The 2:20 Wrap
by Charlie O. Mallonee
As Butch Cassidy asked the Sundance Kid in that now timeless movie as they were being pursued by a posse who would not give up, “Who are these guys?” Who are these guys indeed? The Oakland Athletics have come home and looked like an entirely different team against the powerful New York Yankees.
The A’s have won the series
The 5-2 win on Saturday guarantees the Athletics will win the four-game series. In a four-game series you pray for split. You fear a 3-1 loss. Your worst nightmare is being swept.
On Father’s Day Sunday, the A’s will have the opportunity to sweep the Yankees in this four-game series. Oakland leads the season series 4-2.
The Athletics are 20-12 versus the Yankees over the last five years. That is the best record against the “Bronx Bombers” by an American League team over that period of time.
Jesse Hahn picked up the win but struggled early on
Jesse Hahn got the start for the A’s and it looked like it was going to be a very short outing. He threw 31 pitches in the first inning while walking two New York hitters. He worked out of that jam and managed to work 5.0-innings in the game.
Hahn gave up two runs (both earned) on three hits. He struck out six and walked three. Hahn threw 105 pitches (69 strikes). His record improves to 3-4 with a 3.56 ERA.
Liam Hendriks, Josh Smith and Ryan Madson each worked an inning of scoreless relief.
Sean Doolittle came on in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Santiago Casilla was not going to pitch on Saturday but he was hit in the left shoulder by a foul ball while standing in the dugout. X-rays proved negative so he will be fine.
Ryon Healy had a monster day
Healy hit two round-trippers on Saturday — one in the first inning and one in the third inning. He now has 17 home runs for the season.
This was is third multi-home run game. All three have come in this month of June.
Healy finished the game going 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, two runs and two RBI. His batting average currently stands at .288.
Matt Joyce also had a big game
Joyce led the game off for Oakland by hitting the first pitch from Tanaka over the right field wall for his eighth home run of the year. Joyce came to the plate five times — hit a home run, a double, a single and walked twice.
He also raised his batting average 13 points from .211 to .224.
Rookie Matt Chapman continues to be hot
Chapman who joined the A’s from Triple-A on Thursday had a 2-for-4 day. He hit a double, a single and scored a run. Chapman also had the opportunity to show off his speed on the base path and it is quite impressive.
His batting average is now at .273.
They all stood but the Judge did not rule
The Yankees young superstar — Aaron Judge — caused a stir in the big crowd every time he came to the plate. Fans were hoping to him display the power that has allowed him to record 23 home runs so far this year.
Judge walked in the first inning and was stranded at first base. He then struck out swinging twice and went down on strikes looking in his final at bat in the eighth inning. Yes fans — he is human.
Tanaka had a strange day on the mound for New York
Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 6.34) started the game for the Yankees. The right-hander has been struggling recently and Saturday was no exception.
He worked just 4.0-innings giving up all five runs (all earned) on eight hits. Three of those hits were home runs — all solo shots. Tanaka walked one and struck out 10. He had a double-digit strike out game and took the loss. That is a rough start.
Domingo German entered the game in the fifth inning to relieve Tanaka. He pitched four scoreless innings giving up just four hits, walking three and striking out six. German earned himself some more pitching time with his performance on Saturday.
Where the teams stand after the game
The A’s are 30-38 on the season and have won three consecutive games. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The A’s are in last-place in the American League West 15-games behind division leading Houston. They are 2-games behind the fourth-place Mariners.
The Yankees are still in first-place in the AL East with a record of 38-28 and will probably stay there as Boston is losing as this story is being written. They started the day with just a one-half game lead over the Red Sox.
New York has now lost five games in a row and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The final game of the four-game series will get underway at 1:05 p.m. PDT on Father’s Day Sunday on Rickey Henderson Field. The Yankees will send Triple-A call-up RHP Luis Cessa (0-0, 5.40) to mound for the series finale. The A’s will counter with RHP Jharel Cotton (3-7, 5.52).