MLB The Show podcast with Daniel Dullum: Buyers remorse-Cubs regret $43M deal with Kimbrell; A’s Semien closing in on 200 hits; plus more

photo from uk.movies.yahoo.com: New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone shows the location and how much a pitch call was squeezing his pitchers after he was ejected for the fifth time for this season on Saturday at Yankee Stadium by Umpire Joe West against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays

On the MLB The Show podcast with Daniel:

1 Craig Kimbrell blows another save now 0-4, 6.53 ERA, Cubs start to regret $43 million contract

2 A’s Marcus Semien reaches base six times against Texas, chasing 200 hits

3 Padres fire manager Andy Green after four seasons 274-366 won loss record.

4 Tampa Bay Rays keep rolling with third straight walk-off win

5 Umpire Joe West ejects Yankees skipper Aaron Boone a day after blowing a strike call

Join Daniel every Sunday for the MLB podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: The case for Marcus Semien as A’s 2019 MVP

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

He is the Oakland Athletics shortstop since he came in via trade with the Chicago White Sox in 2014. I would be pressed to find any A’s player that has shown more improvement during that period than Marcus Semien. His glove and his bat are at an all-time high during the 2019 season, his last one under a one-year contract by the A’s.

Semien plays the shortstop position considered the most valuable defensive position in the infield except for catcher.

In 2015, Semien lead the league for a shortstop with 35 errors. To date, he only has committed 12 miscues. Ex-A’s coach Ron Washington and current coach Matt Williams have a lot to do with that.

Semien has played 153 games, leading the American League in that department.

Semien leads the team in runs scored, which is one of the most important stats for a player. After all, scoring runs is the most important. If you have any doubts, please ask Mike Trout.

Semien’s over .280 batting average, with 31 home runs and 87 runs batted-in, which are by far his best offensive numbers ever.

Semien’s OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) is over .800 and is one of the new sabermetric baseball statistics.

Aside from A’S MVP in 2019, Semien will get some consideration for American League MVP, although the Angels’ Mike Trout, the Astros’ Alex Bregman and the Yankees’ D.J. LeMahieu will get more recognition nationwide.

Semien is a good teammate who works hard. He was born and raised in the Bay Area.

The A’s will have a decision to make, but Semien already said he would like to stay here and sign a multi-year deal.

Amaury Pi-González is a pioneer is establishing Spanish radio play-by-play in the Bay Area since the mid-1970’s with the Oakland A’s. He is also a longtime contributor on sportsradioservice.com

A’s beat the Astros 3-2 and win the series 3-1

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Graphic: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

First, the Oakland Athletics defeated Justin Verlander (18-6) for the first time since 2013 on Thursday night. Secondly, they won the four-game series from the Astros 3-1 by winning the final game 3-2. The A’s record improved to 87-60 for the season.

The Athletics have now won three consecutive games and are now in sole possession of AL Wild Card Slot #1 by ½-game over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays lost on Thursday night to the Texas Rangers 6-4.

The A’s got to Verlander early

If you are going to beat Justin Verlander, you have to get to him early in the game. Oakland scored their first run of the game in the top of the first inning when rookie Seth Brown doubled to left field to drive Marcus Semien home to score the first run of the game.

In the top of the third inning, Marcus Semien led off with a single to left. With one out, Matt Olson hit a towering fly ball for a two-run home run into the upper deck in right field off a Verlander fastball. It was Olsen’s 32nd home run of the season.

That would be all the scoring for the A’s in the contest, but it would prove to be all they would need.

The A’s starter won the game

Homer Bailey made the start for Oakland and recorded the win (13-8). He worked 5.1-innings allowing just one run (earned) off three hits. Bailey struck out four Astros and walked three.

The A’s used five pitchers in the game.

Liam Hendriks picked up his 21st save of the season closing out the game for the A’s.

Final Totals

For the A’s: 3 runs, 6 hits, 1 error, 5 Left on Base

Up next

The A’s have to play outside in the heat and humidity of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex versus the Rangers. It should be about 92-degrees with 58-percent humidity at game time on Friday night.

The A’s will send RHP Chris Bassitt (10-5, 3.63 ERA) to the hill to face the Rangers LHP Brock Burke (0-1, 3.52 ERA). Bassitt won his last start versus the Tigers at the Coliseum last Saturday night.

A’s beat the Astros 5-3 on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 series lead

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Graphic @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

When you have to play a four-game series with the team who owns the second-best record in Major League Baseball, your goal has to be to go for a 2-2 split. That most certainly is a success level. You might not have gained any positions, but you will not have lost any either.

On Wednesday night, the A’s beat the Astros 5-3 to take a 2-1 series lead in their four-game series with the mighty Houston Astros. Now, the Athletics can play with “reckless abandon” on Thursday night and try to win the series. Not only would that help them in their pursuit of the AL Wild Card Slot #1, but it would really put them inside the heads of the Astros, who could be their first-round opponents in AL Playoffs.

LHP Brett Anderson has a strong start

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Photo: @Athletics

Anderson worked 5.0-innings allowing just two runs (both earned) off seven hits (one HR). He walked three and struck out four hitters. George Springer hit his 34th home run of the season off 2-2 pitch from Anderson. It traveled 433 feet over the center-field wall.

Anderson threw 86 pitches (54 strikes). He was also credited with the win, which raised his record to 12-9 for the year. Anderson faced 23 batters in his 5.0-innings on the mound.

An A’s reliever stepped into the spotlight

Jesus Luzardo made his long-awaited major league debut on Wednesday when he entered the game as a reliever for Anderson. Oakland had scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to stake the rookie to a 5-2 lead.

Luzardo got off to a great start getting the first two hitters out, but then he gave up a home run to Martin Maldonado. He gathered himself and struck out Myles Straw for the third out of the inning.

Luzardo set the Astros down in order in the seventh and eighth innings.

The rookie LHP worked 3.0-innings giving up one run (earned) off one hit while walking none and striking out two Astros. He tossed 36 pitches (22 strikes).

Luzardo became the first player born in Peru to play in the major leagues.

Don’t forget the guy who got the save

Mr. Dependable — Liam Hendriks — recorded his 20th save of the season setting the Astros down in order including striking out two batters.

Focus on the A’s with the bat

  • Marcus Semien had a 3-for-5 night with the bat scoring two runs and posting one RBI. One of his hits was his 28th home run of the season.
  • Rookie Sean Murphy went 1-for-4 at the plate. He hit his fourth home run of the season in the sixth inning.
  • Matt Olson had a 1-for-4 night hitting with a double (24) that drove in two runs.

AL Wild Card Race

The Tampa Bay Rays are still in Wild Card Slot #1 but by just 1/2 game over the A’s. The A’s own AL Wild Card Slot #2 but are just 1/2 game ahead of the Indians.

It really is a three-team race. The Red Sox are now 10.0-games out the Wild Card and have lost five games in a row. They are now playing for next year.

Up Next

It will be a good pitching matchup in the season-series finale between the A’s and the Astros on Thursday night. The A’s will send RHP Homer Bailey (12-8, 4.87 ERA) to the mound to face possible Cy Young winner RHP Justin Verlander (18-5, 2.52 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM Bay Area time.

A’s crush the Astros 21-7 on Tuesday night

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Graphic: @NBCSCA

By Charlie O Mallonee @Charlieo1320

This morning on my Oakland A’s podcast with Lee Leonard, I told our listeners not to panic about the A’s 15-0 loss to the Astros on Monday night. Baseball is a funny game and sometimes a game will just get away from a team. Just as frequently, when a team scores a bundle of runs in a game – they will not be able to repeat that feat in the next game no matter how hard they try. It’s just a “baseball thing”.

The A’s turned the table on Tuesday

Oakland showed up on Tuesday night ready to play and scored seven – that’s right seven – runs in the top of the first inning before the Astros ever had a chance to pick up a bat. The Houston starting pitcher – Wade Miley – was credited with working 0.1-innings while giving up seven runs (all earned) off seven hits. He walked one and struck out none. Miley entered the game with a record of 13-4 and an ERA of 3.74. His record is now 13-5.

It was like the A’s had all of this pent-up energy that just had to be released and they took it all out on the Astros on Tuesday night. The A’s scored two runs in the second inning, two in the third, six runs in the fourth, two more in the fifth, one in the sixth and tacked one more on in the top of the ninth inning for a total of 21.

Oakland won the game 21-7.

Tanner Roark picked up the win

Tanner Roark picked up his 10th victory of the season in this game. He worked 5.2-innings allowing five runs (all earned) off eight hits. He walked one and struck out three. He did give up three home runs. Roark threw 105 pitches (65 strikes).

Ryan Buchter faced one-hitter and Daniel Mengden worked 3.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on four hits. He walked two and struck out one. Mengden did allow one home run.

Focus on the A’s with the bat

  • Mark Canha: went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and one RBI.
  • Chad Pinder: also had a 3-for-6 game scoring one run and adding an RBI.
  • Khris Davis: joined the 3-for-6 club with two runs scored and three RBI. Davis hit his 20th HR in the game.
  • Sean Murphy: had a two-home run game. He went 3-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and four RBI.
  • Matt Olson hit two home runs and now has 31 for the year.
  • Marcus Semien hit his 27th round-tripper of the season in this contest.
  • For the A’s, it was 21 runs off 25 hits and just eight men left on base.

Wild Card Race

Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Cleveland all were winners on Tuesday. The Rays stay in Wild Card Slot #1 with a 1.5-game lead over the A’s. The A’s own Wild Card Slot #2 with a 0.5-game lead over the Indians. The race is tight and very competitive.

After the Houston series, the A’s do have a game versus a team with a winning record.

Up Next

Game three of the four-game series will be played on Wednesday night at 5:10 PM PDT. LHP Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.08) will start for Oakland while RHP Jose Urquidy (1-1, 5.33) will take the mound for Houston.

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.

A’s come up short on the South Side on Saturday night, lose to the Sox 3-2

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Graphic/Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics (66-51) lost to the Chicago White Sox (52-63) 3-2 on Saturday in Game two of their three-game series. The A’s were held scoreless until the top of the ninth inning when they scored to two runs on an unusual play.

With two out and Alex Colome on the mound for the Sox, Marcus Semien hit a single to left-center field. Chad Pinder then doubled to left field and Semien moved to third base. Matt Chapman hit a hot drive down the third baseline that Ryan Goins could not handle and it traveled into left field. Semien and Pinder were able to score easily while Chapman stopped at second base on what would be scored as a two-base error.

With the score 3-2 and the tying at second base, Khris Davis was the next batter for Oakland. Colome was able to strike Davis out to end the game and earn the win for the White Sox.

Focus on the A’s

  • Tanner Roark was tagged with the loss in his second start for the A’s. His record drops to 7-8 for the season. Roark worked 6.2 innings giving up three runs (two earned) off six hits. He walked none and struck out seven batters. Roark is 1-1 with the A’s with a 2.41 ERA in two starts.
  • The A’s are 4-1 versus the White Sox this season. Oakland has outscored Chicago 30-8.
  • The A’s have loved playing American League Central teams this season. They are 16-5 versus AL Central teams this year.
  • Mark Canha has hit safely in each of his last 11 games versus the White Sox.
  • Matt Chapman is batting .400 (10-for-25) against the Sox this season.
  • Stephen Piscotty has gone 8-for-25 (.320) with two homers and five RBI over seven games since coming off the injured list on August 3rd.

Checking in on the Sox

  • The White Sox ended a four-game losing streak with their win over the A’s on Saturday.
  • This was the Sox first victory over the Athletics in more than a year.
  • Game-winning pitcher Reynaldo Lopez earned wins in consecutive starts for the first time since September 2018. He is now 7-9 for the season.
  • Tim Anderson extended his hitting streak to nine games.
  • Leury Garcia has reached base safely in a career-high 20 games.
  • Eloy Jimenez hit his 19th home run of the season off Roark in the fifth inning. It was a 410-foot blast right-center field.

Up Next

The A’s and White Sox will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Oakland will send RHP Chris Bassitt (7-5, 3.80 ERA) to the mound. He earned a no-decision in his last start against the Cubs when worked six innings giving up two runs (both earned) off eight hits. Bassitt will face Lucas Giolito (12-5, 3.44 ERA). Giolito was a winner in his last start versus the Tigers when he pitched six innings giving up three runs (two earned) off eight hits. He walked two and struck out eight batters.

First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 am PDT.

A’s end their losing streak beating the Rangers 5-4 in a wild game Saturday night

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All photos by Charlie O Mallonee Sports Radio Service

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland — The Athletics had lost three straight games going into their contest on Saturday night with the Texas Rangers. More importantly, the A’s were no longer in possession of a Wild Card Playoff slot.

Yes, there is slightly over two months of baseball remaining to play, but with the tight race for the Wild Card spots, no team can afford to fall very far behind. Two of the teams that have a realistic chance to grab a Wild Card slot are in the Western Division – the Angels and the Rangers.

Major start for Homer Bailey

The A’s made the trade with Kansas City for the veteran Bailey hoping that he would be able to shore up their starting pitching woes. While it true that the team added Bailey for very little cost, that did not mean the Athletics had low expectations for what he could bring to the mound.

Bailey was spectacular in his first game for Oakland as he picked up a 10-2 win over the Mariners. His second start was extremely disappointing. On July 22, he made the start against the Astros in Houston. Bailey lasted only two innings while giving up nine earned runs. At that point, the front office was not sure who they had added to their team.

On Saturday night, Bailey was in control on the hill. He worked 6.2-innings allowing three runs (all earned) while striking out seven and walking just one. The three runs he allowed came with two in the seventh inning. As manager Bob Melvin said, Bailey just could not get that one pitch over to get Danny Santana out. Santana hit a two-out two-run double to keep the inning alive.

In his postgame analysis, Melvin said that Bailey on Saturday night was is exactly who they wanted him to be when they traded for him. Bailey threw a total of 105 pitches (71 strikes). He faced 28 Texas batters. Bailey induced six hitters to groundout and four to flyout.

Bailey is now 2-1 as a member of the A’s. His overall record is 9-7 with an ERA of 5.33.

National Enquirer Story of the game

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This picture proves no one was injured when the benches cleared Photo: Charlie O Mallonee

This story actually began back on June 8 in Texas when Rangers starting pitcher Adrian Sampson had a problem with Mark Canha when the A’s outfielder flipped his bat after hitting a home run. Words were exchanged and people were removed from Christmas card lists.

Flash forward to Saturday night, Canha came to the plate to face Sampson for the second time in the game, and you guessed it. The pitcher hit Canha with a pitch. Canha just trotted to first base like the man he is and was ready to play on.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano hit his 21st homer of the season off Sampson. It was a “screamer” that landed halfway up the steps behind the left-field wall. Laureano did take a little time to admire his work and then began his home run trot. Sampson came off the mound and began yelling at Laureano to start running and stop looking. Words were exchanged. Again, names were crossed off the Christmas card list. The benches all stood up but nothing happened.

By the way, the Laureano home run was the fourth round-tripper Sampson had issued in the game.

Now for the rest of the story. In the bottom of the eighth inning, relief pitcher Rafael Montero was on the hill for Texas when Ramon Laureano came to bat for the Athletics with Canha on at first. Montero hit Laureano with a pitch and the benches along with the bullpens cleared.

There was lots of yelling and screaming. Some players were discussing their favorite IPA brands. It was stupid like most baseball bench-clearing situations. The umpires took charge and ejected Montero along with his manager Chris Woodward just as baseball mandates.

This time nothing bad happened, but it is only a matter of time before a situation gets out of hand. Commissioner Rob Manfred has to “suck it up” and take charge before one of these stupid situations becomes tragic.

Focus on the Athletics

  • All of the Oakland runs came via the home in this game. All were solo shots except Matt Chapman’s fifth inning 2-run home run off Sampson. Sampson gave up all four home runs.
  • Ramon Laureano went 2-for-3 in the game with a home run (21), a double (26) and a hit-by-pitch. He is batting .348 versus Texas.
  • Marcus Semien had a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included his 16th home run and he scored two runs. Semien is batting .400 against the Rangers this season.
  • Homer Bailey (9-7) was the winner. Liam Hendriks picked up his ninth save of the year.
  • The A’s scored five runs on six hits and left just four runners on base.

Rangers Watch

  • Adrian Sampson – who took the loss – allowed a season-high-tying four home runs in 6.0-innings pitched. He did the same thing versus the Red Sox on June 13. Sampson is 3-11 with a 5.77 ERA as a starting pitcher. He is 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA as a reliever.
  • Nomar Mazara went 3-for-4 with the bat on Saturday night. He is 7-for-15 in his last four games. Yes, he is starting on Sunday.
  • Elvis Andrus snapped an 0-for-11 streak at the plate by having a 2-for-4 game against the A’s on Saturday night.

Up next

The fourth and final game of this series is set to begin 1:07 PM on Sunday. The Rangers will send RHP Pedro Payano (1-0, 1.50) to the mound. It will be Payano’s third appearance in his Major League career. This makes Payano a bit of a wild card because the Oakland hitters will have to look at some pitches to figure how to hit off him. The scouting reports and videotape will be in limited supply.

The Athletics will counter with veteran RHP Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.57) who is hoping to take young Mr. Payano to school. Fiers is 7-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 14 starts.

 

Twins win 7-6, A’s high leverage act gets the best of them in Minneapolis

By Morris Phillips

That splashy new closer/setup man the A’s are shopping for in the trade deadline buyer’s market, they could have found a big spot for him Sunday at Target Field.

The A’s showed up fashionably late offensively–imagine the Oakland starting lineup taking in a trendsetter’s Sunday brunch at 4Bells in nearby Minneapolis Loring Park before venturing to the park, perhaps–scoring for the first time in the fifth inning, then never letting up. Trailing 4-0 in the fifth, the A’s scored in four consecutive innings, to take their first lead in the eighth, 6-5.

Then they carried the lead into the bottom of the ninth, and Bob Melvin summoned his All-Star closer Liam Hendriks to get the last three outs.

But not so fast. The A’s were tempting fate by frustrating the Twins’ home crowd, assuming a lead in the seventh inning or later for the third straight day. Not to mention the Twins’ hitters, who are threatening to become the first team to hit 300 home runs in a season, obliterating the Major League record, and the team as a whole, feeling pressure in the NL Central standings for the first time all season, and desperate to avoid a third straight, deflating loss at home.

“We have been playing good games but have been losing a couple of them,” said Max Kepler. “Teams have been coming back on us.”

And the pressure on Hendriks–who’s been lights out in a streak of 20 plus innings without allowing a run–couldn’t be discounted. The 30-year old Australian has thrown 460 innings at the big league level over nine seasons, but only has nine saves, eight of them since June 22, when he vibrantly morphed into an elite reliever. In fact, Twins’ fans remember Hendriks as a 23-year old free agent pickup who gave up 17 home runs in 16 starts and went 1-8 with a 5.59 ERA in 2012, his second of three seasons in Minneapolis.

A’s fans? They best know Hendriks as a forefather in the opener movement with eight starts in that role in 2018.

But Melvin embraced Hendriks last month, watched him run at world record speed in his new role, and gave little hesitation to tabbing him to close the door for a third, consecutive day for the first time in his career.

Melvin gave little consideration before–or after Hendriks allowed a game-tying triple to Ehire Adrianza, and a game-winning single to Kepler.

“They hit some good pitches,” said Melvin. “His stuff was no different today than any other day. At some point in time, he was probably going to blow one. It’s kind of the nature of the game.”

“These guys worked their tails off today, and I couldn’t bring it home. It’s disappointing in that regard,” Hendriks admitted.

The A’s blew a chance to remain within 5 1/2 games of the division-leading Astros with a three-game set in Houston starting on Monday. And their lead in the wild card race shrunk to one game over the Rays, and three games over the Red Sox.

So it’s just one game lost, but could it become more?

The organization’s thought process one the closer’s role is more complicated now given setup man Lou Trivino and former closer Blake Treinen are once again healthy and available. Not to mention whoever is acquired in the coming days as many assume the A’s will attempt to bolster their bullpen much like they did last season.

Remember last year’s post season push, and GM David Forst’s belief? One closer’s great, but why not have two or three? Well if that’s the case, the A’s have 10 days to make some decisions that could define their season. If the A’s add on, none of the candidates–Hendriks included–gets handed the task of a third save in three days again this season.

On Monday in Houston, Homer Bailey makes his second start as an Athletic, and Gerrit Cole goes for the Astros. This will be the first of 11 remaining meetings between the two contenders, but so far it’s been all Houston. The Astros have captured seven of the first eight meetings in 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Bassitt
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.
Barreto
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.