A’s just can’t score runs as Royals take advantage 5-1

Oakland Athletics left fielder Chad Pinder gets in the left field corner to make a brilliant catch on a ball hit by Kansas City Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. in the top of the six inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Friday, June 17, 2022 (AP News photo)

Kansas City. 5. 11. 0

Oakland. 1. 5. 1

Friday, June 17, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s (22-44) and the Kansas City Royals (22-41) went into tonight’s encounter fairly evenly matched. Both teams had won the last game of their previous series, KC squeezing past the Giants 3-2 at Oracle Park on Wednesday and the A’s hanging on to beat the Red Sox 4-3 at Fenway Thursday.

That brought the season’s record for the visitors to 21-41, which left them in the cellar of the AL Central with an average of .339 ,and gave Oakland a mark of 21-43, .338, fifth in the five team AL West. The Royals would pick up their 22nd victory on Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum with a 5-1 win against their host the A’s.

The Royals were outhitting the Athletics .238 to .211, but the green and gold’s staff ERA was 4.44 against the midwesterners’ 5.12. As the one time manager of the Oakland Oaks, Casey (from KC) Stengel, wryly remarked, “Good pitching always beats good hitting and vice versa.”

When tonight’s dust had settled, the won and lost figures for the midwesterners were 22-41, and those of the hometown crew had fallen to 21-44.

Righty Frankie Montás, taking the mound at 3-6, 3.40 last pitched on June 11, where he won the first of the A’s two victories in that disastrous nine game trip. With his arsenal of fastballs, changeups, sliders, and cutters, he is a prime candidate for the Next Athletic To Be Traded Award.

Kansas City chose tonight’s starter, Daniel Lynch, as their first pick in the 2018 draft. The southpaw quickly rose through their ranks, arriving in the show in 2021 and managing to go 4-5, albeit with an ERA of 5.84. He features a fastball, a slider, and a change of pace.

Montás got into hot water early. Whit Merrifield pulled the second pitch of the game into left for a lead off single and was on second one pitch later after Andrew Benintendi’s opposite field single through the hole between short and third.

The Oakland starter earned himself a brief respite striking out Bobby Witt, Jr. but allowed clean up hitter Salvador Pérez a run scoring two base hit to center that sent Merrifield home and Benintendi to third.

After striking out MJ Meléndez, Montás walked Hunter Dozier to load the bases but escaped further damage by getting Kyle Isabel to foul out to Seth Brown at first.

The hot water got closer to a boil in the top of the second. Nicky López drove a one out single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Merrifield went down swinging on a 3-2 cutter.

Benintendi drove him in with his second single to left in two innings. Montás closed down the frame by fanning Witt, also for the second time in as many innings. It was Montás’ fourth strike out, but the A’s now were down 2-0.

Between the top and the bottom of the second, first base umpire Charlie Ramos replaced crew chief Ron Kulpa behind the plate. No reason was given

The momentum shifted after Lynch retired Matt Davidson and Seth Brown to open their half of the second. Elvis Andrus hit a clean single to center and motored to third on Jonah Bride’s single to left.

Bride, recently called up from AA Midland, moved into scoring position when Lynch unleashed a wild pitch to Christián Pache, who eventually walked, clogging the base baths with Oaklanders. Chad Pinder then ripped a single to right, which plated Andrus. The ball was so well hit that Bride had to hold up at second.

It was a good thing he did because Kyle Isbel made a beautiful throw home that would have nabbed him. But Laureano grounded out to short, and the inning ended with Oakland trailing 2-1. Three men left on base. Where have I heard that song before?

Montás coughed the run his defense had just earned him, surrendering a 422 foot blast to center that went for Salvador Pérez’s tenth round tripper of the year. It came off of a 95mph four seamer. Thanks to a 6-4-3 twin killing and a fly to right, that was all the damage KC could inflict on the Athletics in that episode.

A pitcher’s best friend, this time Andrus unassisted to Brown, kept the Royals off the board in the fourth in spite of their two hits, both singles.

It looked as if the double play would once more help Montás escape trouble when, with Witt on first with a lead off single in the fifth, Pérez hit a bouncer to Davidson at the hot corner. But the ball skipped right by the rookie, Pérez reached at first and Witt was, briefly, on third before coming home on MJ Meléndez’s sacrifice fly to deep right.

Pérez took second on a wild pitch to Hunter Dozier, who finished his at bat grounding out to short. With two out and runners on first and second Michael Taylor popped up to third on Montás’s hundredth pitch.

But Davidson just stood there as pellet fell to earth for what the rules mandate had to be scored as a single. Montás finished the inning and his start by making a fine play to throw López out at first on a little nubber he hit between the mound at the plate.

It was a hell of a way to end an outing. Montás had lasted five innings and thrown 103 pitches, 62 for strikes. He allowed five runs, three of them earned, on ten hits, one of them a home run, three walks, and two wild pitches. He struck out four. He took the loss, giving him a record of 3-6, 3.53. Austin Pruitt replaced him in the sixth.

Pruitt didn’t receive any better infield support than Montás did. The first batter he faced, Merrifield, sent a bouncing ball to Davidson, I should say THROUGH to Davidson, that Andrus, backing up the recently promoted third sacker Davidson, fielded but wasn’t able to deliver to first on time. Again, it had to be called a hit.

The reliever did benefit from two fine catches by Pinder in left. On a leaping grab on the warning track, the other a running leaping grab at the wall. He managed to finish up the frame unscored upon and stay on the mound to pitch a perfect seventh and eighth.

Lynch also lasted five innings, during which he threw 99 pitches, 67 of which were deemed strikes. Like Montás he threw two wild pitches, but he allowed only a single run, which was earned, on four hits and two walks. His strikeout total, ten, equaled the number of hits Montás had yielded.

Lynch got the win, making him 3-6, 5,19 for the year. His replacement to open the Oakland sixth was right hander Dylan Coleman who needed 23 pitches to the A’s down and out before yielding to Taylor Clarke after the seventh inning stretch.

He retired them to a conga beat, 1-2-3 in his first inning of relief and put down the two batters he faced in the two-thirds of an inning that he hurled in the eighth. Lefty Gabe Speier took care of the third out and came back to face two A’s in the ninth, walking Brown and getting Andrus out on a liner to deep center.

Lou Trivino, once the mainstay of Oakland’s bullpen, came in to face the Royals in their half of the ninth, hardly the high leverage situation in which he was used in his hayday. He put KC away, allowing only a walk, helped by a beautiful backhanded catch and leaping throw to first by Andrus.

After Speier retired Andrus, Josh Staumont was given the ball. He walked Bride, sending Brown to second. Luis Barrera, who had hit for Pache in the seventh and stayed in the game as right fielder, fanned. With two down, Stephen Vogt pinch hit for Pinder and flew out to right.

The series continues with a pair of day games over the weekend. Saturday’s game starts at 1:07 with Cole Irvin (2-3,3.34) going for Oakland against Kansas City’s Brad Keller (1-8,4.74).

Oakland A’s podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: A’s scratch out a second win to end nine game road trip in Boston

Tony Kemp (5), Chad Pinder (10), and Elvis Andrus (17) all celebrate the Oakland A’s win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thu Jun 16, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 Thursday night in Boston the Oakland A’s (22-43) picked up their second win to conclude their nine game road trip on Thursday night. The win marked the A’s second win in 15 games overall with a razor close 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox (34-30).

#2 The A’s got help from starting pitcher Paul Blackburn who pitched into the sixth inning and got some run support from Christian Bethancourt who slugged a two run RBI single.

#3 The A’s also got some offensive help from Chad Pinder who got an RBI single. The A’s had a three run top of the third inning that gave them some insurance going forward in the contest.

#4 In a recent interview with A’s general manager David Forst, Forst said some of the reasons for the A’s struggles were coming from the ball park issues and what is happening on the field. The A’s had dealt some of their key players and basically Forst said the club shouldn’t be expected to win like they had in previous years.

#5 The A’s open a three game series Friday night against the Kansas City Royals at the Oakland Coliseum starting pitchers for the Royals no starter announced yet the A’s will go with Frankie Montas (3-6 ERA 3.40) a 6:40 pm PDT first pitch at the Coliseum.

Join Jeremiah for the A’s podcasts heard Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Webb pitches masterfully as Giants win fifth straight game 4-2 over Royals

Kansas City. 2. 8. 0

San Francisco. 4. 6. 1

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb celebrates the third out of the top of the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Tue Jun 14, 2022 (Bay Area News Group photo)

SAN FRANCISCO–The last time the Kansas City Royals (20-41) played at Oracle Park was in August of 2017, when it still was going by its third name, AT&T Park. The San Francisco Giants (35-26) finished that season tied with the Detroit Tigers for the worst record in major league baseball. KC finished up ’17 at 80-82.

A lot of water has flowed under the Golden Gate Bridge since then, and San Francisco entered tonight’s contest at 34-26, three games behind the Dodgers and Padres in what is shaping up to be a tight race for the NL West pennant. The Royals, on other hand, have no gonfalon bubble to be burst. After last night’s loss to San Francisco, they stood at 20-40, mired the cellar of all of MLB.

Each game, though, the season starts anew. That’s why the Cubans say that all we know about baseball is that it’s round and comes in a square box.

Before game time, the Giants announced Brandon Belt’s return from the injured list and the concomitant optioning of Donovan Walton to Sacramento. The left handed Belt, however, was not in the starting line up against KC’s southpaw starting pitcher, Kris Bubic.

Neither starter had faced the other team before. Bubic, selected by Kansas City out of Stanford in the first round of the 2018 draft, sported, if that’s the word, an 0-3,9.13 record when he took the mound. San Francisco’s Logan Webb was 5-2,3.77 after his defense let him down in the fourth frame against the Rockies.

Over the course of his first seven starts before tonight, his slider had lost much of its effectiveness, but it’s achieved a remarkable improvement in his last half dozen outings.

The Giants’ eventual 4-2 victory wasn’t unexpected, but the dramatic quality of the action was.

It started out as a pitchers’ duel. The Giants didn’t get a hit off of Bubic until Brian Crawford laced a single to right with one down in the bottom of the fifth.

All that Kansas City had mustered against Webb up to then had been one safety each to Nicky López and Carlos Santana. Between them, the rival hurlers had K´d 11 oponents, five by Bubic and the remainder by Webb.

Neither team reached third base until the top of the sixth, after Michael Taylor reached first on a slow grounder to third on which Wilmer Flores made a nice bare handed pick up followed by a throw that arrived late at first base.

Taylor proceeded to steal second as López struck out and advanced to the hot corner on Whit Merrifield´s fly to deep left. After Andrew Benintendi drew a controversial 3-2 walk, Bobby Witt, Jr., went down swinging, preserving the scoreless tie.

San Francisco finally broke through in the bottom of that frame. This time it was the defending team that suffered the Curse of the Lead Off Double. (One person’s curse is another person’s blessing). González hit it into the left field corner. Slater struck out , but Flores drove in the game’s initial tally with a sharp single to left.

He moved on to third himself on Pederson’s single to third and then scored on Ruf’s single to right center, which put an end to Boric’s impressive outing. Righty Dylan Coleman relieved the southpaw, which motivated the substitution of Tommy LaStella for Longoria. The pinch hitter lofted a sacrifice fly to right that upped the SF lead to 3-0.

Bubic had lasted 5-1/3 innings and was charged with all three runs. They came on five hits and two walks. He struck out six and threw 95 pitches, only 35 of which were balls.

Kansas City threatened in the top of the seventh, but the Giants escaped by the skin of their teeth. MJ Meléndez drew a full count walk with one out and moved up a base on Santana’s single to right. Webb caught Kyle Isabel looking at a third strike and then surrendered a broken bat single to right by Taylor, but González´s throw beat Meléndez to the plate to end the inning and the incipient rally.

Daniel Mengden pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the visitors.

Seven innings of shut out ball was enough for Webb this evening. He had held the Royals to five hits and three walks in his 112 pitch outing. 68 of those offerings were counted as strikes. Submariner Tyler Rogers took his place on the mound.

Before you knew it, the score was 3-2. López led off with a single to left and took second on Merrifield´s fly out to the center field warning track. Benintendi reached first on a grounder to short, on which Crawford made a fine play but wasn’t able to nab the speedy Royal at first.

López reached third on the play. He scored on Witt´s sac fly to center, and Benintendi advanced to second on Slater´s throwing error. He crossed the plate on a single to center by Pérez, bringing the Royals to within a run of their hosts.

The resurgent Royals called on Josh Staumont to face the orange and black in their half of the eighth. He reached three balls on each of the three batters he faced, walking two of them, Mike Yastrzemski, hitting for Slater, and Pederson and getting Flores out on a pop to center.

Then Brandon Belt pinch hit for Ruf, and Staumont was lifted, making way for Scott Barlow who hit Belt with his first pitch, loading the bases. Tommy LaStella brought Yastrzemski home with a sac fly to center that gave the home team an insurance run before Crawford struck out to take us into the ninth.

In the KC ninth, Camilo Doval went for his ninth save in 11 opportunities. He got it, striking out his last two opponents, Ryan ÓHearn and Nicky López.

Webb got the win, giving him a record of 6-2, 3.43. The tough loss went to Buic, now 0-4,8.36.

The series and the home stand end tomorrow with Jonathan Heasley (1-3,3.62) going against an as yet unnamed Giant starter.

Preview Oakland A’s vs. Boston Red Sox: A’s hope to improve win record at Fenway Park as series starts Tuesday

Oakland A’s starter Jared Koenig who lost his first game in his Major League debut on Wed Jun 8, 2022 at Truist Field in Cobb County against the Atlanta Braves will face the Boston Red Sox on Tue Jun 13, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s arrived in Boston Sunday night after finishing a four-game series with the Cleveland Guardians. The A’s managed to beat the Guardians on Saturday 10-5. The A’s have lost fourteen of their last 16 games.

They find themselves in the cellar in the AL West. Their record is a woeful 21-41. However, their bats showed signs of life as they bashed four home runs in the 10-5 win on Saturday. Their hitters slugger three solo dingers in the 6-3 loss to the Guardians on Sunday.

A’s first baseman, Christian Bethancourt, has started to hit. He raised his batting average to .269. His on-base percentage is a respectable .310. He has hit four homers and driven in 15.

In fourth place in the very tough AL East, the Red Sox went 8-2 on the completed 10-game road trip. The Sox are now 32-29 for the season. Injuries, however, are starting to affect the pitching.

Starters Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Whitlock are on the 15-day IL. Chris Sale is still not available. The Red Sox still have a very potent lineup. Their All-Star candidates include third baseman Rafael Devers, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, second baseman Trevor Story, and DH J.D. Martinez.

The Red Sox cannot afford to take the A’s lightly. The A’s play better on the road. They are 14-18 away from the Oakland Coliseum. They are a woeful 7-23 at home.

The A’s showed they have some pop in their bats as they sent seven balls into the seats in the last two games of the Cleveland series. They hope to continue pounding the ball in the hitter-friendly confines of Boston’s Fenway Park.

The A’s will send lefty Jared Koenig to the hill Tuesday night. Koenig will be making his second start in his brief Major League career. In his first outing, he made it into the fourth inning. He absorbed the loss, and his ERA is 9.00. Nick Pivetta (5-5, 3.78 ERA) goes for Boston.

On Wednesday, James Kaprielian will handle the pitching chores for the A’s. James is 0-3, and his ERA is 5.73. He pitched better in his last outing but did not get the decision. The A’s feel James is rounding back into the form he showed last season.

The Red Sox have not announced their starting pitchers for Wednesday or Thursday. The A’s starter on Thursday will be Paul Blackburn. Blackburn is 5-2 with a very tidy era of 2.31. Blackburn went eight innings in his last outing against Cleveland.

He was ahead 2-0 when he left the game. The Guardians rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth as the A’s bullpen melted down again.

As baseball fans know, anything can happen in games played at Fenway Park. Fenway has been a hitter’s paradise for over 100 years.

The A’s would love to get back into the win column and take at least two out of three from the Sox in a series that starts on Friday night. Boston would love to sweep the A’s again. As always, it should be a fun series.

On Friday night the A’s return to the Oakland Coliseum to host the Kansas City Royals for a three game series.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Giants open three game series with Royals tonight at Oracle Park; SF comes off 3 game sweep over LA

San Francisco Giant slugger Mike Yastrzemski takes a trot around the bases after hitting a first inning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sun Jun 12, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Marko:

#1 San Francisco Giants (33-26) pitcher Carlos Rodon who pitched six innings of shutout ball helped lead the Giants and the bullpen to a a 2-0 win for a sweep over the Los Angeles Dodgers (37-23).

#2 The Dodgers have lost four of the last five games and were swept by the Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco. This comes as a surprise as the Dodgers first in the NL West and have dominate in the regular season.

#3 The Giants Austin Slater and Mike Yastrzemski both homered off Dodgers starter Julio Urias which handed the Dodgers their sixth loss in eight games.

#4 Giants manager Gabe Kapler wisely said that although the Giants are in a solid position divisions aren’t won in June.

#5 The Kansas City Royals (20-39) open a three game series at Oracle Park in San Francisco starting Monday night at 6:45 pm PDT Royals starter Brady Singer (3-1, 4.33) for the Giants Alex Wood (3-5, 4.23).

Marko Ukalovic is filling in for Morris Phillips who does the Giant podcasts Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s Take Game Three In Kansas City 7-2

The Oakland A’s Mark Canha slide in safely in the third inning after scoring on a Chad Pinder single against the Kansas City Royals at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City (AP News photo)

A’s Take Game Three In Kansas City 7-2

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday afternoon the Oakland A’s took on the Kansas City Royals in game three of their series.

Paul Blackburn was on the mound for Oakland and the Royals started Daniel Lynch. It was a bumpy start for Blackburn but he settled down nicely. After giving up a two run home run by Perez in the first inning, he sailed through the mid-sixth inning.

He was relieved by Deolis Guerra who pitched through the seventh inning. Chafin got through the eighth inning and Sergio Romo took it home for Oakland with a three up three down in the the ninth inning.

After leading 2-0 in the first inning there would be nothing more for the Royals. The A’s tied up the game in the third inning. They went on in that same inning to tack on two more runs to lead 4-2.

There was not a lot of offense until the ninth inning. The A’s added some insurance in the ninth inning when Royals pitcher Brentz threw three wild pitches. Elvis Andrus scored on one of those pitches and Tony Kemp scored when Harrison doubled. The A’s added two more runs for the final score of 7-2.

This was a great win for the team and more importantly huge for the bullpen who has struggled for awhile now.

In the series the offense was certainly firing on all cylinders with 26 runs and 35 hits.

Oakland will now head back to California playing a three game series against the Angels. The latest news out of Los Angeles is that Shohei Otani will not pitch against the A’s tomorrow. There is a very good chance that he will not pitch again this season with right arm soreness. He will probably still serve as a designated hitter.

First pitch in Los Angeles is scheduled for 6:38. Cole Irvin will be on the mound for Oakland. If Ohtani does not pitch which seems unlikely the Angels starter is still TBD at the time of this story.

A’s Hang On To Win A Cliffhanger 12-10

Oakland A’s hitter Mark Canha connects for an RBI single in the third inning at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City against the Kansas City Royals on Wed Sep 15, 2021 (AP News photo)

A’s Hang On To Win In A Cliffhanger 12-10

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday night the Oakland A’s took on the Kansas City Royals in game two of their series. Sean Manea was on the mound for Oakland and for Kansas City Carlos Hernandez got the nod. The ERA for Hernandez is currently 3.29 while Manea has a 3.79 ERA.

Last night’s game was a tough one for the A’s as they squandered another healthy lead. After five innings they led 7-4 but were unable to score again for the remainder of the game. The Royals scored four times in the sixth inning taking the lead and winning the game by a score of 10-7.

The team is desperate for a win as chances for a Wild Card are dwindling with each loss. Although the Rangers got on the board first taking an early 1-0 lead in this game, the A’s had a productive second, third and fourth inning which included a home run from Matt Olson, his 35th of the season. They scored five times taking a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning.

It felt a bit like deja vu in this fourth inning. The Royals would score four times with Perez, Benintendi, and Mondesi all scoring. They had drastically cut the A’s lead to 5-4. Oakland badly needed some offense in the second half of this game. We all saw what happened in yesterday’s game. We knew going in that the Royals could be problematic

The A’s offense answered in the fifth inning scoring three runs, now leading 8-4. Kemp and Harrison both had singles. The Royals Perez had a solo home run in the fifth but that was it for Kansas City.

The seventh inning was huge for Oakland. By the end of the top of the inning the A’s were leading 12-5. They unleashed an offensive run and now the team had 17 hits in the game. The offense was on fire and the bullpen needed to protect the lead.

Sean Manea pitched five innings before Lou Trivino came in to relieve in the sixth inning. Trivino pitched the sixth and seventh innings giving up a single run.

Jake Diekman would take over on the mound in the eighth inning as the A’s closed in on their first win in this series. Just when it looked all so promising , Diekman loaded the bases and a familiar scenario came into play. Kansas City doubled and the Royals had scored three times in the inning. Oakland now clung onto a 12-9 lead as Andrew Chafin came in to try and close out the inning. Prior to the ninth inning Oakland had had 24 base runners in this game.

After Chafin got the team out of the eighth inning, Oakland was three outs away from a win. It would be up to Chafin to close this one out. Another nightmare for the green and gold as Chafin loaded the bases with no outs. He loaded the bases for a second time in the inning with two out.

Miraculously the A’s hung on to get the final out and the win 12-10. This was a wild game that went down to the wire.

The A’s will try to take the series tomorrow in game three. First pitch is scheduled for 11:10.

A’s Drop Game One to Royals 10-7; Oakland also drops 3.5 games back in AL Wild Card race

Oakland A’s Seth Brown dives back into first base after a pick off move as Kansas City Royals first baseman Carlos Santa waits for the thrown ball at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City on Tue Sep 14, 2021 (AP News photo)

A’s Drop Game One to the Royals 10-7

By Barbara Mason

Tuesday afternoon the Oakland A’s took on the Royals in Kansas City in game one of their series. Frankie Montas was on the mound for Oakland and Jackson Kowar started for Kansas City.

The A’s got on the scoreboard early scoring two runs in the first inning. Josh Harrison walked and Starling Marte had a double in the inning. Matt Olson and Jed Lowrie both had a sacrifice that drove Harrison and Marte in for the 2-0 score.

The A’s kept their foot on the gas in the second inning scoring three times for a 5-0 lead. Harrison and Andrus both had singles. Kowar had walked three in two innings and it was at this point that Ervin Santana took over in the second inning for Kansas City.

Oakland continued to roll and added another run in the third inning when Mark Canha doubled and scored when Santana threw two wild pitches. Now leading 6-0 the A’s had scored in the first three innings of this game.

Kansas City got going in the third inning scoring three runs and cutting Oakland’s lead in half 6-3.

The Royals would add another run in the fourth inning, a homerun by Hunter Dozier and Kansas City was chipping away at the A’s lead. Frankie Montas would leave the game with Deolis Guerra taking over on the mound.

The A’s would add a badly needed run in the fifth inning. Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus both had doubles with Brown scoring. It was a three up, three down for the Royals in the fifth.

The sixth inning proved to be a disaster for Oakland as Salvador Perez hit a three run homer for his 43rd of the year. Kyle Isbel had scored earlier in the inning. The Royals had taken the lead 8-7.

The Royals continued to storm back extending their lead to a 10-7 score. Another homerun from the team that is at the bottom for homers in the American League. Kyle Isbel homered with a runner on base. This was the first homer of his career and this was the Royals third home run of the game.

Oakland couldn’t get a thing going after the fifth inning. After the great start; leading 6-0 after three innings, there wasn’t much for the A’s. Just another of many disappointing late season showings. So the struggles continue within the Bullpen and now the starters as well.

First pitch in game two is scheduled for another 5:10 start.

A’s Down To The Wire In Their Next Series

Oakland A’s pitcher Frankie Montas will start against the Kansas City Royals Tue Sep 14, 2021 at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City for game 1 of the three game series. (file photo San Francisco Chronicle)

A’s Down To The Wire In Their Next series

By Barbara Mason

It’s been a long baseball season but it has seemed especially long for the Oakland A’s. They have had more ups and downs than a boardwalk roller coaster. If it’s not the starting pitchers, it’s the at bats or some crazy defensive play and for awhile now it has been the bullpen with a capital B.

There are six more series left in the season. Oakland will be facing the Kansas Royals, the Los Angeles Angels, the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves and take a look at what is next up for the A’s

Tuesday night they will be taking on the Kansas City Royals in a three game series. The Royals are not a factor in the playoff picture but would like nothing more than to play spoiler. That’s just what teams do when there is no post season in their future.

On Tuesday the A’s probable starting pitcher will be Frankie Montas who with an 3.57 ERA and has been very good on the mound. Montas has had some of his best stuff lately and has been impressive. If he can go deep and into the game, even as far as eight innings there will be less pressure on the bullpen.

It’s no secret that the Oakland bullpen has been less than stellar for while for now so taking pressure off them to perform is a good thing. It’s a shame that it has come down to this but its is what it is.

For the Kansas City Royals they will more than likely send Jackson Kowar to the mound with a 9.53 ERA. The A’s will need the bats to come alive early in the game coupled with their usual solid defensive play. They should have a lot of success in this series. The A’s will need some cooperation from the bullpen and that’s a given.

The bottom line is that this team has the tools to make a run this year. Tuesday night will hopefully begin the journey on that run.

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: Bullpen issues for A’s as relievers can’t shut the door late

Oakland A’s reliever Sergio Romo got rocked on Sat Sep 11, 2021 by the Texas Rangers allowing four runs in the eighth inning in another A’s blown save at the Oakland Ring Central Coliseum (file photo mercurynews.com)

On the A’s podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara you’ve seen a number of late inning melt downs from the Oakland A’s bullpen where the starters go deep but the relievers just can’t hold the lead.

#2 A’s pitcher Cole Irvin took the game on Saturday into the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers with 6-2 lead and had all his pitches working for him did he look good enough to complete the game although that wouldn’t happen today with the pitch count.

#3 Irvin has been supportive and relievers Andrew Chafin and Sergio Romo were touched up by the Rangers who scored five runs in the eighth inning. Irvin said that they put in a great effect but the Rangers just saw the ball well and hit them were they ain’t.

#4 Going into a home stretch of the season like this where every game counts as the A’s make their best bet bid for a wild card birth they’re really going to need to lean on their bullpen to make over the hump.

#5 Barbara, the A’s open a three game series in Kansas City Tuesday night the bullpen has blown eight saves in their last 19 games those eight games are critical if you look at how close the wild card race is.

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