MLB podcast with Matt Harrington: Posey’s slam paces Giants for win over Brew Crew; A’s Fiers pitches to a 5-1 win over Chisox; plus more

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey hits a grand slam during the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, July 12, 2019, in Milwaukee

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 A grand time to be had by all San Francisco catcher Buster Posey whose been hitting below .300 or near it all season which is unusual for him hit a grand slam in the 10th inning to help launch the Giants to a 10-7 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night.

#2 Oakland A’s pitcher Mik Fiers pitched 7.2 innings of shutout ball against the visiting Chicago White Sox as the A’s held a 5-0 lead and eventually won it 5-1.

#3 Red Sox were back to their old ways again with some home run help from Xander Bogaerts with a three run homer, and solo homers from Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez as the one hour rain delayed game was worth the wait as the Sox crushed the LA Dodgers 8-1.

#4 The hot Minneosta Twins continue to roll with a 5-3 win over Cleveland Jorge Polanco knocked a two run double in the seventh inning that ended Cleveland’s six game win streak.

#5 The New York Yankees blanked the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0 as pitcher Domingo German pitched six innings of shutout ball and Edwin Encarnacion belted a three run double to contribute to the run total.

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

A’s off to a great start in the second half, rout the White Sox 5-1

Photo credit: @Athletics

By: Lewis Rubman

Chicago White Sox: 1 | 10 | 1
Oakland Athletics: 5 |13 | 0

OAKLAND — For the third time this year, Mike Fiers took the mound for the A’s to open a segment of the season. He was trounced by Seattle in Tokyo in the season opener but came back eight days later to get the win against the Angels in Oakland’s first game of the campaign on American soil, although his performance on that occassion didn’t even rate as a quality start. His pitching picked up in May, including a no-hitter on the seventh, and, when Frankie Montás was suspended on June 21 for violating MLB’s drug policies, Fiers became the undisputed ace of the A’s pitching staff, a distinction he in any case deserved by dint of his own efforts. The A’s starter went into tonight’s contest with an ERA of 2.87 in May, 2.30 in June, and 1.50 for his one start in July. He faced the task of getting the third portion of the season, the long haul between the All=Star Game and the final stretch drive, off to a successful start.

Facing him for the White Sox was Iván Nova, a right-hander much given to throwing sinker balls and having a 4-7, 5.88 ERA record to show for it.

The A’s opened the scoring in the top of the first, when, with one out, Matt Chapman’s line drive ate up Leury García at short and ended up as a single to left. Matt Olson promptly moved Chapman to third with a single to right. The A’s third baseman then scored on Khris Davis’s clean single to center. Nova escaped further damage by inducing Mark Canha to hit into an inning ending double play, short to second to first.

Ramón Laureano extended the A’s lead by blasting a 2-2 pitch into the second deck left field seats for his seventeenth home run of the season. Not to be outdone, Jurickson Profar, batting left-handed, the switch-hitting second sacker’s weak side, followed with a homer, his eleventh, into the Budweiser seats in right, putting the home team in front by a score of 3-0.

The Pale Hose threatened in the top of the third when Ryan Cordell and García, the number nine and one hitters, laced back to back one out singles. But Oakland’s Fiers put out the Chicago fire, striking out Yoán Moncada and José Abreu, both of them swinging.

Fiers kept on shutting out the Sox, and Nova settled down, not allowing the A’s any more runs until with one down in the bottom of the sixth Canha shot his 13th round tripper of the season over the center field fence, just to the right of the 400 foot sign. On the next pitch, Robbie Grossman lined a double off the left center field wall. But Nova got Laureano to ground out to third and Profar to first to keep the A’s from posting a crooked number.

But Nova had thrown 104 pitches, and that finished his work for the night. Josh Phegley greeeted his replacement, Juan Minaya, by hitting a solid single to left on his first offering in the home half of the seventh. Three pitches later, Semien plated Phegley with a triple to left center. Minaya got two quick outs on Chapman and Olson but then issued back-to-back walks to Davis and Canha to load the bases. Rick Rentería sent lefty Josh Osich in to face Grossman, who would have batted from his weak, right, side if Bob Melvin hadn’t sent Chad Pinder in to hit for him. Osich got his man on a called third strike. But, by now, the A’s held a 5-0 advantage over Chicago.

When Fiers walked John McCann with two down and a man on base in the top the eighth, the A’s starter had thrown 111 pitches over seven and two-thirds, innings, more pitches over more innings than in any game since his early season no-hitter. Oh, yes, his replacement, Yusmeiro Petit, retired the side by getting John Jay to ground out to Profar at second.

Joakim Soria came in to mop up in the ninth. He wasn’t quite up to the job. García’s two-out single on a 3-2 count brought in Eloy Jiménez who had led off the frame with a single to spoil the shutout. Oakland’s all star closer, Liam Hendricks, the Pride of Perth, came in and struck out Moncada on three pitches.

The win went to Fiers; the loss to Nova. Hendrick got the save, his sixth in eight opportunities.

Oakland’s win puts them at 51-41, a half a game behind Cleveland for the second wild card spot.

Tomorrow afternoon’s contest will feature righty Chris Bassitt (5-4, 4.29 ERA) on the bump for the A’s. His opposing number is as yet unnamed, making it likely that he will be an opener.

Preview of the A’s series with the White Sox

Photo credit: lookoutlanding.com

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — The Oakland A’s start the second half of the season by hosting the visiting Chicago White Sox for three games starting Friday night at the Coliseum. The White Sox, under second-year skipper Rick Renteria, have surprised a lot of people as they finished the first half of the season with a record of 42-44. They are currently in third place in the AL Central trailing the Minnesota Twins by 12 1/2 games.

The White Sox have several players on the team that have contributed to their success. Their veteran first baseman, Jose Abreu, is having another excellent season. Abreu is hitting .278 and has hit 21 dingers and driven in 66. Other players to watch include Eloy Jiminez, third baseman Yoan Moncado, Catcher James McCann, and pitcher Lucas Giolito. The White Sox obtained Moncado from the Red Sox in the trade for pitcher Chris Sale. Moncado appears to be reaching his potential as he is hitting .308 and has hit 16 homers and knocked in 48. Giolito is 11-3 and has an ERA of 3.15.

Giolito and McCann were named to the AL All-Star team this year.

Other players to keep an eye on are center fielder Leury Garcia, second baseman Yolmer Sanchez, and veteran right fielder Jon Jay.

The White Sox have several critical decisions to make before the July 31st trade deadline. Will they be buyers or sellers? It does appear that they can overtake the Rays, Indians, A’s, Rangers, or Red Sox in the race for the two Wild Card spots. If they decide to be buyers, they would have to give up prospects to get the players they would need to make a playoff run. If they are sellers, who would go? They have several players that they could move even though they have another year of team control. Perhaps their most valuable asset is closer Alex Colome. The 30-year reliever has converted 20 save opportunities in 21 tries this season. Colome could bring the White Sox some highly rated prospects from teams looking for a reliable closer. The Red Sox might be interested, but their farm system has been depleted. Other players that might be on the move include James McCann, Leury Garcia, John Jay, pitchers Ivan Nova and lefty reliever Aaron Bummer. Jose Abreu is also mentioned as a player that might be going elsewhere.

The A’s have not announced the starters for the series with the White Sox. Mike Fiers, Brett Anderson, and Chris Bassitt probably will pitch this weekend, but that could change. The White Sox will send Ivan Nova to the hill Friday night. Nova is 4-7 with an ERA of 5.58. Reynaldo Lopez will go for Chicago on Sunday. His ERA is 6.34, and he has a won-lost record of 4-8. Lopez’ ERA is the worst of any starting pitcher in baseball.

The A’s would like to sweep the series this weekend. That may not happen, but taking two out of three would be a reasonable goal for the A’s. The A’s are off on Monday. They play two against the Seattle Mariners next Tues and Wednesday before heading off to play four against the Minnesota Twins and three in Houston against the Astros. The schedule brings the A’s home to play the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.

The A’s are a good second-half team. They know that every game is essential and no opponent can be taken lightly. They are in a race with the Indians, Red Sox, and Rangers for the second Wild Card spot. The A’s are a good team and fun to watch.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s rolling good enough to catch Houston in second half

Photo credit: bleacherreport.com

On the A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 Jerry, the A’s are opening the second half of the season with a record of 50-41. They for a good part of the first half were a team in last place in the A.L. West. What were some of the factors that lifted them out of the cellar to second place and just seven games out of first place?

#2 The A’s have been getting some great offensive help, but it’s looking up and down that lineup with some of the key bats and key support that they’ve got that have helped the along the way.

#3 Going into the second half, the A’s will continue to try and figure their nemesis, the Houston Astros. The Astros are chalked with talent up and down their lineup, the A’s face the Astros in a couple of weeks, and when that time comes, the Astros will be an important series.

#4 The A’s are in need to get some starting pitching they won’t get Jharel Cotton is reportedly developing well on his come back while Daniel Mengden, who made a comeback, threw an outstanding game on his return to the A’s.

#5 Second half of the season getting ready to get started the A’s are opening things up hosting the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. For the Sox, Ivan Nova (4-7, 5.58 ERA), and for Oakland, Mike Fiers (8-3, 3.87 ERA).

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

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria: Durant and Leonard could be signed with a new team by next week; Baseball epidemic, nets needed to protect fans; plus more

Photo credit: @NBCSBoston

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1 The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard are going free agency to see if they can get the maximum for their buck.

#2 Some of the teams that most likely will show interest in Durant and Leonard are the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. It’s very likely everyone should learn either by Sunday night or Monday morning where they’ll be going.

#3 The Houston Rockets are shopping center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon, and forward PJ Tucker in their bid to get Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler. The Rockets are to trying to solidify themselves after failing to make the NBA Finals in the last two seasons.

#4 In the game of baseball, fans come many sit as close to the action as they can. After some serious injuries to fans last season, the MLB thought they got it covered with all the netting they possibly muster up to protect the fans. Last Sunday, a young girl was hit in the eye with a bullet hit by the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, and on May 29th, a two-year-old girl was hit by a foul ball hit by the Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. that fractured her skull at Houston’s Minute Maid Park leaving her with injuries that she will have to battle with for years to come. The Dodgers, Nationals, and White Sox have said during the All-Star Break, they’ll be netting their entire stadiums from foul pole to foul pole.

#5 The San Francisco Giants’ lineup has been noted for having the worst offense in baseball and possibly the worst in their franchise history. The Giants do not have a batter hitting over .300 in their lineup and have lost nine of their last 12 games.

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

MLB podcast with Matt Harrington: Dodgers show love of new t-shirts are as deep as the ocean; Giants Pomeranz and Panda pitch and hit for win over the Brew Crew; plus more

@adriangarro photo: Los Angeles Dodgers Max Muncey gets a laugh out of the freshly printed t-shirts on Friday night at Dodgers Stadium in reference to his chatter with San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner after hitting a home run off him on the Dodgers last trip to San Francisco.

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 Who would ever thought that the Los Angeles Dodgers would ever print the famous words from Dodgers slugger Max Muncy after he hit a splash hit off San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner when Muncy and the Dodgers were in San Francisco that said “Go get it out of the ocean” a reference to Bumgarner telling Muncy to “run and not watch the ball” after a home run and then Muncy telling Bumgarner “If you don’t want me to watch the ball go get it out of the ocean.” The Dodgers this week have been wearing blue t-shirts with those words printed on it.

#2 For the second consecutive game, San Francisco Giants pitcher Drew Pomeranz got the winning decision in a 5-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Pomeranz pitched for five innings, giving five hits and two runs striking out five hitters.

#3 The once former Boston Red Sox third baseman that was given up for dead Pablo Sandoval for San Francisco went 3-4 on Friday night, including a double and a home run

#4 The Oakland A’s are certainly a ball club that is playing .500 ball after their 10-game win streak a couple weeks back ended they have been playing some back and forth ball going 6-4 on their last road trip and dropping their first game to Seattle 9-2 to open a homestand in Oakland on Friday night.

#5 You have to enjoy the two-way competition between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees in the AL East. The Rays with a 1/2 game margin over the Yankees make it for a competitive battle. The Rays bounced back from having the A’s taking two out three from them in their previous series with a win over the LA Angels 9-4. The Yankees got trounced on Friday night by the Chicago White Sox 10-2.

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

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: How Murray’s departure for football affects the A’s; Phillies’ big offer on table, will Harper sign?; How opening the season in Japan affects MLB clubs; plus more

Photo credit: @NFL

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

#1 Does Kyler Murray’s decision to leave the Oakland A’s for the NFL Draft or will he be a two sport player much like Bo Jackson and Dieon Sanders?

#2 How serious are the Philadelphia Phillies about pursuing Bryce Harper and does Amaury think they’ve got the best chance of acquiring him?

#3 How much does it take out of ball clubs when they open the season in Tokyo because of the distance the A’s open this season in Japan. Do the players enjoy the trip and do they find it productive and challenging?

#4 San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is still in the shopping sweepstakes. No deals yet, but plenty of interest.

#5 Manny Machado has an seven-year deal on the table that could be as huge as 13 years at $325 million from the Chicago White Sox. Will it be too good to pass up?

#6 White House treated the Clemson Tigers to lunch with hamburgers boxes from Wendy’s, McDonalds, and Burger King on silver platters with paper napkins and plastic containers of mustard, mayo, and ketchup. Could Trump have served better food for lunch.

Amaury does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Woulda Been Mo Better: A’s Set MLB Record, But Lose in Chicago, 10-3

By Morris Phillips

Chicks, fans and home run hitters dig the long ball. The baseball gods–and the won-loss column–prefer a more well-rounded approach to the grand old game.

Just ask the Swinging A’s.

On the day the A’s established a modern-day, Major League record by hitting at least one home run in 25 consecutive road contests, they found little to celebrate as the White Sox took it to them, 10-3, at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Much of blame for the lopsided loss fell at the feet of Paul Blackburn, who cruised through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Blackburn allowed six hits and five runs in that frame, then saw his second pitch of the sixth inning exit the ballpark at 115 mph off the bat of Daniel Palka. Needless to say his hanging change up to Palka offered little mystery.

“I was executing my pitches well,” Blackburn said. “Except to six batters in the fifth and one leading off the sixth.”

“He was good for a while this time and had one real tough inning,” manager Bob Melvin said of Blackburn. “He’s still trying to find his way a little bit consistently.”

Blackburn fell to 1-2 with an unsightly ERA of 8.83 in four starts. In Oakland, where many are given the opportunity to succeed, but few are given a lengthy rope to fail, Blackburn would normally be forced to figure out his issues at AAA Nashville. But the A’s are strapped, and Blackburn will probably make his next scheduled start on Friday at the Coliseum against the first-place Indians.

In terms of the current standings, splitting a four-game series against a team that’s 25 games below .500 does little for the A’s postseason outlook. But as a team still three games above the break-even point, they have a profile, it’s just not very compelling at this point. The A’s are 11 games back of the Astros in the AL West, and 6 1/2 games behind the Mariners, the second wild card at this juncture. Winning on Sunday would have given them an additional distinction: holding the AL’s sixth-best record to themselves when the top-five have–at least for now–run away from the pack.

And the home runs? Yeah, they’re helpful, and they give the youthful A’s an identity, but in terms of wins and losses, maybe not so much. The A’s won 14 of the 25 games in their record stretch. Good, but not great.

“It certainly would have been a little better if we won the game,” Melvin said when asked about the home run record.

The A’s start a four-game set in Detroit on Monday.

A’s win a seesaw battle over the White Sox 7-6 on Saturday in Chicago

Martini vs Chi
Nick Martini recorded his first major-league hit on Saturday Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics won their second game of the four-game series with the Chicago White Sox 7-6 at Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday. However, the win did not come easy.

As the game entered the bottom of the ninth inning, the A’s held a 7-6 lead. Blake Treinen continued on the mound in an attempt to close it out for Oakland. Yoan Moncada led off for the White Sox and wound up safe at first when Treinen could not handle the throw from first baseman Matt Olson. Treinen was charged with an error. Avisail Garcia took a little pressure off Treinen by striking out.

Jose Abreu reached first safely when Marcus Semien made a fielding error and a fielder’s choice turned into back-to-back errors with the tying run at second base and the potential winning at first.

DH Matt Davidson then became Treinen’s best friend when he grounded into a six to four to three (Semien to Barreto to Olson) double play to end the game and give the A’s their second win in the series.

It may have been a costly win

A vs Chi
Photo: @WhiteSox

A’s starting pitcher Daniel Mengden had to leave the game after the second inning with a right foot sprain. The team does not know what is next for Mengden. It could be that he will be rested and possibly miss his next scheduled start. The other possibility is a trip to the DL if the injury is more serious in nature and requires extended time off.

Mengden has struggled in his last five starts. He is 1-2 with an 8.98 ERA over those five games. His opponents have batted .295 against him in those games. Mengden pitched 2.0-innings on Saturday giving up five runs (all earned) in the first inning including one home run.

Oakland could call Chris Bassitt back from Triple-A Nashville to take Mengden’s spot on the roster if that becomes necessary.

A’s with the bat
Nick Martini, who was called up to give the A’s some fresh legs after the Friday doubleheader, recorded his first major-league hit in the eighth inning when he singled to right-center field to drive home Stephen Piscotty from second base to give Oakland a 7-6 lead. Even though they no longer officially track it as a statistic, Martini’s RBI-single proved to be the game-winning hit.

Matt Olson, who homered in the second game on Friday night, hit his 17th home run of the year in the sixth inning off of White Sox pitcher Chris Volstad. This was the third time Olson has homered in back-to-back games this season. He also extended his hitting streak to five games.

Stephen Piscotty his sixth home run of the year in the second inning off Chicago starter Dylan Covey. He went 2-for-3 in the game to make it his 14th multihit game of the season.

A’s on the mound
The bullpen came through for the Athletics again on Saturday. Oakland had to use six relievers in the game. The relievers pitched 7.0-innings allowing just one run off three hits. They struck out 10 and walked just one hitter.

Lou Trivino had a very interesting relief appearance. He entered the game in the sixth inning with one out and the bases loaded. He induced Moncada to ground into a force play, but Anderson was able to score from third to tie the game. Trivino was charged with a blown save (1).

Trivino came back out for the seventh inning and struck out the side in order to keep the A’s in the game. Trivino was the pitcher of record when Martini hit his RBI-single and was awarded the victory to up his record to 5-1 for the year.

Treinen worked 1.2-innings for a five-out save. It was his 17th save of the season.

The A’s love the road
The A’s have now won six of their last seven games and are 4-1 on this 10-day road trip. Oakland is 20-17 on the road this season.

The A’s have homered in a franchise-record 24 consecutive road games.

The A’s are 13-7 in one-run games in 2018.

Up next
The A’s and White Sox will wrap up this four-game series on Sunday at 11:10 pm PDT. Oakland will send RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 8.03) to the mound. The White Sox will start LHP Carlos Rondon (0-2, 4.41).

White Sox Win Game 2 of Doubleheader 6-4 over A’s, Snap Skid at 8

Photo credit: @whitesox

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland A’s dropped Game 2 of a doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday night, falling to the White Sox 6-4. Pale Hose starter Lucas Giolito began the game strong, then managed to hold on long enough to end the White Sox losing streak at eight. Matt Olson knocked in two runs, going deep once for the Green and Gold.

A’s starter Chris Bassitt got staked to an early lead after Giolito ran into some control problems in the inning. With two outs, the White Sox hurler walked Matt Joyce and Khris Davis. Matt Olson knocked Joyce in with a single for the 1-0 lead before Mark Canha k’d to end the threat.Bled then moved to third on Tim Anderso’s double. They both scored on Omar Narvaez’s base-hit for a 2-1 White Sox edge. Charlie Tilson hit a two-out single to knock in Narvaez for a two-run lead.

Olson pulled the A’s within one in the top of the sixth, blasting his 16th long ball of the year off Giolito’s first pitch of the two-out at-bat. Bassitt couldn’t shut the White Sox down in the bottom of the frame though, exiting the game with runners on first and second with one out. Narvaez singled off reliever Danny Coulombe, but the runner couldn’t advance past third. The next batter, Adam Engel, would knock in both runs for a 5-2 White Sox lead, closing the book on Bassitt with five runs (four earned) over 5 1/3 innings.

The A’s would get two more runs off Giolito in the eighth after White Sox manager Rick Renteria stuck with his young hurler with electric stuff just an inning too long. Dustin Fowler and Marcus Semien singled to open the inning, chasing Giolito from the game with no outs in the inning and eight K’s. Stephen Piscotty walked to load the bases against Jace Fry. Chris Volstad came in to face Davis, who singled in two runners to greet the reliever.

The fourth pitcher of the inning, Xavier Cedeno, managed to coax three consecutive outs from the A’s. He got a line out to short Olson, a Canha punch out and a Chad Pinder forceout to strand the tying run with Davis at third.

Tim Anderson homered for Chicago in the bottom of the inning and Joakim Soria pitched a 1-2-3 9th for his 11th save, punching out two Athletics for the win.

Up Next: Oakland’s Daniel Mengden takes the mound Saturday afternoon from the Windy City in Game 3 of the series at 11:10 am PDT opposing Chicago’s Dylan Covey. Despite the White Sox’s poor record, Covey has been a bright spot, sporting a 2.90 ERA over seven starts.