No Frustration When You Win: A’s slip past the Mariners 3-2 at T-Mobile Park

By Morris Phillips

The pandemic-truncated season doesn’t allow much time for teams to figure things out. But the A’s bought themselves a few extra measures with an unlikely, 3-2 win over the Mariners on Sunday.

The A’s are in mental quarantine, having hit just .175 over their last six games while scoring a measly 16 runs and enduring a three-game losing streak.

But they won the last two, they’re back over .500, and they just might get their full allotment of 51 more opportunities to look more like their true selves.

Ramon Laureano’s two-out, three-run homer in the fifth was all the offense the A’s could muster, but they made it stand up in a one-run win. The big moment was set up by two, subtle pieces of good fortune.

Former A’s starter Kendall Graveman was cruising for Seattle, but after two seasons removed from action due to Tommy John sugery, Graveman isn’t going to throw 25 plus pitches in the fifth inning of any start in 2020. Frustration had set in as well as that 25th pitch turned into a well-placed, infield single from Marcus Semien, the A’s struggling leadoff man hitting below .200 coming into the at-bat.

With runners at the corners, manager Scott Servais summoned reliever Anthony Misiewicz, a lefty facing the right-handed hitting Laureano with two outs. Why a lefty? Maybe Servais was focused on the possibility of lefthanded hitting Matt Olson coming up with the bases loaded, and wanted Misiewicz for the possibility of that task. Instead, the hot-hitting Laureano saw a second, consecutive off-speed sinker, this one in the middle of the plate, and he pounced without having to protect and speed up his bat. Laureano, Oakland’s one in-sync hitter, saw his swing produce a leisurely home run ball that exited at 98 mph.

“A hit would have been great, but a home run is a whole different ballgame,” A’s starter Chris Bassitt said of the support he received from Laureano. “It changed the whole complexion of the game. It was a big sigh of relief for everybody.”

Bassitt would depart after facing three batters in the sixth and after throwing 83 pitches. Leading 3-1 at that point, Bassitt earned the first win of the season for an A’s starter after the first eight starts resulted in an 0-4 record.

The A’s are one of six American League teams with a winning record, along with the Astros, Yankees, Twins, White Sox and the surprising Orioles at 5-3. Oakland maybe the least impressive of the six, but in a season where the top eight will qualify for postseason a winning record is where it’s at, all the style points can be inserted in October and early November. CBS’s Jon Heyman picked the A’s and Braves for an unlikely Fall Classic an he stood with the prediction over the weekend.

So now is not the time to fret over meager batting averages and faulty starters. The A’s have to just hang in there and remain positive.

“Now, we just gotta hit the ball on the barrel and find some holes,” Laureano said.

Frankie Montas faces Justus Sheffield in the finale of the four-game series on Monday.

The A’s devour the Tigers 10-2 on Saturday night in Oakland

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Graphic: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

Oakland — The Oakland Athletics (83-59) did exactly what they had to do on Saturday night – beat up on a lesser opponent. The “Rooted in Oakland” crew demolished the lowly Detroit Tigers (42-99) by the score of 10-2. The Tigers have the worst record in all of Major League Baseball and have been eliminated from any possibility of playing in postseason in 2019.

The A’s realistically are destined to play in the AL Wild Card game. They want desperately to be the home team in that game. To be the home team, the A’s need wins and wins should come easier over teams that have losing records. It is truly a “survival of the fittest” environment from now until the end of the regular season.

The A’s have only four games remaining to play against a team with a winning record. They begin a four-game series in Houston on Monday night with the Astros who are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the majors at 93-50. Their other 16 games are with Detroit (1), Texas (6), Kansas City (3), LAA (2) and Seattle (4). The A’s must devour the weak in order to come out on top.

Chris Bassitt worked hard to earn a win

Bassitt struggled in the first two innings of the game on Saturday night. After giving up two hits in the top of first, Bassitt was bailed out by a 6-1-4 double play that is detailed later in this story.

In the top of the second, the A’s starter faced seven Detroit hitters. He gave up two runs off three hits and he hit a batter. The Tigers left two runners on base. Despite having some difficulties, Bassitt struck out three batters and appeared to be starting to find himself.

Bassitt would go on to pitch 6.0-innings giving up just the two runs (both earned) off eight hits. He walked none but did hit one Detroit batter. Bassitt struck out 11 Tigers in 6.0-innings on the mound. That is a career high for Bassitt and the most for an A’s pitcher in a game this season.

After the game, Bob Melvin said, “Bassitt often gets better as he goes along in a game. He also gave our bullpen a break by going six innings.”

Bassitt is now 10-5 on the season with a 3.64 ERA. This is the first time Oakland has had three 10-game winners since 2013 when they had five.

Wild Card Standings

The A’s now have sole possession of the second Wild Card slot in the American League. They are one game back of Tampa Bay (85-59) who is in the number one spot and would host the one-game playoff if the season ended today.

The Indians are 1.5-games behind the A’s for the second spot in the Wild Card race at 82-61. Boston is 7.0-games back and has an elimination number of 14. It would take a miracle and a massive collapse by the Rays, A’s or Indians for the Red Sox to become a part of the race.

Focus on the A’s

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Olson gets congratulated Photo: @Athletics
  • Matt Olson went 4-for-4 in the game. He hit his 29th home run of the season in the fifth inning off Jordan Zimmerman on 1-2 pitch that sailed into the right-field seats. Olson also added three RBI to bring his total for the season to 73. He also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • Jurickson Profar matched his career high for home runs when he hit number 20 of the season in the second inning off Zimmerman. Profar is batting .340 over his last 15 games. He has also been very helpful to his team by being able to play both outfield and infield as needed.
  • Matt Chapman hit his 32nd home of the season in the eighth inning which ties Eric Chavez for the most in a season by an Athletics third baseman.
  • Oakland now has six players with 20-plus home runs which is a franchise record.
  • A’s pitchers combined for a total of 19 strike outs on Saturday night – a season high.

Spotlight on Detroit

  • Jordan Zimmerman allowed six earned runs for the first time since July 19. He previously had allowed a total of seven earned runs in four career starts against the A’s. Zimmerman is now 1-10 on the season.
  • Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 in the game which gave him a team-leading 38th multiple-hit game for 2019. It was also the 804th multiple-hit game of his career tying him with Ivan Rodriguez for 39th-most in MLB history.
  • Harold Castro had 4-for-4 game with the bat with two RBI for the Tigers. That tied his season high.
  • The Tigers have not had a winning record versus the AL West since 2014. They are 53-112 against the division since 2015.

Up next

LHP Sean Manaea (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the ball for the A’s and make his second start of the season to close out this three-game series with the Tigers. He had a no-decision in first start of the season last Sunday in New York against the Yankees. The Tigers will counter with LHP Daniel Norris (3-11, 4.76 ERA). He had a no-decision in his last start on Tuesday in Kansas City.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM at the Oakland Coliseum.

Shouldn’t the infield fly rule have been called?

In the top of the first inning with runners at first and second and one out, the Tigers Christin Stewart hit an infield fly into foul territory on the third-base side. The wind then pushed the ball back into the field of play. Matt Chapman attempted to catch the ball but was unable to do so. Marcus Semien picked the ball up and tossed it to Bassitt who was covering third. The pitcher stepped on the bag and Harold Castro – the runner at second was called out. Bassitt then alertly threw the ball to Profar who stepped on second base and Miguel Cabrera – the runner at first was called out on what scored as a 6-1-4 double play.

As a former amateur umpire, I was immediately looking for one of the four umpires to have his right arm up in the air to indicate that the infield fly rule was in effect. I was shocked when no call such call was being made. So was Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire who immediately came out to discuss the situation with the Homeplate umpire – Dan Bellino.

The umpires explained that the infield fly rule is to be called when the ball can be caught with “ordinary effort”. The “men in blue” said in their opinion Chapman would have needed to use extraordinary effort to have made the catch of Stewart’s fly ball, so the infield fly rule did not apply.

In this reporter’s opinion (and as a former umpire), the umpiring crew was caught off guard when an apparent foul ball came back into fair territory.

 

Giants crush A’s 10-5 in game three of the Bay Bridge Series 2

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Graphic: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The A’s literally snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory on Saturday night as they watched a 4-2 lead going into the top of the eighth inning be wiped out when the San Francisco exploded for eight runs on seven hits off five Oakland pitchers. It was simply a stunning rally that the A’s did not see coming.

For the Giants, it felt like they had pent up emotion and energy that just had to be released. Madison Bumgarner did his best to keep his team in the game to give them the chance to win. When the A’s pitching staff gave the Giants the slightest of openings, the men from across the Bay took the opportunity and did the most with it.

The Giants took game one (game 3 of 4 total) of the Bay Bridge Series in Oakland 10-5 on Saturday night before 56,367 fans who were treated their money’s worth for coming out to the ballpark. The Giants scored 10 runs off 13 hits and left six men on base. For the A’s, they put five runs up on the board on 10 hits while leaving 10 men on base and committing one error. The game took three hours and 50 minutes to complete.

The Giants record for the season improved to 64-65 with the victory while the A’s fell to 74-54 on the year. San Francisco is now 5.0 games out the second Wild Card spot in the National League. The A’s are 0.5 games behind the Rays for the second Wild Card slot in the American League.

In this type of game where 14 pitchers were used, determining the winning and losing pitcher is almost “voodoo” science. Sam Coonrod (3-0) gets credit for the win while Yusmeiro Petit(3-3) was tagged with the loss.

Neither starter figured into the final decision

Chris Bassitt pitched 5.2 innings for the A’s on Saturday night. The right-hander ran into some trouble as he started through the Giants order for the third time. He gave up a home run to Brandon Crawford on 0-1 pitch with two out in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth inning, Evan Longoria drove in Alex Dickerson from second base to tie the game at 2-2. That would be all for Bassitt as he was replaced on the mound by Jake Diekman.

Bassitt gave up two runs (both earned) off four hits (1 HR). He struck out five Giants and walked none. Bassitt threw 92 pitches (64 strikes).

Madison Bumgarner worked 5.0 innings for San Francisco in the contest. He also gave up two runs. The first run came off a leadoff home run by Mark Canha in the home half of the second inning that easily cleared the left-field fence. The A’s touched “Mad Bum” for another run in the bottom of the third inning.

Jurickson Profar walked to lead off the third for Oakland. Josh Phegley then singled to left field which moved Profar to second base. With one out, Matt Chapman hit a double to left that drove Profar in from second base to score the A’s second run of the game. The A’s took a temporary 2-0 at that point.

Bumgarner also gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits (1 HR). He struck five A’s and walked one. Bumgarner threw 97 pitches (64 strikes).

Did I just see a sacrifice?

Jurickson Profar was the leadoff hitter for the A’s in the bottom of the seventh, and he hit a double to right field. Catcher Josh Phegley then laid down a sacrifice bunt on the third-base side of the infield that moved Profar to third base (yes, everyone including the Giants was surprised). Marcus Semien followed up with an RBI single to left field. Matt Chapman singled to center sending Semien to third base. That would all for Giants reliever Jandel Gustave who would be replaced by Fernando Abad.

Matt Olson was the first Athletic to face Abad, and he hit a single to right that drove Semien home to score the fourth run of the game for Oakland. That would end the scoring for the A’s in the seventh inning and gave them a 4-2 lead, which proved to be not enough.

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That’s a lot of fans! Graphic: @Athletics

Focus on the A’s

  • Mark Canha hit his 20th home run of the year off Bumgarner in the second inning of the game. He also extended his hitting streak to eight games.
  • The A’s now have five players with 20-plus home runs on the season: Canha (20), Chapman (29), Laureano (21), Olson (26), and Semien (22).
  • Oakland has a record of 22-11 versus left-handed starters in 2019.

Spotlight on the Giants

  • Brandon Crawford hit his 10th home run of the season in the win on Saturday night and his first home since July 15 at Colorado.
  • Kevin Pillar has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and is hitting .397 over that stretch.
  • Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 in the game, was hit-by-pitch and posted two RBI. He is hitting .347 since June 30.

Up next

The Bay Bridge Series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1:07 PM at the Coliseum. The Giants will send rookie RHP Logan Webb (1-0, 1.80 era) to the hill to make his second start of the season. He made his major league debut last Saturday in Arizona picked up the win. Expect quite a few fans in the stands rooting for Webb who grew up in Rocklin just east of Sacramento.

The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson (10-9, 4.06 era). Anderson has been having a rough go of things as he is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA in his last five starts. Run support has been a big issue for Anderson. The A’s have provided three runs or fewer in 14 of his last 17 starts. Anderson was the losing pitcher in the game with the Giants in San Francisco on August 13.

Player’s Weekend Uni’s

The black and white themed uniforms created an interesting effect on the field Saturday night. It was really a throwback feel. In fact, I felt like I was watching the movie “Eight Men Out” at times.

I really liked the all-black uniforms the Giants wore as the visiting team. They were as the guy says in the SUV commercial — “sharp!”. The all-white worn by the A’s were had a very clean look, but the lettering and numerals were washed out. If they had outlined the lettering and numbers in black, the home uniforms would have been “sharp”.

The A’s pitchers did wear black hats because it was determined that the hitters were having trouble picking the baseball up against the all-white caps.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants get swept by Cubs, head to Oakland for two-game weekend series

Photo credit: @SFGiants

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 The Giants were swept in three games in Chicago two of them were loses by just one run. Do you view the Giants as a formidable opponent in their wild card chances seeing how they played against a competitive team like the Cubs? Dropping 14 of their last 17 games at Wrigley.

#2 Thursday’s game at Wrigley proved to be one for the books. Despite the loss, the Giants and Cubs played to a 1-0 final and former Cub starter Jeff Samardjiza went seven innings with two hits and one run.

#3 For Samardjiza, was this an advantage pitching in a park where he played part of career and that he was familiar with?

#4 The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks got the call as the starter and didn’t disappoint going seven innings pitching a three hit shutout. He had good movement on his pitches on Thursday.

#5 The Giants have a rare Friday off before playing at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. Going for the Giants, Madison Bumgarner (8-8, 3.72 ERA), and for the A’s, Chris Bassitt (9-5, 3.61 ERA).

Michael does the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s make it three wins in a row over the Astros with a big 8-4 victory on Saturday

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The scoreboard just kept showing happy news for A’s fans Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland — A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt had to throw 31 pitches to get out of the top of the first against the Houston Astros on Saturday afternoon. That usually means two things:

  1. The chances of that starting pitcher being in the game after the fifth inning is almost nil. In fact, a starter who throws that many pitches in the first inning almost never lasts past the fourth inning.
  2. The other fact you can take the bank is that a pitcher who starts a game by throwing that many pitches will finish the game with a no-decision.

Someone forgot to tell Chris Bassitt that he needed to conform to the standards of baseball on Saturday. After that rough first inning, the A’s starter pulled things together in the second inning.

Bassitt was back in hot water in the top the third inning as the Astros scored two runs on three hits. When the inning ended, there were two Houston runners on base which means the inning could have been much worse.

Bassitt’s team members really picked him up in the home half of the third inning. The Athletics put five runs up on the scoreboard to stake their pitcher to a three-run lead. The amazing part of the third inning rally was the fact that the A’s scored those runs without hitting a home run.

Bassitt pitched a scoreless fourth inning and gave up one run to Houston in the fifth inning to make it a  5-3 game in favor of Oakland. The consensus in the press box was that we had seen the last of Bassitt for the day.

The Astros sent their starting pitcher – Rogelio Armenteros – to the showers and sent Chris Denvenski to the mound to face the A’s in the bottom of the fifth inning. Oakland took advantage of a walk, hit-by-pitch, two singles, and a sacrifice fly to put three more runs up on the board. That cleared the way for Bassitt to come back out for the sixth inning.

The first hitter to face Bassitt in the sixth inning was Yuli Gurriel who singled to left field and everyone thought that was going to be all for Bassitt, but Bob Melvin left the right-hander in the game. The next batter – catcher Martin Maldonado – hit a ball on the ground to shortstop Marcus Semien who fielded it and threw to Corban Joseph at second to erase Gurriel. Joseph turned and threw to first to get Maldonado for the double play. Bassitt was able to get Jake Marisnick to pop out to Joseph at second to end the inning.

Bassitt finished his six innings throwing a career-high 116 pitches. In his postgame comments, mangers Bob Melvin said that Bassitt had told him he was ready to go to 120 pitches to get the job done. That is just plain grit and determination.

With the help of his team on offense, the A’s won the game 8-4 and the winning pitcher was Chris Bassitt who now has a record of 9-5 for the season with a 3.61 ERA.

Focus on the A’s (71-52)

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Treinen gets Bregman to fly out to end the seventh inning Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee
  • Chris Bassitt has posted a 2.36 ERA (11 earned runs over 42.0 innings) since the All-Star Break. The win on Saturday was his first victory over the Astros since July 11, 2018.
  • The Astros cannot keep Matt Chapman off base. Chapman went 3-for-3 at the plate in the game and two of the hits were doubles (31). He also walked once and he reached base after being hit by a pitch. Chapman also recorded his 70th RBI when he walked with the bases loaded in the third inning.
  • Matt Olson had a 2-for-4 game with a walk and two RBI (60). The A’s are 56-31 since Olson came off the injury list on May 7.
  • Catcher Josh Phegley made his return to the field by having a 2-for-4 game for his team. He went on the injured list on July 31. Phegley is batting .329 in 31-day games and .205 in 52-night games.
  • Take note of this factoid: this was only the third Oakland victory of the season in which they did not hit a home run. Bob Melvin said after the game that it is important for his team to know they can win without hitting a long ball.

Checking on the Astros (78-46)

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Yordan Alvarez finishes his HR trot in the eighth inning Photo: Charlie O Mallonee
  • Houston’s designated hitter – 6-foot-5, 242 pound – Yordan Alvarez pounded two more home runs on Saturday. He now has 19 home runs and 55 RBI in his first 52 major league games. That is really scary given the rest of the Astros lineup.
  • Michael Brantley (every team wants a hitter like him) extended his hitting streak to 11 games by going 2-for-4 in the game. He has four consecutive multi-hit games and 50 for the season – the most in the American League.
  • Alex Bregman put his 80th RBI of the year in the book today. He joins Devers, Bogaerts, Kepler, and Rosario as players in the American League with 80-plus RBI.

Up next

Without trying to jinx the A’s, they will go for the four-game sweep of the Astros on Sunday 1:07 PM at the Coliseum in what should be an excellent pitching matchup. The Astros will send RHP Zack Greinke to the mound. Greinke is 12-4 on the season with a 2.91 ERA. He was a winner in his last start in Chicago versus the White Sox when he worked 6.0 innings and allowed only two runs in a Houston 6-2 victory.

The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson who is 10-8 with a 3.95 ERA. This will be his 21st start of the season. Anderson was tagged with the loss in his last start on Tuesday in San Francisco against the Giants. He pitched 6.0 innings allowing two runs (earned) off six hits. He walked none and struck out four.

 

 

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Giants to hoist Clark’s retired #22; Raiders’ Brown agrees to wearing new helmet; plus more

photo from sfgate.com: Former San Francisco Giants player Will Clark gestures to fans during a ceremony honoring the 1989 World Series team prior to a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco.

On Headline Sports with Barbara:

#1 From that 1989 San Francisco Giants reunion on Sunday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco, former Giants first baseman Will Clark’s number 22 is being retired, Clark hit .303, 2,176 hits, 284 home runs, with 1,205 RBIs in his MLB career.

#2 The Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown said he will wear the NFL issued helmet losing the grievance wanted to continue wearing the old helmet that he wore when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL is insisting that all players wear the newly designed helmet that help prevent concussions. Brown said that if he is required to wear the new issued helmet he was going to retire. Brown has had limited play with his frostbite feet holding him back.

#3 Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that the Raiders wide receiving depth is as good as it’s ever been with Hunter Renfrow, Tyrell Williams, JJ Nelson, and Antonio Brown. Raider quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman in preseason are impressed with the receiving core.

#4 The Oakland A’s keep on rolling. They are now 1.5 back of first place for the American League wild card. On Sunday, the A’s kept up their winning ways with a 2-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt started the game and went seven innings, four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

#5 While the San Francisco Giants might be out a whopping 19.5 games in the NL West race, their wild card chance improved a whole lot on Sunday with their comeback win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Oracle Park with a 9-6 win. The Giants are now 3.5 games back and had the day off on Monday night.

Join Barbara for Headline Sports each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Bassitt, Giolito duel the highlight of A’s 2-0 shutout of the White Sox

By Morris Phillips

Lucas Giolito was determined to rebound from a disastrous 2018 season, and realize his enornmous potential. Chris Bassitt wasn’t happy with how the Chicago White Sox lost faith in him, and traded him in 2014.

Those two motivational tales made for a whale of a pitcher’s duel on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Giolito and Bassitt combined for 20 strikeouts while allowing just three walks over 13 innings of work, and just one mistake: Matt Olson’s home run off Giolito that stood as the difference in the A’s 2-0 getaway day win.

For Bassitt, Sunday’s seven innings of scoreless work may qualify as the apex of his major league career. After he landed in Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija trade, his career stalled. Bassitt went 1-8 in 2015, 0-2 in 2016 and didn’t pitch at all at the major league level in 2017 after Tommy John surgery in the off-season.

2018 wasn’t much better. Bassitt made just seven starts, compiling a 2-3 record.

But the A’s didn’t give up on the right-hander. Instead they promoted Bassitt in late April, and were finally rewarded. Bassitt has taken his turn in the rotation every fifth day since, compiling career-best numbers in wins, ERA (tied with 2015), innings pitched and strikeouts. Then on Sunday, Bassitt kept ascending, topping Giolito, the All-Star and White Sox staff ace in a tense, low-scoring affair.

“I think I’ve said this a couple times this season, ‘That might be the best game I’ve seen him pitch,’ but that one ranks right up there,” said manager Bob Melvin. “I know he was up for the challenge.”

Bassitt allowed Tim Anderson’s one-out double in the second inning, but quickly settled down, retiring Jose Abreu and James McCann on ground outs to quell the threat. Bassitt wasn’t stretched further, spreading the three singles and two walks he allowed across the other six innings he pitched.

He was facing the White Sox for the fourth time–going 1-1 in three, previous starts–but he hadn’t shown them this level of proficiency. Bassitt made it clear afterwards that it was point of emphasis.

“Every time I pitch against these guys for my career, I’m going to try to prove to them they made a mistake,” Bassitt said.

Giolito walked 90 batters and compiled a 6.18 ERA in 2018, numbers that were among the worst for AL starting pitchers. But some adjustments in the off-season–most importantly, refining and simplifying his delivery–have the Los Angeles native pitching at a level befitting his status as one of MLB’s top five prospects as a 21-year old in 2016. Now 24, Giolito opened the season with nine wins in his first 10 decisions, made the All-Star team, and came in to Sunday’s appearance rolling with four quality starts in his last five appearances.

Giolito had the A’s swinging and missing, striking out every batter in the A’s lineup with the exception of Jurickson Profar. But one pitch was his undoing, a fastball that nabbed too much of the middle of the plate against Olson, who parked it in the right field bleachers for his 23rd home run of the season.

The A’s ended their week in Chicago with a 3-3 record, not disappointing until the week of the streaking Tampa Bay Rays is factored in. The A’s return to the Bay Area for games against the Giants Tuesday and Wednesday trailing the Rays by a 1 1/2 games for the league’s second wild card spot.

The A’s schedule may be their biggest enemy down the stretch run. With 43 full games remaining (and the remainder of a suspended game with Detroit, in which they lead 5-3 after seven innings), the A’s have seven games with the Astros, six with the Yankees, and none against the Rays, Indians, Twins and Red Sox, their competitors for the wild card. Without the ability to affect the fortunes of the teams they’re competing against, they’ll need to hold their own with the division-leading Yankees and Astros while taking full advantage of the Royals, Mariners, Tigers in the 13 combined games they have against those clubs.

On Tuesday, Brett Anderson faces the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner at 6:45pm.

 

 

 

Oakland A’s podcast with Joey Friedman: No stopping the Swinging A’s now Oakland wins 8 out 10 games

sfgate photo: Oakland Athletics’ Franklin Barreto swings for a three-run home run off Chicago White Sox pitcher Ross Detwiler in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.

Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 The A’s crushed the Chicago White Sox 13-2 as the A’s got plenty of offense on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum.

#2 The A’s Franklin Baretto got things going in the bottom of the first crushing a 1-1 pitch for a three run homer .

#3 The A’s in the first inning sent ten hitters to the plate and scored seven runs it was game over.

#4 The A’s continued their hitting derby with five consecutive hits in the fourth inning

#5 Joey takes a look at Sunday’s pitchers for the Chicago White Sox Reynaldo Lopez (4-8 ERA 6.34) and for the A’s Brett Anderson (9-5 ERA 3.86)

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

A’s score early and often in destroying the ChiSox 13-2 on Saturday

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Canha and Olson celebrate on a day when the A’s score 13 runs Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland — The A’s continued their winning ways on Saturday as they won for the eighth time in their last 10 games dominating the Chicago White Sox (42-46) 13-2. Oakland put seven runs up on the board in the first inning. That was the first time the Athletics had done that since 2014 against the Astros.

The A’s sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the first inning. The big highlight of that inning was when Franklin Barreto hit a 1-1 pitch from Ross Detwiler over the wall in left field with two runners on base for a 3-run home run. It was his second round-tripper of the year. Bob Melvin said it was a “huge” hit that really put the Athletics on the winning path.

Chicago starting pitcher Dylan Covey lasted just 0.2-innings as he gave up six runs (all earned off just four hits. Covey walked two batters and struck out one. He threw 32 (20 strikes) pitches to the eight batters he faced. And of course, Covey (1-5) was charged with the loss.

The A’s never let up in the game. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Oakland (52-41) hit five consecutive base hits that resulted in four runs. With the score at 11-0, you could sense the competitive spirit of the White Sox had left the building.

Focus on the Athletics

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Photo/Graphic: @Athletics
  • Chris Bassitt picked up his sixth victory of the season as he worked six scoreless innings. Bassitt allowed just four hits while walking just two and striking out six of the 24 batters he faced. This was the first time Bassitt had worked that many innings since back on June 2nd versus Houston. He wound up with a no-decision in that contest. Bob Melvin was pleased with Bassitt because he worked hard with the big lead and did not lose his focus.
  • The top four men the Oakland batting order went 9-for-16 in the game. They scored seven runs and recorded three RBI. Marcus Semien went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Matt Chapman had a 3-for-4 day with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Matt Olson was 2-for-4 with the bat while scoring three runs and adding an RBI. DH Khris Davis had a 1-for-3 game scoring two runs and driving in one run. Skipper Bob Melvin acknowledged that his top four men in the batting order are the keys to his team’s offense.
  • Blake Treinen was able to get some work in as he pitched the seventh inning. He gave up two runs off two hits. Melvin was not concerned about Treinen’s performance as it was not in the type of “high pressure” situations the reliever normally works in during games.
  • Melvin was also pleased to get Lou Trivino into the game for an inning. Trivino had not seen any game action since July 4th. He worked one scoreless inning on Saturday.
  • The A’s scored 13 runs off 13 hits and recorded 13 RBI in the game on Saturday.
  • Oakland is now 6-2 in the month of July. The A’s have won three consecutive games. They have won all three series that they played in July.
  • The A’s record is now 28-20 at home and 24-21 on the road.
  • The team is 20-15 in day games.
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Franklin Barreto celebrates after A’s win Photo: @Athletics

Chicago White Sox Notes

  • Dylan Covey’s 0.2-innings was the shortest by a ChiSox pitcher since September 21, 2017, when Carson Fulmer left after just 0.1-inning pitched due to a blister.
  • White Sox catcher Zack Collins ended an 0-for-23 hitless streak when he singled in the seventh inning. Collins had not recorded a hit since hitting a home run in his first Major League at-bat. Chicago pitchers may not be thrilled to have Collins behind the dish when they are on the mound. They have a 6.50 ERA when Collins is catching.
  • Yoan Moncada ended his career-high 14-game hitting streak (23-for-57) by going 0-for-4 in the game. He was hitting .404 during the streak.
  • Outfielder Jon Jay had a 2-for-4 game with the bat and has now reached base safely in 11 of his 12 games with the Sox.

Interesting factoid of the game

Today’s announced attendance was 22,222. For a while, it felt like that might be the total number of runs that might be scored in the game.

Up Next

In the series finale on Sunday, the White Sox will send RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-8, 6.34) to the hill to face the Athletics LHP Brett Anderson (9-5, 3.86). Anderson was victorious in his last start in Seattle on July 5th – winning that game 5-2.

 

Sad Saturday Night in Seattle for the A’s

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Matt Olson rounds the bases after hitting home run number 18 Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland A’s hoped to guarantee a series win in their final set before the All-Star Break by downing the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night. That opportunity to win the series will now have to happen on Sunday in the “rubber game” of the three-game series after the A’s lost to the M’s 6-3 on Saturday night.

The A’s staked their starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to a 2-0 lead through three innings, but the game took a dramatic turn in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bassitt gave up four runs off just four hits.

With Domingo Santana on at first and no one out, DH Daniel Vogelbach launched the first pitch from Bassitt high into the right-field seats to tie the game at 2-2. The next batter, Omar Narvaez, singled to right. Kyle Seager then hit a 2-0 pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run home run. The inning ended with the M’s up 4-2, and they would never look back after that frame.

Focus on the A’s

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Graphic/Photo: @Athletics
  • Bassitt was charged with the loss and his record fell to 5-4 on the season. Bassitt gave up multiple home runs for the first time since May 21st in Cleveland. This was just the second time in 14 games that he had allowed more than three runs.
  • Matt Olson hit his 18th home run of the year in the third inning. Those 18 round-trippers have come in just 50 games. Interesting fact: 12 of his 18 home runs have been hit on the road.
  • Ramon Laureano put another home run in the scorebook. He hit his 15th HR of the season in the top of the ninth inning. Seven of his home runs and 22 of his 44 RBI have come in the last 22 games.
  • Bob Melvin said after the game, “He (Bassitt) got off to a good start, he was throwing hard. Everything looked like it was working. Then, he ends up getting a couple of two-run homers and now we’re behind. Maybe not his best outing and I just couldn’t let something happen with Vogelbach at the plate. Looks like he had good stuff today, it just happened quickly on him.”

Mariner’s notes

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Gonzales recorded his 10th win Photo: @Mariners
  • Marco Gonzales recorded his 10th win of the season in this game. He worked 8.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on five hits. Gonzales struck out six and walked just one. He has now recorded 10 wins before the All-Star Break in back-to-back seasons.
  • Daniel Vogelbach hit his 21st home run the year on Saturday night. The launch angle on his home run was 43 degrees. It was truly a “moon shot”.
  • Kyle Seager ended an 0-for-21 streak at the plate when he hit his two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. This was his first HR since June 21.
  • There has been a home run hit in each one of the Mariners first 93 games this season. That is an MLB record.
  • Bob Melvin on Marco Gonzales: “It seems like we’ve played that game against him where we’ve had him on the ropes early in the game and he’s limited the damage and ended up going seven or eight innings. It feels like we’ve played that game quite often against him. So you’ve got to give him some credit. We would have liked to have (done) a little bit more damage early on and scored a few more runs and got a little more distance but we didn’t and he settles in and pitches well.”

Up next

RHP Daniel Mengden (3-1, 4.67 ERA) will take the hill on Sunday for the A’s. The M’s will use RHP Matt Carasiti (0-0, 1.80 ERA) to open the game with the plan being to turn the game over to Wade LeBlanc as the primary pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PDT.