Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O: Pinder is doing it all, relieving 4 players during their IL

Photo credit: sports.yahoo.com

On the A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Oakland A’s outfielder Chad Pinder is turning into a designated utility guy with the A’s injuries piling up and in the middle of the wild card chase.

#2 Injuries on the club include, first baseman Matt Olson (hand), DH Khris Davis (oblique), right fielder Stephen Piscotty (knee), and center-fielder Ramon Laureano (shin).

#3 Pinder has picked up the slack filling in for Olson, Davis, Piscotty and Laureano which speaks to his talents and ability. A’s manager Bob Melvin said that he very significant to the team.

#4 Taking a look at the A’s series with the New York Yankees that opens up on Tuesday night. The Yankees will start Domingo German (16-2, 3.96 ERA), and for the A’s, Homer Bailey (10-8, 5.22 ERA).

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

A’s make it three wins in a row over the Astros with a big 8-4 victory on Saturday

The scoreboard just kept showing happy news for A’s fans Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland — A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt had to throw 31 pitches to get out of the top of the first against the Houston Astros on Saturday afternoon. That usually means two things:

  1. The chances of that starting pitcher being in the game after the fifth inning is almost nil. In fact, a starter who throws that many pitches in the first inning almost never lasts past the fourth inning.
  2. The other fact you can take the bank is that a pitcher who starts a game by throwing that many pitches will finish the game with a no-decision.

Someone forgot to tell Chris Bassitt that he needed to conform to the standards of baseball on Saturday. After that rough first inning, the A’s starter pulled things together in the second inning.

Bassitt was back in hot water in the top the third inning as the Astros scored two runs on three hits. When the inning ended, there were two Houston runners on base which means the inning could have been much worse.

Bassitt’s team members really picked him up in the home half of the third inning. The Athletics put five runs up on the scoreboard to stake their pitcher to a three-run lead. The amazing part of the third inning rally was the fact that the A’s scored those runs without hitting a home run.

Bassitt pitched a scoreless fourth inning and gave up one run to Houston in the fifth inning to make it a  5-3 game in favor of Oakland. The consensus in the press box was that we had seen the last of Bassitt for the day.

The Astros sent their starting pitcher – Rogelio Armenteros – to the showers and sent Chris Denvenski to the mound to face the A’s in the bottom of the fifth inning. Oakland took advantage of a walk, hit-by-pitch, two singles, and a sacrifice fly to put three more runs up on the board. That cleared the way for Bassitt to come back out for the sixth inning.

The first hitter to face Bassitt in the sixth inning was Yuli Gurriel who singled to left field and everyone thought that was going to be all for Bassitt, but Bob Melvin left the right-hander in the game. The next batter – catcher Martin Maldonado – hit a ball on the ground to shortstop Marcus Semien who fielded it and threw to Corban Joseph at second to erase Gurriel. Joseph turned and threw to first to get Maldonado for the double play. Bassitt was able to get Jake Marisnick to pop out to Joseph at second to end the inning.

Bassitt finished his six innings throwing a career-high 116 pitches. In his postgame comments, mangers Bob Melvin said that Bassitt had told him he was ready to go to 120 pitches to get the job done. That is just plain grit and determination.

With the help of his team on offense, the A’s won the game 8-4 and the winning pitcher was Chris Bassitt who now has a record of 9-5 for the season with a 3.61 ERA.

Focus on the A’s (71-52)

Treinen gets Bregman to fly out to end the seventh inning Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee
  • Chris Bassitt has posted a 2.36 ERA (11 earned runs over 42.0 innings) since the All-Star Break. The win on Saturday was his first victory over the Astros since July 11, 2018.
  • The Astros cannot keep Matt Chapman off base. Chapman went 3-for-3 at the plate in the game and two of the hits were doubles (31). He also walked once and he reached base after being hit by a pitch. Chapman also recorded his 70th RBI when he walked with the bases loaded in the third inning.
  • Matt Olson had a 2-for-4 game with a walk and two RBI (60). The A’s are 56-31 since Olson came off the injury list on May 7.
  • Catcher Josh Phegley made his return to the field by having a 2-for-4 game for his team. He went on the injured list on July 31. Phegley is batting .329 in 31-day games and .205 in 52-night games.
  • Take note of this factoid: this was only the third Oakland victory of the season in which they did not hit a home run. Bob Melvin said after the game that it is important for his team to know they can win without hitting a long ball.

Checking on the Astros (78-46)

Yordan Alvarez finishes his HR trot in the eighth inning Photo: Charlie O Mallonee
  • Houston’s designated hitter – 6-foot-5, 242 pound – Yordan Alvarez pounded two more home runs on Saturday. He now has 19 home runs and 55 RBI in his first 52 major league games. That is really scary given the rest of the Astros lineup.
  • Michael Brantley (every team wants a hitter like him) extended his hitting streak to 11 games by going 2-for-4 in the game. He has four consecutive multi-hit games and 50 for the season – the most in the American League.
  • Alex Bregman put his 80th RBI of the year in the book today. He joins Devers, Bogaerts, Kepler, and Rosario as players in the American League with 80-plus RBI.

Up next

Without trying to jinx the A’s, they will go for the four-game sweep of the Astros on Sunday 1:07 PM at the Coliseum in what should be an excellent pitching matchup. The Astros will send RHP Zack Greinke to the mound. Greinke is 12-4 on the season with a 2.91 ERA. He was a winner in his last start in Chicago versus the White Sox when he worked 6.0 innings and allowed only two runs in a Houston 6-2 victory.

The A’s will counter with LHP Brett Anderson who is 10-8 with a 3.95 ERA. This will be his 21st start of the season. Anderson was tagged with the loss in his last start on Tuesday in San Francisco against the Giants. He pitched 6.0 innings allowing two runs (earned) off six hits. He walked none and struck out four.



Bassitt, Giolito duel the highlight of A’s 2-0 shutout of the White Sox

By Morris Phillips

Lucas Giolito was determined to rebound from a disastrous 2018 season, and realize his enornmous potential. Chris Bassitt wasn’t happy with how the Chicago White Sox lost faith in him, and traded him in 2014.

Those two motivational tales made for a whale of a pitcher’s duel on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Giolito and Bassitt combined for 20 strikeouts while allowing just three walks over 13 innings of work, and just one mistake: Matt Olson’s home run off Giolito that stood as the difference in the A’s 2-0 getaway day win.

For Bassitt, Sunday’s seven innings of scoreless work may qualify as the apex of his major league career. After he landed in Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija trade, his career stalled. Bassitt went 1-8 in 2015, 0-2 in 2016 and didn’t pitch at all at the major league level in 2017 after Tommy John surgery in the off-season.

2018 wasn’t much better. Bassitt made just seven starts, compiling a 2-3 record.

But the A’s didn’t give up on the right-hander. Instead they promoted Bassitt in late April, and were finally rewarded. Bassitt has taken his turn in the rotation every fifth day since, compiling career-best numbers in wins, ERA (tied with 2015), innings pitched and strikeouts. Then on Sunday, Bassitt kept ascending, topping Giolito, the All-Star and White Sox staff ace in a tense, low-scoring affair.

“I think I’ve said this a couple times this season, ‘That might be the best game I’ve seen him pitch,’ but that one ranks right up there,” said manager Bob Melvin. “I know he was up for the challenge.”

Bassitt allowed Tim Anderson’s one-out double in the second inning, but quickly settled down, retiring Jose Abreu and James McCann on ground outs to quell the threat. Bassitt wasn’t stretched further, spreading the three singles and two walks he allowed across the other six innings he pitched.

He was facing the White Sox for the fourth time–going 1-1 in three, previous starts–but he hadn’t shown them this level of proficiency. Bassitt made it clear afterwards that it was point of emphasis.

“Every time I pitch against these guys for my career, I’m going to try to prove to them they made a mistake,” Bassitt said.

Giolito walked 90 batters and compiled a 6.18 ERA in 2018, numbers that were among the worst for AL starting pitchers. But some adjustments in the off-season–most importantly, refining and simplifying his delivery–have the Los Angeles native pitching at a level befitting his status as one of MLB’s top five prospects as a 21-year old in 2016. Now 24, Giolito opened the season with nine wins in his first 10 decisions, made the All-Star team, and came in to Sunday’s appearance rolling with four quality starts in his last five appearances.

Giolito had the A’s swinging and missing, striking out every batter in the A’s lineup with the exception of Jurickson Profar. But one pitch was his undoing, a fastball that nabbed too much of the middle of the plate against Olson, who parked it in the right field bleachers for his 23rd home run of the season.

The A’s ended their week in Chicago with a 3-3 record, not disappointing until the week of the streaking Tampa Bay Rays is factored in. The A’s return to the Bay Area for games against the Giants Tuesday and Wednesday trailing the Rays by a 1 1/2 games for the league’s second wild card spot.

The A’s schedule may be their biggest enemy down the stretch run. With 43 full games remaining (and the remainder of a suspended game with Detroit, in which they lead 5-3 after seven innings), the A’s have seven games with the Astros, six with the Yankees, and none against the Rays, Indians, Twins and Red Sox, their competitors for the wild card. Without the ability to affect the fortunes of the teams they’re competing against, they’ll need to hold their own with the division-leading Yankees and Astros while taking full advantage of the Royals, Mariners, Tigers in the 13 combined games they have against those clubs.

On Tuesday, Brett Anderson faces the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner at 6:45pm.




Olson homers in the 10th to give the A’s a 3-2 walk-off win over the Brewers

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — The A’s won a thriller as they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 in 10 innings at the Coliseum on Tuesday night. Matt Olson homered with one out in the 10th to send the A’s to their 61st win of the season.

Chris Bassitt started for Oakland and pitched exceptionally well. He gave the A’s six innings of work and allowed three hits and no runs. The Brewers’ starter Adrian Houser pitched five innings and allowed one run and three hits.

The A’s drew first blood in the bottom of the third. Brewers’ starter, Adrian Houser, walked the lead-off hitter, Jurickson Profar. Houser struck out Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman. Matt Olson then doubled to left-center to drive in Profar from first. The A’s lead 1-0 after three.

The Brewers plated a run in the top of the eighth. Brewers’ shortstop  Orlando Arcia singled to start the rally. Yusmeiro Petit, in relief of Chris Bassitt, retired the next two hitters. A’s manager brought in lefty Ryan Buchter to face the left-handed hitter Christian Yelich. Yelich singled to send Arcia to third. Melvin brought in Liam Hendriks to pitch to Yasmani Grandal. Grandal singled on the first pitch from Hendriks to tie the game. Hendriks struck out Mike Moustakas for the final out of the inning. The game is tied 1-1 midway through the eighth inning. The game didn’t stay tied for long. With two out in the bottom of the eighth, A’s DH Khris Davis lined a shot over the wall in left field to put the A’s ahead 2-1 for his 17th homer of the year. The A’s led 2-1 heading into the ninth.

With one out, Brewers’ first baseman Eric Thames blasted his 15th of the year to tie the game. Thames broke an 0-for-17 slump with the homer. Hendriks struck out the side but was rocked by the blast by Thames. The A’s failed to score in their half of the ninth. The game is now in extra innings.

The Brewers failed to score in the top of the tenth. The Brew Crew had their closer, lefty Josh Hader pitching. Hader struck out Matt Chapman for the first out. The next hitter, Matt Olson, sent the first pitch from Hader over the center-field wall to give the A’s a hard-earned 3-2 win.

Game Notes: With the win, the A’s improve to 61-47. They remain in second place in the AL West. They are still 1/2 game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the race for the second wild card slot. The Brewers fall to 56-52, and they trail the St. Louis Cardinals by two games in the race for the NL Central crown.

Khris Davis and Matt Olson each homered for Oakland. Davis hit his 17th and Olson his 22nd.

It was the eighth walk-off win for Oakland this year, and it ties them for the Major League lead.

Time of game was three hours and 16 minutes. 17,291 fans went home happy.

Up Next: Game two of the three-game series will be played Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Lefty Brett Anderson will go for Oakland. Milwaukee has yet to announce their starting pitcher.

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

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

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.
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.


Back In Stride Again: A’s stay hot, head into All-Star break with 7-4 win over Seattle

By Morris Phillips

Matt Chapman’s headed to the All-Star Game as a reserve, and as a last-minute addition to the Home Run Derby.

Not a bad choice. But the American League could probably do just as well with Matt Olson, Chapman’s Oakland teammate.

While Chapman enjoyed a well-deserved day of rest ahead of his flight to Cleveland, Olson showed off his All-Star worthiness with a first inning, three-run homer in the A’s 7-4 win over the Mariners. Olson’s shot was his sixth in his last 10 games, and his 19th of the season, all of them hit since May 12, five days after Olson’s delayed season debut due to a broken bone in his hand.

“You hear a lot about the hamate injury and the strength not coming back for a while,” manager Bob Melvin said of Olson. “But when you look at his home runs per at-bat, I can’t imagine it’s not right at the top of the league.”

While the A’s switched into blast-off mode in the first two innings of Sunday’s series finale, taking a 6-0 lead after Marcus Semien led off the second with a home run, the host Mariners were self-destructing, that according to manager Scott Servais.

After Olson’s blast, the next two A’s reached, then found their way around the basepaths when Dylan Moore inexplicably allowed Chad Pinder’s base hit to slide through his legs and go all the way to the wall. Chad Pinder and Ramon Laureano scored on Moore’s error.

“It was the walk. Somewhere in the middle there’s always a walk. You have to stay aggressive, and that led into the Olson three-run homer. We really couldn’t stop it after that,” Servais said.

Seattle’s response–single runs in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings, all of those four runs courtesy of Omar Narvaez–wasn’t enough to get the Mariners even, or knock A’s starter Daniel Mengden out of the winner’s circle. Still Narvaez’ outburst was impressive; he homered twice sandwiching a pair of run-scoring singles in a 4 for 4 performance.

Mengden’s been the perfect follow-up to Frankie Montas’ suspension, winning four of five decisions for the first time in his disjointed big-league career. On Sunday, he pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on six hits and no walks.

“When you come out of the game after the fifth inning with a lead, you’ve done your job. He’s done that,” Melvin said of Mengden.

The A’s recent ascension in the standings couldn’t be more reminiscent of what the club did in 2018. At 50-41, they’re only one game off their pace of last season, the precursor to the major’s best second half record that took them to 97 wins and a wild card playoff spot. But there are a couple of key differences.

Unlike last season, the A’s still have a realistic shot at winning the AL West. The Astros have a sizeable lead at 7 1/2 games, but they A’s still have 11 of the 19 games in the season series between the clubs to make up ground. Of course, the A’s will have to quickly reverse course in the rivalry, they’ve lost seven of the first eight to the Astros in 2019.

Also unlike 2018, the A’s haven’t found a couple of opponents to take advantage of like they did with the Tigers and Blue Jays (14-0 in 2018). Instead they’ve been dominated by the same Jays and Astros (1-13 in 2019). They could find some vulnerable opponents in the second half: the A’s have season series left with the improving White Sox, the downtrodden Royals and the dominant Yankees (seven games against each club).

Most importantly, unlike 2018, the wild card race is wide open. The A’s are right in the middle of a tight race with the Rays, Indians, Red Sox and Rangers with none of the five running away with the top spot as the Yankees did in 2018. That means the A’s have a realistic shot at hosting the game this time, and if they don’t finish on top, not having to play on the road against a clearly, superior club as the Yankees were last October.


Sad Saturday Night in Seattle for the A’s

Matt Olson rounds the bases after hitting home run number 18 Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland A’s hoped to guarantee a series win in their final set before the All-Star Break by downing the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night. That opportunity to win the series will now have to happen on Sunday in the “rubber game” of the three-game series after the A’s lost to the M’s 6-3 on Saturday night.

The A’s staked their starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to a 2-0 lead through three innings, but the game took a dramatic turn in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bassitt gave up four runs off just four hits.

With Domingo Santana on at first and no one out, DH Daniel Vogelbach launched the first pitch from Bassitt high into the right-field seats to tie the game at 2-2. The next batter, Omar Narvaez, singled to right. Kyle Seager then hit a 2-0 pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run home run. The inning ended with the M’s up 4-2, and they would never look back after that frame.

Focus on the A’s

Graphic/Photo: @Athletics
  • Bassitt was charged with the loss and his record fell to 5-4 on the season. Bassitt gave up multiple home runs for the first time since May 21st in Cleveland. This was just the second time in 14 games that he had allowed more than three runs.
  • Matt Olson hit his 18th home run of the year in the third inning. Those 18 round-trippers have come in just 50 games. Interesting fact: 12 of his 18 home runs have been hit on the road.
  • Ramon Laureano put another home run in the scorebook. He hit his 15th HR of the season in the top of the ninth inning. Seven of his home runs and 22 of his 44 RBI have come in the last 22 games.
  • Bob Melvin said after the game, “He (Bassitt) got off to a good start, he was throwing hard. Everything looked like it was working. Then, he ends up getting a couple of two-run homers and now we’re behind. Maybe not his best outing and I just couldn’t let something happen with Vogelbach at the plate. Looks like he had good stuff today, it just happened quickly on him.”

Mariner’s notes

Gonzales recorded his 10th win Photo: @Mariners
  • Marco Gonzales recorded his 10th win of the season in this game. He worked 8.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on five hits. Gonzales struck out six and walked just one. He has now recorded 10 wins before the All-Star Break in back-to-back seasons.
  • Daniel Vogelbach hit his 21st home run the year on Saturday night. The launch angle on his home run was 43 degrees. It was truly a “moon shot”.
  • Kyle Seager ended an 0-for-21 streak at the plate when he hit his two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. This was his first HR since June 21.
  • There has been a home run hit in each one of the Mariners first 93 games this season. That is an MLB record.
  • Bob Melvin on Marco Gonzales: “It seems like we’ve played that game against him where we’ve had him on the ropes early in the game and he’s limited the damage and ended up going seven or eight innings. It feels like we’ve played that game quite often against him. So you’ve got to give him some credit. We would have liked to have (done) a little bit more damage early on and scored a few more runs and got a little more distance but we didn’t and he settles in and pitches well.”

Up next

RHP Daniel Mengden (3-1, 4.67 ERA) will take the hill on Sunday for the A’s. The M’s will use RHP Matt Carasiti (0-0, 1.80 ERA) to open the game with the plan being to turn the game over to Wade LeBlanc as the primary pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PDT.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s close out road trip, taking 2 out of 3 from Rays; Oakland City Council questioning new A’s ballpark

photo from newsday.com: Oakland Athletics’ Ramon Laureano connects for a grand slam off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Colin Poche during the eighth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

On the A’s on podcast with Jerry F:

#1 The Oakland A’s Ramon Laureano’s grand slam was certainly a huge part of the A’s 6-2 win on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

#2 The A’s had a decent road trip, finishing two games over .500 at 6-4, a nine-game swing that took them to Anaheim, Arlington, and Tampa Bay.

#3 The A’s Matt Olson is swinging the bats he clouted his 11th home run of the season with a home run off Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos.

#4 Tampa has a potent line up being first in their division and very difficult to get a win at Tropicana Field and the Rays being tied with the New York Yankees in the American League East for first place the A’s came away from Tampa with two wins out of the three game series.

#5 The A’s still have a lot of work in front of them as they open up a ten game homestand starting Friday night against the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners will start Marco Gonzalez (6-6, 4.77 ERA) and for Oakland Chris Bassitt (3-2, 3.57 ERA).

#6 With the Oakland City Council not ready to vote on moving forward with approving the plans at Howard Terminal for the A’s new ball park.

#7 Oakland City Councilman Dan Kalb didn’t beat around the bush he made it clear that Council members want a full understanding about how finances for infrastructure and one of their biggest issues is on public transportation while the gondola from 12th Street BART to Jack London Square is a start Kalb is asking the A’s for a more comprehensive plan for public transit for the public to get to and from the ball park.

#8 In answer to the Council’s concerns on these issues, Oakland A’s media relations manager Catherine Aker said the team is working on an infrastructure plan. The A’s are expected to ask the city for $200 million for infrastructure plans.

#9 This was the same amount the Oakland Raiders asked for in order to build a new stadium, but the Raiders never got a deal with the city. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said public tax dollars will not be used for the project but a special tax around the new ball park a district tax will help pay for the infrastructure plans, including taxes coming from the 3,000 housing units and a 400-room hotel.

Listen for Jerry’s podcasts each Thursday on Oakland A’s baseball at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Texas two-step becomes a nasty trip and fall as A’s lose both games of the doubleheader on Saturday

Tex Beltre
Beltre’s number was retired before game two began Photo: @Rangers

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Major League Baseball teams are totally unequipped to play doubleheaders in this new century. The doubleheader used to be a mainstay of the annual baseball schedule. My late father and I would deliberately plan to attend Cincinnati Reds games when doubleheaders were on the schedule. You bought one ticket and got to watch two games.

Then a few years ago, some bean counter in a Major League team’s front office figured out that his/her team was losing money by allowing fans to see two games for the price of one, and the traditional doubleheader died a sudden death. The era of the day-night doubleheader was born in order to squeeze every dime out the fans that can be had by every team in both leagues.

On Saturday, the A’s and Texas Rangers played a day-night doubleheader. The teams were rained out on April 13 and had a game to make up, so Saturday became the day the teams would play two games. It was the first doubleheader to be played in Arlington, Texas since September 30, 2012.

If you are the A’s, you hope for a sweep, will settle for a split and fear a being swept. Unfortunately for the Athletics, their worst fears came true on Saturday.

Game One

Tex game 1
Photo/Graphic: @Athletics

LHP Joe Palumbo made his Major League debut in the first game of the doubleheader. The A’s sent RHP Paul Blackburn to the hill for his first start of the 2019 season.

The Rangers jumped on Blackburn in the bottom of the first scoring three runs and taking a lead they would never give up. Texas put two more runs up on the board in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead over the A’s.

Oakland mounted a comeback in the fourth inning when Matt Olson hit his eighth home run of the season with Khris Davis on base. Later, Josh Phegley hit a double to drive in Chad Pinder and Ramon Laureano. The score was 5-4 with Texas leading as the game went the bottom of the fourth.

Texas put up another run on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Elvis Andrus hit his 12th double of the year driving Shin-Soo Chin home to score to give the Rangers a 6-4 lead.

The Rangers added four more runs in the home half of the fifth inning. The big blow came when Tim Federowicz hit a three-run home run that made the score 10-4 in favor of Texas.

Oakland would score one more time when Josh Phegley hit his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall. The score at that point was Texas 10, Oakland 5 which would ultimately be the final score.

Jeffery Springs (4-1) who came on in the fifth inning to relieve Palumbo was credited with the win. He pitched 3.0-innings giving up one run (earned) off two hits. Blackburn (0-1) took the loss for Oakland.

Game Two

Tex game 2

If you hung around for game two, you are a true fan. The twin bill took over 10 hours to complete because the stadium had to be emptied before the ticket holders for game two were allowed to reenter. They did have a nice crowd of 39,514 on hand as the Rangers retired Adrian Beltre’s number 29 before the game began.

The A’s drew first blood in the game when Mark Canha hit his 10th homer of the season off Adrian Sampson into left-center field in the top of the fourth inning. It would be the only run the A’s would score in the contest.

Texas put their first runs in the scorebook in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jeff Mathis hit a single to left that sent Danny Santana home and Ronald Guzman to second. Delino DeShields then hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Ronald Guzman to score. After five complete innings, Texas held a 2-1 lead.

The Rangers would score again in the bottom of the sixth inning. Danny Santana hit his second triple of the year driving Rougned Odor home to score the third and final run of the game for Texas. That was all the scoring the Rangers would need as they would win the game 3-1.

Adrian Sampson (5-3) was the winning pitcher as he won his first complete game in his major league career. Sampson gave up one run (earned) off four hits. He struck out seven while issuing only one walk.

Chris Bassitt (3-2) was hung with the loss. Bassitt gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits. He struck out five Rangers and walked two.

Up Next

The four-game series wraps up on Sunday at 12:05 PM PDT. The A’s will send Frankie Montas (7-2, 2.83) to the mound to stop the two-game losing streak. The Rangers will counter with Drew Smyly (1-4, 7.93). On paper, it would the advantage would go to the A’s.



Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O: A’s get the long ball from Chapman and Canha

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman, right, is congratulated by Robbie Grossman (8) after hitting a two-run home run off Seattle Mariners pitcher Mike Leake in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.

On the A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 How annoying in the A’s win streak was that game that was canceled on the count of no rain in Detroit two Sundays ago that very well could have been win number 4 and the A’s could have 11 straight on Monday?

#2 During the Mariners series in Oakland, there was little doubt that the struggle they had with them in Seattle to start the road trip last week was on their minds.

#3 The A’s got off to a shaky start after opening up their season in Tokyo. To go from a regular season line up with a 15-hour time difference and then revert to the preseason. Was that all part of their rough start?

#4 Charlie O, you said this was going to be a good A’s team at sometime this season with all the talent they have here with Canha, Semien, Chapman, Olson, Profar, Laureano, and Phegley, that they were eventually were go to break out the bats.

#5 Mariners manager Scott Servais got tossed for arguing a challenge call in the bottom of the seventh inning that saw Canha slide into second that he felt was an out. Later, the A’s got two runs on M’s shortstop Roenis Elias’ error and Profar later hit a groundout RBI. A’s manager Bob Melvin said he would have argued the umpiring crew waited to long to make a decision on the play.

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