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

Canha
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.

 

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: All-Star Game? A’s Hendriks and Giants’ Smith both give up the home run ball in relief; A’s Chapman scores on DP ball

Photo credit: @athletics_fanly

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 After all the talk about the home run ball and plenty of them, the All-Star Game in Cleveland was a low scoring affair before the American League scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-1. Earlier, the American League scored a single run in the second and fifth innings and the American League got two runs in the top of the sixth. The National League tried to make a come back with two runs in the top of the eight but just couldn’t pass the AL in the 4-3 one run AL win.

#2 Representing the San Francisco Giants at the All-Star Game was reliever Will Smith, who got his 23rd save on Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres, which translate to a great first half, despite the Giants struggling in last place in the NL West. At the All-Star Game, Smith gave up a home run in the seventh.

#3 Representing the Oakland A’s were A’s third baseman Matt Chapman, who hit .265, 90 RBIs and 21 home runs, and relief pitcher Liam Hendriks, who is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA.

#4 For Hendriks, he has saved 23 straight games without a blown save. The A’s are in the hunt for a wild card and are just seven games behind first place Houston and Hendriks closing games will be crucial in the home stretch. Hendriks — in the All-Star Game — gave up a home run for an earned run and struck out three batters.

#5 Meanwhile, the A’s Matt Chapman had some better luck scoring a run from third when the Boston Red Sox Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play.

London Marq does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O: Hendriks and Chapman thrilled to be at All-Star Game in Cleveland

Photo credit: @hyphen18

On the A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 How thrilled must A’s pitcher Liam Hendriks and A’s third baseman Matt Chapman have to be about being selected for the 2019 All-Star Game?

#2 Hendriks has put up some great numbers in the first half of the season with 23 straight saves.

#3 It’s got to be monumental that Hendriks has pitched that long without a blown save.

#4 Chapman is hitting .265, with 90 hits and 21 home runs. He had a great offensive first half.

#5 A lot is on the line to win the derby; $1 million to win it at the All-Star Game.

Charlie O does the A’s podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Alonso’s Derby Debut a Dandy: Mets slugger outlasts Vlad Jr. in epic Home Run Derby

By Morris Phillips

CLEVELAND — Imagine a village of Paul Bunyans, each man equipped with tree trunk legs, bulging biceps and granite necks.

Yes, in that environment, Mets rookie Pete Alonso might not stand out.

But in home run derby featuring mere mortal, major league sluggers doing their thing in the presence of a jacked up, sold out crowd at Progressive Field on Monday, Alonso stood out in a major way, by methodically and decisively taking control of the T Mobile Home Run Derby one blast at a time.

“You’ve got to go in with kind of a killer instinct. It doesn’t matter how many you hit, you just need to have one more than the guy you’re at,” Alonso said.

Alonso’s focused approach was a necessity in the presence of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who thrilled the Cleveland fans with 91 total home runs–34 more than Alonso hit–a feat so prodigious and taxing, that 20-year old had little left in the contest’s last minute, falling one homer short of matching Alonso in the final round.

Both the 24-year old Alonso and Guerrero earned more than they will make as rookies this season for the Mets and Blue Jays with Alonso capturing the $1 million first place prize.

Not only did Guerrero equal his salary by capturing the second place prize money of approximately $500,000, he validated the contest’s selection process that tabbed him despite the fact he’s homered just eight times in first 61 major league games.

Guerrero decimated Oakland’s Matt Chapman 29-13 in the first round before outlasting the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson in an epic second round, 40-39. His battle with Pederson required two swingoffs to break ties and separate the sluggers.

At one point in his battle with Pederson, Guerrero homered 19 times in 25 swings. The feat was reminiscent of Josh Hamilton’s epic derby at Boston’s Fenway Park in which he homered 28 times in a span of 38 pitches. In both cases, the crowds howled with appreciation.

But in the end, Guerrero didn’t have enough to outlast Alonso.

“I’m happy I didn’t face him in the early rounds because he would’ve knocked me out,” Alonso said of Guerrero. “I gotta tip my cap. He’s a hell of a hitter, and he’s gonna have a really long career.”

“I got tired, but that’s not why I lost. There are no excuses,” Guerrero conceded. “He hit more home runs than me and he won.”

While Guerrero peppered the left field stands with his home runs, Alonso with his powerful base, sprayed homers from foul line to foul line. Alonso also maintained a relaxed motion, rarely repositioning his feet between swings, and as much as could, conserving energy.

In the end, it was the exact approach he needed to get past hometown slugger Carlos Santana in the opening round, and Ronald Acuna Jr. in the semis.

“I’m happy that I was able to conserve as much energy throughout the event, and that was huge,” Alonso said.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Hendriks and Chapman represent A’s at the All-Star game; Each player thrilled to be there

Photo credit: @nypost

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 The Oakland A’s Liam Hendriks gets the call to represent the Oakland A’s after the Tampa Bay Rays’ Charlie Morton is a scratch. Morton, who pitched on Sunday, was not available for the All-Star game because he only got a day’s rest.

#2 Hendriks posted a 3-0 record (1.27 ERA). Hendriks is fourth in strike outs (58) and fifth in innings pitched (46.2).

#3 The Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman took Sunday off to rest up to play in the All-Star game in Cleveland. Chapman hit .265, 21 home runs, 52 RBIs, 59 runs scored.

#4 Chapman will participate in the Home Run Derby. He has been hitting quite a few of them during the season and should be a great challenger on Monday night.

Jerry does the Oakland A’s podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Moving Up: A’s, Chapman at their best in series-clinching rout of the Angels

By Morris Phillips

The A’s have their best record of the season to date, now can they sustain their success?

Oakland stymied the Angels for the second day in a row, slugging their way to a 12-3 win to capture three of the four-game set in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, giving the A’s a statement weekend in the AL Wild Card chase.

But the A’s finished the series without Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty, and continue to operate without closer Blake Treinen as well as suspended, staff ace Frankie Montas. In 14 of their next 22 games, they’ll face the first-place Astros and Twins, as well as the Rangers, currently in possession of the second wild card spot.

Given the adversity and the upcoming schedule, can the A’s continue their ascent? Sunday’s winning pitcher, Chris Bassitt, thinks so.

“It’s kind of absurd that we’re even in this position,” Bassitt said. “It just shows how good this team can be when we’re all healthy.”

Baseball-Reference’s Playoff Odds says yes, in that statistics-based simulation, the A’s are favored to over take the Indians and Rangers, and capture the second wild card spot with a modest–by recent AL playoff records–88-74 record. That simulation is heavily weighted on what the A’s have done in their previous 100 games, including a partial sample of their blistering 2018 finish. If so, the A’s will qualify for the second, consecutive season and most likely end up with a much better matchup at Tampa Bay, as compared to last season’s trip to Yankee Stadium.

The biggest sign the A’s are headed in the right direction? Their performances on the road have improved dramatically. They started the season by dropping 15 of their first 20 road contests. Since then, they’re 17-5 when traveling.

 

Oakland A’s podcast with Joey Friedman: A’s win four of last five games; Oakland just 1 1/2 out of the wild card; plus more

photo from mercurynews.com:  Jurickson Profar #23 congratulates Matt Olson #28 of the Oakland Athletics on his three run home run against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California

On the A’s podcast with Joey F:

#1 The A’s continue their winning ways after defeating the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night in a 4-0 shutout at the Big A in Anaheim the team now are 4-1 on the current road trip

#2 Oakland starter Brett Anderson pitched 7.2 innings of shutout ball surrendering just two hits, two walks and striking out three.

#3 A’s closer Liam Hendricks shut the door on the Angels in the eighth and ninth innings pitching 1.1 innings and striking out two hitters.

#4 The A’s Matt Chapman not only noted for his great defense at third base hit his 20th home run on Saturday night

#5 Starting pitchers for game three of the series in Anaheim on Sunday: For Oakland Chris Bassitt (4-3 ERA 3.86) and for Los Angeles Andrew Heaney (1-1 ERA 4.99)

A’s podcast with Joey Friedman are heard each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s shutout Angels 4-0 on Saturday night in Anaheim

Halos Anderson
Brett Anderson gave up just two hits on Saturday night Photo: @Athltetics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics won their second consecutive game over the Angels on Saturday night 4-0. The A’s combined strong pitching and key hitting to stop “the Halos” in their tracks.

The win upped the Athletics record to 45-39 for the season and made them 4-1 on this six-game road trip. They are 7.0 games behind first-place Houston and 1.5 games back of second-place Texas. Oakland is now 1.5 games out of the Wild Card race.

Pitching was key for the A’s

Brett Anderson had an outstanding start for the Athletics on Saturday night. He was able to work 7.2-innings of shutout baseball. Anderson allowed just two hits, two walks and struck out three Los Angeles batters. He threw 100 pitches (63 strikes). Anderson’s record improved to 8-5 for the year.

Liam Hendricks came in to close out the game for Oakland. Hendricks worked 1.1-innings giving up one hit and striking out two. It was not a save situation for Hendricks.

A’s used their power to score

Halos Chapman
Chapman hit home run #20 on Saturday night Photo: @Athletics

Oakland put three runs up on the board in the fifth inning. Marcus Semien doubled to left field to send Jurickson Profar home to score. For Semien, it was his 19th double and 42nd RBI of the season.

Also in the fifth inning, Matt Chapman hit a two-run home run (20) with Semien on base. That gave the A’s a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the seventh inning, Josh Phegley hit a single to right field that allowed Profar to score again. That put the A’s up 4-0.

The four-game series concludes on Sunday

Oakland will send Chris Bassitt (4-3, 3.86) to the hill to face off against Andrew Heaney (1-1, 4.99). The first pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM.

Analytics Make Them Tick: Rays blow past the A’s 8-2 in the series finale

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND — With openers, featured pitchers, defensive shifts and situational hitting, the Tampa Bay Rays had their analytics game working on Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum.

All that number crunching, along with a heavy dose of bat dexterity, meant bad news for the A’s, 8-2 losers in the finale of their 10-game home stand. The A’s finished their lengthiest stint at home this season with an underwhelming 6-4 record that could have gained some juice with a win over wild card leader Tampa Bay in the series finale.

“It’s frustrating from my end that we could have taken a series from a team ahead of us in the standing,” said starting pitcher Brett Anderson, who was lifted during the Rays’ big fourth inning that broke the game open.

The Rays took control with three runs in the third, and five runs on seven hits in the fourth, but they built momentum in the first inning courtesy of Ryne Stanek, baseball’s premiere opener in 2019. Stanek has already started 22 games for the Rays, assuming the task of navigating the opposing teams’ meat of the order the first time through, while never lasting as long as the first two innings of a ballgame.

The hard throwing Stanek isn’t averse to walking a batter or two (18 walks allowed in 43 2/3 innings) to get to a favorable matchup. On Sunday, in his 51st stint as an opener in the last two seasons, he looked comfortable in the face of adversity, facing five batters in the first, allowing a hit and a walk, and striking out three, including an inning-ending punch out of Ramon Laureano with two runners on.

Then after throwing 26 pitches in the first inning, issuing a four-pitch walk to Mark Canha leading off the second, Stanek was gone.

But Ryan Yarbrough, the featured pitcher, picked Stanek up immediately, assuming a baserunner in the second, then pitching six innings in an innocuous manner as possible, befitting a guy asked to neither start or finish a game

“It was big to give our bullpen some time off and take a big day like this into the off-day,” manager Kevin Cash of Yarbrough.

Yarbrough allowed a run on five hits in his six innings, but the key spot came right away, facing Matt Olson with runners on second and third with two outs and the first run of the ballgame in. Olson had previously homered against Yarbrough, adding to the tension of the moment.

But with the shift deployed and second baseman Joey Wendle playing in shallow right, Olson was retired by the aggressiveness of the defense.

A’s enjoy Saturday at the park, down the Rays 4-2

Rays Scoreboard
Scoreboard celebrates the win Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The A’s jumped back into the win column on Saturday as they beat the  Tampa Bay/Montreal Rays 4-2. The win upped the A’s record to 41-37 on the season and makes them 6-3 for the homestand. The loss drops the Rays to 44-33 for the year.

Mike Fiers made the start for the A’s, and he fought for six tough innings on the mound. Fiers allowed just one run (earned) off four hits. He struck out two Rays and walked three. Fiers also hit three Tampa Bay batters which put him some peril that his defense helped put down several times. For all of his efforts, Fiers wound up with a no-decision for the outing.

Ryan Buchter relieved Fiers in the seventh inning but was ineffective, and Yusmeiro Petit was brought into the contest with two out and a runner at third. Petit struck out Kevin Kiermaier to end the inning.

Petit would come back out for the top of the eighth inning. Petit made short work of the Rays as he struck out the side. He faced four hitters and struck out all four. Petit would also pick up the win to make his record 2-1 for 2019.

Liam Hendricks entered the game in the ninth to close things out for the A’s. He sat the Rays down in order to earn his first save of the season.

Focus on the A’s

Rays Bobblehead
It was Matt Olson Bobblehead Day Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee
  • Matt Chapman continued to give Oakland big hits as launched his 18th home run of the season off Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. He then hit a double (20) in the seventh that drove Josh Phegley home to score the go-ahead run in the game. It was his 43rd RBI of the season. Bob Melvin said in his postgame comments that he really intended to give Chapman the day off, but his third baseman would not have anything to do with sitting on the bench.
  • Ramon Laureano went 2-for-2 in the game and was hit twice by pitches. In fact, a total of five batters were hit pitches in the game on Saturday (Rays 3, A’s 2). Laureano also made two fine defensive plays in center field. In the top of the third inning, he caught a fly ball off the bat of Austin Meadows. Brandon Lowe was at third and thought about tagging up then heading home. Laureano gunned the ball to Beau Taylor. Lowe had to hold at third. Then in the fourth inning, Joey Wendle hit a ball into the gap in left-center field. Laureano fielded the ball while Wendle decided to stretch his single into a double. The A’s centerfielder threw Wendle out at second base.
  • The A’s moved two runners up in the game twice via the steal. One was a steal of second. The other was a steal of third base by Laureano.
  • The A’s were 2-for-11 with Runners in Scoring Position. They left eight runners on base.

Tampa Bay notes

  • The Rays did not use an “opener” in the game on Saturday. Yonny Chirinos made the start and worked 6.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on two hits. He struck out three and walked two. Chirinos did not figure into the decision.
  • Diego Castillo came on in relief of Chirinos. He gave up two runs off two hits. Castillo (1-6) was tagged with the loss. Castillo was also the loser on Thursday night.
  • Ji-Man Choi has hit six home runs in his last 25 games. His home run (9) on Saturday off Buchter was his first versus a left-handed pitcher this season.
  • Avisail Garcia was hit by a pitch in each of his first two plate appearances.

Injury news update from the A’s

Rays Melvin
Melvin after the 4-2 win over the Rays Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Manager Bob Melvin announced during his postgame press conference that closer Blake Treinen has been placed on the Injury List for a “mild shoulder issue”. More details will follow.

Up next on the schedule

The A’s will send LHP Brett Anderson (7-4, 3.68 ERA) to the mound on Sunday to close out the 10-day homestand. The Rays are going with infamous “To Be Determined”. That probably means an opener followed by a group of relievers.

Twitter: @Charlieo1320