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.

That’s Amaury’s Sports and Commentary: The Making of a Closer A’s Great History with Closers

Hall of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley during his Oakland A’s pitching days (Baseball Wikipedia file photo)

The Making of a Closer: A’s Great History with Closers

That’s Amaury Sports and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–On Cinco de Mayo 2021 the Oakland Athletics were on their way to their 20th win and maybe extending their 2-game lead over the surprising Seattle Mariners in second place. With a 3 -2 lead into the eight-inning manager Bob Melvin called for Lou Trivino in relief.

Trivino was a perfect five for five in saves opportunities, and the A’s were the only team in baseball this early season with seven saves in seven opportunities and no blown saves. Trivino gave up fve earned runs, the A’s lost their first game this year to the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 and they had their first blown save of the season.

The closing position is a relatively new position in baseball, from the 1990’s. The A’s signed Trevor Rosenthal during the off season to take over as closer for the team after they lost the most coveted free-agent closer, Liam Hendricks who was signed by the Chicago White Sox. Rosenthal is out after surgery and is not expected to be back until maybe August at the earliest.

Manager Bob Melvin has successfully used Lou Trivino to take over the 9th inning, although this May 5, used him in the eight, nothing wrong with that. The other closer has been lefty Jake Diekman who himself is 3 for 3 in closing situations. So with those two, the Athletics so far this year has handled the last part of the game with much success.

The Oakland Athletics have a great history with closers. Two of their closers are in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, a claim that most teams cannot make. Rollie Fingers, who used to throw, will relieve for an average of three innings and then later with Dennis Ecksersley, who began the general practice of a closer to enter the game to pitch the ninth inning when the team was ahead by three-runs or fewer. Fingers ended his career with 314 games saved and 114 wins usually throwing more than one inning, “He is the master” said fellow reliever Dan Quisenberry. Eckersley saved 390 games.

I once asked Eck what keeps him with that edge in the ninth-inning, and he told me “the fear of failure is what drives me”. He was a competitor like all these guys who made a career in the last inning of the game and are credited with a game saved. I am not one that likes to give players nicknames, but I did called Eck “La Cuchilla” trans: “The Knife”, he was a surgeon with that slider and he got most hitters out. There was one exception, Tigers second-baseman Lou Whitaker he enjoyed great success over Eckerseley.

Dennis Eckersley had his great success as he came to Oakland in 1987 with an extensive resume he was a starter. He was a 20 game winner with Cleveland in 1978 and with other reams compiled a record of 197-171, starting 361 games, completed 100 games in 1,071 games he pitched, 2,401 strike outs and a 3.50 ERA. I remember when Eck came to Oakland; he never envisioned being a closer in his life, yet under the great system of Manager Tony LaRussa and pitching coach Dave Duncan. He became one of the greatest closers.

Necessity is the mother of invention, when the need for something becomes imperative; you are forced to find ways of getting the results you want, maybe even achieving it. When kids start playing baseball, from T-Ball all the way up to High School their dreams are of pitching, playing the infield, maybe the outfield, some kids have the calling for catching, but you will never see a kid saying: “when I make it, I want to be a closer.”

This is because such position in the game is something that evolves and developes by many circumstances. It is only early May and the closing situation still developing with the Athletics. We are witnessing maybe the making of another closer inside the Oakland Athletics organization with Lee Trivino, or maybe not. Nobody really knows.

The King of Closers? Panamanian-born Mariano Rivera, “Mo”, in 2019 was the first player unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame, his sensational career with the New York Yankees spanned for 19 years and a total of 652 saves. Perhaps the next Mariano has not been born yet.

Stay well and stay tuned.

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