

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

Manaea goes seven strikes out nine as A’s win 3-1

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manaea walks to the A’s dugout in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at the Ring Central Oakland Coliseum on Thu Sep 9, 2021 (AP News photo)

Chicago 1- 7-1

Oakland 3 -6 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

Thursday September 9, 2021

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s (76-64) these days are about as changeable as a baby’s bottom. They’ve lost five of their last seven contests even though they broke their four game losing streak with last night’s triumph over the White Sox (80-60).

This afternoon, they came out of the chutel full of piss and vinegar against Chicago’s Reynaldo López with singles by their first two batters, trade deadline additions Josh Harrison and Sterling Marte.

But Harrison got picked off at second, and, although Marte advanced to second on the ensuing rundown, that put the kibosh on Oakland´s first inning threat.

In spite of this dispiriting beginning, the Athletics pulled off a 3-1 win over the South Side Sox behind the very solid pitching of Sean Manaea and a key error by the Sox’s second string catcher. The victory pulled the A’s to within 5-1/2 of Houston for the division lead and a game and a half behind the Yankees for the second wild card spot.

The process started just an inning after the opening frame debacle. Jed Lowrie led off with a double to center, and, after Mark Canha was called out on strikes, scored easily on TonyKemp’s slicing opposite field triple to left. Nonetheless, Kemp died at third, following ground outs from the bats of Sean Murphy and Elvis Andrus.

After a rocky first inning, the A’s Sean Manaea settled down to strike out all three Chicago batsmen he faced in the second, only to cough up Oakland’s lead in the top of the third, when César Hernández doubled off the left field wall and José Abreu brought him home with a single that almost got by a diving Marte in center.

In home third, Chicago catcher Seby Zavala tried to duplicate López´s first inning feat of picking a runner off second. The runner was Marte, who had just pilferred the bag (on a play in which he originally was called out before he was ruled safe after a video review).

It was his big league leading 44th steal of the year. Zebala’s throw went into center field, allowing Marte to score and Olson, who had walked following Marte’s steal of second, to advance to third. Olson lscored on Chapman’s sacrifice foul fly to left, and the two. unearned runs put Oakland up 3-1.

López began gave signs of tiring in the fifth, which he finished having thrown 90 pitches, 59 of which went for strikes. He had given up three runs, of which only one was earned. He’d walked three and struck out two Athletics, and brought his pre-game ERA of 2.08 down to 2.05. Ryan Burr replaced him on the mound to start off the bottom of the sixth. He set the A’s down in order. Aaron Bummer replaced him for the home seventh and did the same.

Manea, too, began to tire in his last frame, the seventh, at about 95 pitch mark, when, with two out, Billy Hamilton walloped a triple to left center. Manea recovered to retire Danny Mendick on a fly to Marte in right center on his 100th and final pitch of the afternoon.

It was the first time since July 22nd that the A’s lefty had completed seven full frames. He allowed only one run on five hits and a walk. Only 40 of his offerings were called balls. Ryan Tepera pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth.

Sergio Romo, back in his role as set-up man, pitched the eighth. He allowed a two out single to Luis Robert, which allowed José Abreu, who, with 103 RBI, was second in the majors in that category, to come to the plate representing the potential tying run. Abreu worked a 3-2 count before grounding out, Chapman to Olson.

Andrew Chafin, fresh from pitching two innings in last night’s game against the Sox, came in to try to close things up in the visitor’s ninth. Things got dicey when Romy González smacked a two out double off the left centerfield wall. But Chafin came through and earned his third save of the year by inducing Billy Hamilton to pop up to Olson in foul territory.

The win went to Manaea. He’s now 9-9, 3.79. López got charged with the tough loss, his second against three wins this year.

Paul Blackburn (0-2, 4.12) will face Glenn Otto (0-0, 1.86) of the Rangers at 6:40 Friday night to start a three game weekend series with Texas.

A’s snap four game loss streak win 5-1; A’s pitcher Diekman break in attempt at family home wife and daughter threatened

Oakland A’s Matt Chapman (right) gets the force on the Chicago White Sox Yasmani Grandal (24) sliding into second and throws to first base to complete a double play in the top of the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Sep 8, 2021 (AP News photo)

Chicago 1 – 8 – 0

Oakland 5 – 10-1

By Lewis Rubman

Wednesday September 8, 2021

OAKLAND-Tonight’s 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox snapped the Oakland A’s four game losing streak and kept the their pennant hopes alive for another day. When the game ended, Oakland, at 75-64, trailed Houston by six games in the divisional race and were three games behind the Yankees for the second wild card berth.

The late surging Matt Chapman opened the scoring with his 25th home run of the season, a mighty solo blast on a 80 mph change up off of Chicago’s veteran starter Dallas Keuchel that travelled 402 feet into the left field stands.

Oakland put another run on the board in the fourth when, with one down, Mark Canha ripped a double to left and scored on Yan Gomes’s sharp single to center.

Chicago threatened in the top of the fifth when Leury García led off with an opposite field double on a sharp grounder to left and moved up to third on Brian Goodwin’s line drive single to right. He didn’t score, thanks to a diving attempt by Harrison to snare Goodwin’s liner that prevented García from running full steam ahead to third. Montás got Vaughn out on a caught two strike foul tip, but the Sox made good on their threat with César Hernández´s grounder to first that Olson short-hopped and threw to Gomes at home.

But García beat the throw,which went wildly behind Gomes for a rare E3 that allowed both Goodwin and Hernández to move up a base. Nonetheless, Montás rose to the occasion and retired Luis Robert on a grounder back to the mound and Moncada on a fly to Marte in center. The A’s still led, 2-1.

They added another run in the fifth but ran themselves out of it, which has not recently been an unusual occurence for the green and gold. Andrus led off with a walk and advanced to second on Harrison’s single to left.

After Marte was retired on an infield fly to first, Olson plated Andrus and advanced Harrison to the third. The A’s first baseman got greedy and tried to advance to seond on the throw back to the infield but was put out 7-5-4-3, Vaughn to Moncada to Hernández to Abreu. Chapman struck out to end the inning.

Montás pitched himself out of a pickle of his own making in the top of the six. Abreu reached first on a lead off single to right. Montás then struck out Grandal, but he did it on a wild pitch that allowed Abreu to reach second. The A’s starter responded by striking out Sheets and García to preserve Oakland’s 3-1 advantage.

The Athletics stretched their lead further in the sixth. After a one out single to center by Gomes, Davis flew out to deep center, and Chad Pinder dropped an opposite field triple deep to right, just inside the foul line. That was the end of the line for Keuchel. José Ruiz, his replacement, gave up a single to left by Andrus that drove Pinder home. Pinder´s run closed the book on Keuchel for the night.

His line was 5-2/3 innings pitched, during which he allowed five runs, all of them earned, on eight hits and a walk. Of his 94 offerings, 63 were strikes. Then Ruiz retired Harrison on a fly to warning track in left.

Having thrown 94 pitches, Montás still came out to face Chicago in the seventh. He set the Chisox down to a conga beat, that is, one, two, three, which is what Ruiz did to the A’s in the seventh.

It would be up to the A’s bullpen to keep Montás´s valiant start from going to waste. The 28 year old righty had hurled seven frames and allowed but a single run, earned but just barely, on six hits, two walks, and wild pitch. He struck out seven of the Pale Hose and throwns 105 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Left hander Andrew Chafin replaced him to open the Chicago eighth and kept the conga line moving with another 1-2-3 inning, although Moncada’s fly to left for the second out took Canha well into the warning track.

It was Mike Wright, Jr, who toed the rubber for Chicago in the home eighth, and that was the end of the conga line, thanks to Canha’s lead off single to center. But nothing came of that.

The A’s brain trust elected to stick with Chafin to finish off the Chisox in the ninth. Although they got to him with a pair of singles, Chafin came through, keeping the Chicagoans off the board.

The well-deserved win went to Montás, whose record now is 12-9, 3.57. Keuchel, now 8-9, 5,33 took the loss. There was no save.

Thursday afternoon at 12:37, Chicago righty Reynaldo López (3-1, 2.08) will match his talents against the A’s batters and their left handed probable starter, Sean Manaea (8-9, 3.91) in the series finale.

Break in attempt at Diekman home: A’s pitcher Jake Diekman had a break in attempt as his family was threatened by a 23 year man who threatened to shoot Diekman’s wife Amanda and two year old daughter. Diekman was not home at the time. Diekman and his wife have filed a restraining order against the man who turned out to be a neighbor of Diekman’s.

Diekman was told that the man had a history of mental issues and that the authorities could not hold him and that an order to arrest him could not be served as he has right under being a mental patient. Diekman said that the justice system is not there to protect him and his family and others in his neighborhood.

Diekman is in touch with MLB security and that something is in the works to have security protect the family at the home from his neighbor as authorities say there is not much they can do to protect the Diekman family.

Diekman this year for the A’s is 3-2 ERA 3.29 in 57 games.

A’s lose fourth game in a row 6-3; Sox continue to roll

The Chicago White Sox Eloy Jimenez slides in for a run as Oakland A’s catcher Yan Gomes puts the tag on too late in the top of the fifth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Sep 7, 2021 (AP News photo)

Chicago 6 – 15 – 2

Oakland 3 – 6 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

Tuesday September 7, 2021

OAKLAND–The September ’21 Oakland Athletics returned to the Coliseum this evening, singing the words of a W.S. Gilbert song, “A wandering minstrel I / A thing of shreds and patches,” not to mention a non-functioning bullpen and a penchant for leaving runners on base.

Of course, this wasn’t their public position. As Steve Berman reported in Monday’s The Athletic, the team is singing “The Best is Yet to Come.” To which I reply, again appropriating Gilbert’s lyrics from The Mikado,

But as one month you have to live as fellow citizen, This toast with three times three we’ll give: “Long life, Long life to you — Long life to you — Long life to you — till then!”

To put this song book in numerical terms, the A’s awoke this morning with fifteen games left in the regular season. If they were to tie Houston for the division title, they’d need to overcome the Astros’ six game lead. The two teams have exactly six games left on their schedules against each other, three in Oakland, the 24th-26th, and another three in Houston, set for the last three days of the season.

The ‘stros have been slumping recently, but not as badly as the A’s, so there is hope on that front, although Seattle has a slightly better shot than Oakland at the western division gonfalon; they trail Houston by five and a half games with fourteen to go.

The other way the Athletics could make it to post season action would be by qualifying for the wild card crap shoot. They went into today three and a half games behind the Red Sox for the second wild card position and would have to pass both Toronto and Seattle, to attain even that minimal opportunity to reach the division series.

Tonight’s game with the White Sox, who, arriving in Oakland with a record 79-58, have the Central Divisional race all but locked up, further lessened the green and gold’s chances for life after October 3. With their definitive 6-3 loss to Chicago,, Oakland was left singing the blues

James Kaprielian (7-4, 3.87 at game time), who has seen his monthly ERA cllimb steadily from 2.95 in May to 5.06 in August, opened the game in horrendous fashion, surrendering a single to lead off hitter Luis Robert and a double to Yoán Moncada before loading the bases with nobody out by hitting José Abreu on the knee.

He nonetheless managed to escape an early disaster and limited the Chisox to a single tally by striking out Eloy Jiménez and Gavin Sheets. The run came on a walk to Yasmani Grandal, and the last out was the result of Leury Garcíá’s hard line drive that Matt Chapman snared at third.

The A’s recovered quickly in their half of the first and tied it up against Chicago’s Jimmy Lambert (0-1, 9.00), who spent most of last season on the injured list. They did it on a lead off double down the left field line by Josh Harrington, who moved on to third on Starling Marte’s fly to deep center and scored on Matt Olson’s sacrifice fly to right.

Kaprielian was was in and out of trouble during his four inning stint on the mound, gamely preventing any more Chicago scoring , but his 30 pitch first inning did him in. He ended up throwing 92 pitches, 63 for strikes, and allowing just that one run in the first. He also allowed five hits and two walks and hit two opposition batters. He brought his ERA down to 3.81 and left with a no decision.

AJ Puk replaced him on the mound for the top of the fifth, and eight pitches later the A’s were down, 2-1 on singles by Jiménez, Grandal, and Sheets. Leury García’s safety loaded the bases, and still none were out. Puk struck out Andrew Vaughn to put one away.

But César Hernández took Puk´s 3-2 offering to right for a two run single that sent García to third, Puk to the showers, and Daulton Jefferies to the mound. It took Puk all of 23 pitches and a third of an inning to surrender three earned runs.

Jefferies retired the side with the help of a pitcher´s best friend on three pitches. He ended up throwing 54 pitches over 3-2/3 innings before tiring and giving up a double to Moncada after a nine pitch at bat and following that with a walk to Abreu with two out in the eighth.

Jake Diekman wild pitched the runners up a base, and both scored on Brian Goodwin’s broken bat Texas League single to right. The runs were charged to Jeffries. Diekman then struck out Grandal to end the inning, the A’s trailing 6-1.

Garrett Crochet took over for Lambert after Chicago’s starter had gone five frames, throwing 47 strikes out of 70 pitches and holding the A’s to one run on three hits. He was credited with his first major league win, bringing his record for the season to 1-1, 6.23. Crochet set Oakland down in order before giving way to Ryan Tepera, who put the A’s down with a walk, a strike out, and a nifty Abreu, unassisted, to García 3-6 twin killing.

Chicago’s next pitcher was Ryan Burr, who gave up an infield single to Gomes, who scored when centerfielder Luis Robert misplayed Andrus’s single. Andrus advanced to second on the error. After retiring Chad Pinder, who pinch hit for Harrison, Burr was replaced by Craig Kimbrel.

Marte greeted him with a run producing single to center and followed that up with a steal of second that landed him on third when Grandal’s throw wound up in center field. But Khris Davis, who had replaced Lowrie as DH in the sixth, struck out swinging, and we entered the ninth with Chicago leading 6-3 and Deolis Guerra on the mound for Oakland.

It wasn’t pretty, involving two singles (one of the infield variety) and. stolen bases, but Guerra brought the Athletics to the bottom of the ninth, still trailing Chicago by only three runs.

In their last chance frame, Oakland had to contend with their ace closer of 2020, Liam Hendricks. He got his 33rd save by setting the A’s down 1-2-3.

The two teams will face each other Wedneday evening at 6:40, with Frankie Montás (11-9, 3.68) going against Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 5,22).