A’s Montas fails to get run support in loss to Yanks 2-1; New York has 2-0 series lead on Oakland

New York Yankees starter JP Sears throws to the Oakland A’s lineup in the top of the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Tue Jun 28, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

NEW YORK.—Oakland Athletics right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas held the league-leading New York Yankees to two runs in six innings, but his teammates came up short on offense and lost 2-1 in game two of the series at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Montas had an impressive first start at Yankee Stadium. However, the A’s could not get a runner past second base until the ninth inning.

“I can’t go out there and pitch and worry about run support. I’ve got to do my job and try to keep the team in the game,” said Montas. “I mean, they’re trying to score runs. It’s not like they don’t want to.”

Oakland has scored one or less runs in a dozen of Montas’ 16 starts – and been shut out four times.

Montas tied his season-high with 105 pitches, allowed four hits, two walks and struck out seven. Among the seven he struck out was Aaron Judge, who leads the MLB in homers. A’s manager Mark Kotsay acknowledged Montas’ contribution to the team, as his record fell to 3-8.

“Frankie pitched great again and continues to go out and give us a chance to win,” said Kotsay. “He pitched six innings against a great team, and gets a loss for it.”

Despite not getting wins for his efforts, Montas has not appeared extremely frustrated, said Kotsay, praising his attitude.

“You don’t have to encourage Frankie. Frankie’s a beast. He’s going to keep pitching,” Kotsay said. “He’s a leader on our staff and a competitor. He knows where we’re at. We’ve had our struggles scoring runs.”

In the first inning, Jose Trevino singled on a ground ball to right field and DJ LeMahieu scored, putting the Yankees up 1-0. Marwin Gonzalez hit a home run on a fly ball to right center field in the second, boosting New York’s lead to 2-0.

Elvis Andrus in the ninth inning singled on a ground ball to center field, allowing Sean Murphy to score and cutting the Yankees’ lead to 2-1. But it was too little too late.

The Yankees improved to 55-20, their best 75-game start in MLB since the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Meanwhile, the A’s dropped to 25-51, the worst record in the big leagues. The A’s are 2-3 in their ten-game road trip that ends in Seattle.

First pitch for the last game of the three-game series at Yankee Stadium is at 10:05 a.m. PT on Wednesday. The A’s will start Cole Irvin (2-5, 3.29) he’ll be opposed by the Yankees Jameson Taillon (8-1, 3.19).

A’s game wrap: Giants take four run win over A’s to open short two game home at home exhibition

San Francisco Giants players take a knee during the national anthem before their exhibition contest against the Oakland A’s on Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum (photo from CNN News)

By Lewis Rubman

July 20, 2019

San Francisco 6 -7 -2 Oakland 2 -4- 0

OAKLAND–Freud defines the uncanny as the unsettling feeling we get from something that is both strange and familiar at the same time. That’s a pretty good word to describe the experience of going to tonight’s exhibition game between the A’s and the Giants at Camp Coliseum.

You go through security, just like last year, only this time the inspectors first take your temperature. You find your assigned seat and sit alone, no one within six feet of you until the twenty-seventh out. You try to figure out a way to keep your glasses from steaming up over your mask.

The last Athletics game to have zero paid attendance took place on April 17, 2018, but there were something like 55,000 people in stands that night in the ball yard on the banks of the River Nimitz. Tonight’s crowd, if that’s the word, was closer to 155. It made a weekday game at Cal’s Evans Diamond feel like rush hour in the Tokyo subway.

There were announcements made on the public address system, but Dick Callahan, recovering from a recent medical emergency, wasn’t there to make them, having wisely chosen not to take unnecessary chances with his health. The ubiquitous Kara and Stomper were nowhere to be found, and vendors were as rare as Lysol spray on the shelves of your local supermarket.

The backs of the cutouts bearing images of absent fans that had been placed in the seats in front of the press section looked like rows of tombstones in a military cemetery. During the seventh inning, the A’s announced the attendance figure of 510 cutouts. Perhaps that was a tribute to the area code.

Some of the returning players, too, were both the same and different from last year. Marcus Semien no longer needs to prove his worth. His double play partner of ’19, Jurickson Profar now with the Padres, could be replaced as the A’s by Tony Kemp, who started the game at second, batting ninth, Chad Pinder, Franklin Barreto, Vimael Machín, or a combination of some or all of the four. A healthy Khris Davis is poised to show the power he exhibited before his injury of last May 5. Not yet the reliable threat he had been before then but not the disappointment he had become by the end of last season, KD is, at the age of 32, a promise. Tonight he performed without pain or glory but managed to drive in a run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.The team’s regular starting catcher is, as a write this, an open question; Sean Murphy began tonight behind the plate, one spot up from Kemp in the batting order

The scoreboards were bright and legible, but their new, uncluttered look didn’t leave room for a bit of useful information that they used to convey, pitch counts.. It took a while, but eventually the lights took full effect.

Shortly before game time, A.J. Puk,for whom the A’s had placed high hopes, was placed on the injured list with a strained shoulder on his pitching arm. A case, Yogi Berra might have said, of déjà vu all over again. Of course, the Yog wouldn’t have used diacritical marks if he were to write his observation, which he’s told us you can do a lot of if you just look.

In spring training, you expect to have a messy score card. Pinch hitters, pinch runners, and defensive substitutions abound; four or five pitchers a game for each side isn’t at all rare. As the the regular season approaches, the lineups shrink and stabilize. But what would tonight’s score cards look like? It’s mid to late July, and the real season’s yet to start. I made sure to carry plenty of erasers and freshly sharpened pencils. (But I forgot to pack them). Both teams substituted heavily in the last third of the game, but the Giants clearly outscored the A’s, not just in runs, but in pitchers used. Manager Gabe Kapler sent nine hurlers to the mound, each of whom pitched exactly one inning. Kevin Gausman, Tyler Anderson, Drew Smyly, Caleb Baragar, Rico García, Tony Watson, Shaun Anderson,Trevor Gott, and Carlos Navas held the home team to two runs on four hits. Anderson and Baragar gave up the runs. Each Anderson, as well as Baragar and García allowed a hit a piece.

When Sean Manaea, who had experienced his share of medical misery last season, took the mound to face the Giants’ lead-off batter, Austin Slater, it felt as exciting as opening day, but you also had the feeling that any of the baseball action that followed would be a footnote to the big story: the first non intra-squad baseball game played at the Coliseum since the ill-starred wild card game of last October 2. Maneaa was the A’s starter on that occasion as well. The paid attendance that evening was 54,005.

Manaea surrendered three early runs, hitting Pablo Sandoval with a pitch to open the second and then allowing infield isingles to Jaylin Davis and Chadwick Tromp on hard hit ground balls. Austin Slater’s double to left brought all the baserunners home.The Throwin’ Samoan recovered to pitch scoreless baseball in the third, fourth, and fifth frames, but the only other tally his teammates could muster besides the one KD drove in came on Stephen Piscotty’s solo homer in the second. Of the five relievers who followed Manaea four were effective. They were Yusmeiro Petit, Jordan Weems, J.B. Wendelken, and Liam Hendricks. The exception was Jake Diekman, who allowed three runs on two hits and a walk in his 2/3 of an inning pitched.

The two teams will face each other tomorrow evening in a semi-deserted Oracle Park. Mike Fiers will start for Oakland, and submariner Tyler Rogers will take the mound for the Giants.

Season comes to an end after heartbreaking loss in Denver 16-15

sfgate.com photo: Oakland Raider quarterback Derek Carr (4) after he tried to throw for a two point conversion in the fourth quarter

By Jeremy Kahn

With their playoff hopes on the line, the Oakland Raiders went for two points and the win instead of one point and the chance at overtime.

Shelby Harris knocked down Derek Carrs pass attempt to Hunter Renfrow, as the Denver Broncos held on to defeat the Raiders 16-15 at Empower Field at Mile High.

Carr and Renfrow hooked up for a three-yard touchdown pass on 2-and-goal, and gave the Raiders their first red zone touchdown in five trips on the afternoon.

On the other side of things, Drew Lock won for the fourth time in five starts, as the Broncos and Raiders tied for second place in the AFC West, five games behind AFC Western Division Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Like the Broncos, the Raiders season comes to an end, as they lost five of their last six games and missed the playoffs for the second time in as many years in the second stint with Jon Gruden as head coach of the Raiders.

This is the fourth straight season that the Broncos will miss the playoffs with their playoff win coming in Super Bowl 50 at Levis Stadium on February 7, 2016.

Daniel Carlson saw the Raiders first drive come to an end, as he missed a 39-yard field goal that went left.

Carlson did get the Raiders on the board when the Broncos held them in tact at the five-yard line, and Carlson hit a 23-yard field goal to get the Raiders on the board.

Brandon McManus tied up the game, as he hit a 43-yard field goal.

It looked like the Raiders took the lead on their next series, as Carr found Renfrow for a five-yard touchdown; however, like scoring plays, the play was reviewed and reversed by instant replay and the ball was about a yard shy of the goal line.

Von Miller then stopped Alec Ingold on fourth-and-goal, and Gruden continued to steam after his challenge was denied.

This was the first time that the Broncos completed a fourth-and-goal for the first time since October 22, 2017 against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.

Lock gave the Broncos the lead for good, as he found Andrew Beck for a 1-yard touchdown pass and the Broncos went into the locker room with a 10-3 lead.

McManus gave the Broncos a 10-point lead, as he kicked a 49-yard field goal for the only points of the third quarter. He then extended the lead up to 13 points when he nailed a 51-yarder with just four seconds gone in the fourth quarter.

Carlson then got the Raiders within striking range, as he hit a 33-yarder and a 28-yarder to get the Raiders within seven.

The biggest play of the game came when the Broncos were called for Unnecessary Roughness penalty, and McManus missed a 57-yard field goal wide right that would have essentially clinched the game.

Carr then drove the Raiders down the field, as he found Renfrow for the touchdown; however, the two-point conversion was batted down.

NOTES: Josh Jacobs missed the season finale due to a shoulder injury and an illness.

UP NEXT: When the 2020 season begins, the Oakland Raiders will be no more and they will be known as the Las Vegas Raiders.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Oakland A’s after 2019

photo from bleacherreport.com: Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin says a game could go right down to a home run or a strikeout.

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

There are basically four ways of building a championship team:
1. Farms system
2. Free Agent signings
3. MLB Draft
4. Trade of players

Of course not one is always the easiest, but instead, a combination of all four.

“The focus next year will be winning more games and trying to win our division,” said manager Bob Melvin after the A’s lost the Wild Card game to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 at the Oakland Coliseum.

For the second year in a row, the A’s ended 97-65 in second place behind the Houston Astros. The last game of the season this year at the Coliseum had a record 54,005 attendance, a record for a Wild Card game in all of baseball. Unfortunately, the same results for the Green and Gold dating back to 2000. The A’s have lost nine consecutive winner-take all games. We have to go back to the team of the 1973 World Series’ Game 7 against the New York Mets. That was the last time the A’s won a do or die game.

In today’s baseball, things are much different. We are now in a game where is down to “home-run” or “strikeout” — both keep going up each season. For the record, winning the division is important, like Melvin mentioned, but let’s not forget that in 2005 the Atlanta Braves won the Division championship for the 14th consecutive year (1991-2005). That is the current MLB record for winning consecutive division titles. However, during that record-setting streak the Braves, under manager Bobby Cox, only won one World Series in 1995 over the Cleveland Indians. In 2014, Cox was elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager by the veterans committee.

Under the current system, it is much difficult to make it all the way to the October Classic — especially for a wild card team — with the goal of winning 12 games in the postseason to bring home the hardware.Winning your division is definitely a better way of going into the postseason for obvious reasons. A one-game Wild Card playoff is basically a “coin flip” on who is going to win. In the case of the game against Tampa Bay, I did agree with starting Sean Manaea, who was pitching great after his return, but we also have to respect Rays pitcher Charlie Morton, an established mainstay in their rotation with experience, a guy that made the last out of the World Series giving the Astros the title two years ago.

The last handful of games during the regular season the A’s were not hitting, scoring one to three runs per game and unfortunately that carried into the October 2 Wild Card game against the Rays in a 5-1 loss. The future is bright for the young A’s who are getting younger in their rotation for 2020 with Luzardo. Montas. AJ Puk joining Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers. Minus a couple of relievers and possibly Jurickson Profar the A’s position players will be mostly the same as this year. They will not need the services of veteran pitcher rentals Homer Bailey and Roark. Piscotty and Ramon Laureano now could be joined in left field by Seth Brown a young player with talent who hits left-handed. Khris Davis could use this off season to clear his mind and work toward adjusting his batting so he can have a new approach to hitting and be the Khris Davis that we all know.

Do not expect the A’s to be actively trading this winter because they do not need to They still have the core of the young players under contract. In my opinion, Marcus Semien — the team’s MVP this season — should win in arbitration.

I picked the Houston Astros to win the World Series before the season began. After they picked up starter Zack Greinke on July 31, my opinion became much more easy to make.  But it is baseball, and it is not perfect science. I remember the 1988 World Series all too well, when the A’s lost to the Dodgers. I worked that series, and after that series, I learned that anything is possible in baseball so the main thing is to make it to the World Series and bring home the trophy. That should be every team’s goal. Postseasons are nice, the fans love it and get into it, but sometimes you have to deliver and go much deeper into October.

As for the A’s, they will have to wait another year for that chance and hopefully in 2020 they could be playing at the end of October.

Amaury Pi-González is the pioneer in establishing Spanish radio play-by-play broadcasts in the Bay Area since the middle of the 1970’s with the Oakland Athletics. He has been a longtime contributor to sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: This one’s for all the marbles, Rays-A’s, expect a good pitching match

yahoo.sports.com file photo: Oakland left handed pitcher Sean Manaea will start for the A’s in Wednesday’s AL wildcard game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The American League Wild Card game between Tampa Bay and Oakland is a one and done series. London tells us what’s on the line as the Rays’ Charlie Morton matches up against Oakland’s Sean Manaea.

#2 The A’s have had a key player throughout the regular season. Whether it’s Jurickson Profar, Sean Murphy, Ramon Laureano, Matt Olson or Matt Chapman, someone is always digging in at the plate.

#3 The Rays are a good road team they are 49-37, which is the second-best record in MLB. They can really make a game of it against the A’s tonight.

#4 It just seems like A’s manager Bob Melvin has been able to position and place hitters and pitchers in the right spots to get the best out of them and it’s paid off and it’s what’s in them the home field in these wild card games.

#5 It’s all on the line, it’s a one and done series. Does the one-game format of the wild card rob a team’s dream working 162 games to get here and then to be eliminated or is that the best part of the wild card format to keep teams on edge?

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

Wild Card preview: Rays and A’s at Oakland Coliseum

mercurynews.com file photo: Oakland Athletics’ Khris Davis (2) removes his helmet after batting against the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, April 19, 2019.

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — After a long season of 162 games, the A’s and Rays will have to have a one-game playoff to determine which team will advance to the American League Division Series. The winner will then face the Houston Astros. The Astros had the best record in the AL, and the series will start in Houston.

The A’s finished the season with a record of 97-65 to earn the right to host the Wild Card game. The A’s are 52-27 at the Coliseum this season. The Rays are a good road team, and they will not be intimidated having to play in Oakland. The Rays are 48-37 away from home and that record is the second-best in the MLB.

The Rays believe that they have a slight advantage as they will send Charlie Morton to the hill Wednesday night. Morton had a career-year with a record of 16-6. He pitched 194.2 innings and had an ERA of 3.05. Also, he struck out 240 batters and was very stingy in issuing walks. Morton was effective against right-handed hitters. The A’s lineup is loaded with righties as Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano, and Khris Davis will have their collective hands full trying to get to Morton. Morton limited righties to just four home runs in 351 at-bats.

The A’s have not announced their starter as of Monday afternoon. People are speculating that Bob Melvin will go with either Mike Fiers or Sean Manaea. Fiers, like Morton, had a career year. Fiers was 15-4 for the year and had an ERA of 3.90. Fiers also pitched a no-hitter against Cincinnati in May. Manaea made five starts for Oakland after coming off the IL in August. Manaea was 4-0 and was quite effective. He pitched 29.2 innings. Manaea had to learn how to deal with a declining velocity on his fastball. He threw at 93-94 MPH before being shut down with a shoulder injury last summer. His fastball has been clocked around 90 MPH this year, but he has been throwing strikes and moving the ball in the zone.

While the A’s might not have the edge in the starting pitcher department, they do have a better bullpen than the Rays. If the A’s starter, whoever that may be, falters, Melvin will not hesitate to bring in the relievers. The bullpen, missing Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen, has been bolstered by the additions of lefties Jake Diekman, A.J.Puk, and Jesus Luzardo. Luzardo has pitched very well and can be used as a closer. Melvin will also rely on Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, and Liam Hendriks. Hendriks has performed exceptionally well and went to the All-Star Game this year.

The Rays’ bullpen includes Diego Castillo, Chaz Roe, Colin Poche, and Oliver Drake. The long relievers are Yonny Chirinos and Jalen Beeks. Current Cy Young winner Blake Snell is back and throwing well. Six-foot seven-inch Tyler Glasnow will also be available. They will be ready to shut down the A’s offense when called on.

The A’s will also have the advantage on offense and defense. The A’s have three players in the infield that hit over 30 homers each this year. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson led the team with 36 dingers each. Semien had a career-high 33 round-trippers. Chapman and Semien are candidates for AL Most Valuable Player. Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano, Chad Pinder, Jurickson Profar, and Josh Phegley can all drive the ball out of the park.  On defense, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson are again candidates to win a Gold Glove. Marcus Semien at shortstop has worked hard to improve his defense. He worked with Ron Washington to get better and he, too, is a Gold Glove candidate.

The Rays offense is led by Austin Meadows. Meadows had 33 home runs to lead the team. The Rays’ other hitters are Jesus Aguilar, Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz, and Nate Lowe. Fans on the West Coast may not be familiar with these names, but they are the reason that the Rays won 96 games this season.

The A’s won the season series four games to three. The Rays are a very determined team. The A’s are also highly motivated to move to the ALDS. This will be the A’s third Wild Card game since 2014, and the first-ever in Oakland. The A’s lost a wild one 9-8 to the Kansas City Royals in 2014. They fell to the Yankees last year 7-2 in New York. The A’s believe that they can go to the World Series. The first step will be defeating the Rays. The Houston Astros are hoping the A’s win. They won the season series 11-8. The Astros have to be careful about what they wish for. The A’s won six of the last eight played. They have the confidence to do it.

The game with the Rays should be very close. The Rays do not quit. Neither do the A’s. Each team knows that they have to win or go home. The A’s will have a large crowd cheering their every move. Let’s hope the home field advantage will prove beneficial to Oakland. I think the A’s will prevail and win by a score of 5-3.

MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: It’s Rays and A’s for the Wednesday wild card, but where?

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Marcus Semien rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Seattle.

On the MLB The Show podcast with Matt:

#1 The Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays both qualify for at least one game of wild card baseball the site is yet to be determined as it’s too close to call but either way there’s no doubt it should be a nail biter.

#2  The Rays Tommy Pham led the way with a two run homer and they got quality pitching from Tyler Glasnow who pitched 4 1/3 innings of no hit ball against the Toronto Blue Jays as the Rays beat the Jays 6-2 to clinch for a wild card birth.

#3 In the National League the Los Angeles Dodgers are in a four game win streak they took the first game game of their series against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night 9-2 and ran away with the NL West this season by over 20 games on top.

#4 The Oakland A’s announced they will start Sean Manaea who came in the season after recovery from Tommy John surgery and in his first two games he threw shutout ball. Manaea has won his last four starts with 1.21 ERA.

#5 The timing is good for the return of A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty who just came off the IL manager Bob Melvin said it will be an adjustment period over the weekend in Seattle in preparation for Wednesday’s wild card game vs. the Rays.

Matt Harrington does the MLB podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Preview of the A’s final week of the season in LA and Seattle

By Jerry Feitelberg

Here we are. The A’s have just six games left in the regular season. They had an off-day on Monday as they traveled to Los Angeles to face the Angels. They have two games left with LA and then fly to Seattle to play four with the Mariners to end the season. The A’s own a record of 94-62 and lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 1 1/2 games for the first Wild Card. The Rays beat Boston on Monday to pick up 1/2 game on the A’s. The Rays play the next two games at home against the AL East champs, the New York Yankees. New York could help the A’s bt sweeping the series. The Rays then go to Toronto for three.

The A’s have to continue winning. They cannot let up as both Tampa and Cleveland have a chance to make the playoffs. The Angel and Mariners would love nothing better than upsetting the A’s applecart. The Angels and M’s will finish in fourth and fifth places in the AL West. Each team has had a season of adversity. The Angels have had to deal with the loss of Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs’ death put the Angels in a season-long funk. Also, their start centerfielder, Mike Trout, is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury. The Angels have been devastated by injury and are limping to the finish. The Mariners got off to a good start. They have traded away many of their star players as they are in rebuild mode. The A’s cannot afford to take them lightly.

The A’s Will send Homer Bailey to the hill Tuesday night in Anaheim. Bailey is 13-8 with an ERA of 4.55. The Angels will counter with lefty Dillon Peters. Peters is 3-3 with an ERA of 4.81. Peters will be making his first start ever against the A’s. This is a situation where the A’s cannot afford to relax. They will be going against a pitcher they have never seen. The A’s cannot afford to lose this game. It could happen, but it will be up to manager Bob Melvin to figure out the matchups. On Wednesday, it will be a battle of lefties. Brett Anderson will go for Oakland, and he will be opposed by Andrew Heaney. Anderson is 12-9 with an ERA of 4.00. Heaney is 4-6 and has an ERA of 5.10. The last time Heaney faced the A’s, he went six innings and gave up five runs.

The A’s finish with four against the Mariners. On Thursday Mike Fiers (15-4, ERA 3.91) will handle the pitching chores for Oakland. The M’s will counter with the veteran righty, Felix Hernandez. King Felix is nearing the end of his illustrious career. Hernandez has beaten the A’s many times over the years, but these days, he is a shadow of his former self. His record is 1-7, and his ERA is 6.51. He would like nothing better than handing the A’s a loss. Lefty Sean Manaea (3-0, 1.14ERA) will make his fifth start of the year, and lefty Justus Sheffield (0-1, 5.81 ERA) will go for Seattle. Saturday will feature Tanner Roark and the M’s Marco Gonzalez. The Rangers sent Roark to an early shower last Sunday. Roark gave up at least four home runs early in the game, and the A’s could not recover. His opponent, lefty Marco Gonzalez, the M’s best pitcher with a record of 16-12 and 4.09 ERA) has given the A’s a tough time all season long. The final game of the year will see Homer Bailey going for Oakland and Justin Dunn pitching for Seattle. Dunn will be making his third start of the year.

The A’s know that they cannot let up for one second. Even though they are playing teams with losing records., they must not take either team lightly. If they win four of the last six, that should be enough to give them the first Wild Card. They would then host the one-game playoff in Oakland. They would later play either the Yankees or the Houston Astros in the ALDS. The A’s won the season series from the Yanks 4 games to two. The Astros won the season series from Oakland 11-8. The A’s, however, won six of the last eight games from Houston. The Yanks and the Astros know that the A’s are a good team. The A’s have solidified their starting rotation with the addition Of Bailey and Roark. The bullpen will feature Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Jake Diekman, A.J.Puk, Jesus, Luzardo, Chris Bassitt, Blake Treinen, and closer, Liam Hendriks.

The A’s have power up and down the lineup. They have three infielders with 30 or more home runs. Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson all can change a ballgame with one swing of the bat. Outfielder Mark Canha had hit 26 bombs. Ramon Laureano is back, and he had 22 in the books before he was injured. Versatile Chad Pinder can also put the ball out of the park.  The A’s are excellent on defense, and they do not beat themselves. They have all the ingredients necessary to make a run to a championship. They can do it. No one knows what will happen. The Kansas City Royals won the 2014 Wild Card game against Oakland and went to the World Series. They won it all the following year. Anything can happen in baseball. They have to make the playoffs. Anything can happen. Baseball is unpredictable. The A’s are playing great baseball at this point in the season. They know they can win. They just have to do it.


Oakland A’s podcast Joey Friedman: A’s keeping pace with Rays in AL Wild Card race; Road to the World Series goes through Houston and New York

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder, right, celebrates with Ramon Laureano (22) after hitting a three-run home run off Texas Rangers’ Mike Minor during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Oakland, Calif

On the A’s podcast with Joey Friedman:

#1 The A’s are keeping up with the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card race. The A’s are ahead of Tampa Bay by two games close out their series on Sunday with Texas and then the Rays host the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

#2 Is it true Joey that the A’s could stand in the way of the New York Yankees and Houston Astros dreams to get to the World Series? Either way, one of those three teams is the road to the World Series.

#3 Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers has been the ace all season long on Friday night he went eight innings, two hits, and struck out five throwing 95 pitches and kept the visiting Texas Rangers off balance for the 8-0 win. Fiers has been doing it all season and improved his record to 15-4.

#4 Oakland A’s broadcaster Ken Korach, whose always been available to talk with his colleagues in the press, was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Korach has been broadcasting A’s baseball since 1996 amongst his highlights calling the Oakland A’s 2002 20 consecutive game win streak and he mentioned on the scoreboard vision Friday night during a pre game sit down that his biggest highlight of all-time came when Dallas Braden threw a no-hitter on Mother’s Day May 9th 2010 not only to call the game, but Ken said he got emotional remembering his late mother during the moment when Braden embraced his mother after the game.

#5 The A’s close out their regular home season schedule Sunday against the Texas Rangers at the Oakland Coliseum. For the Rangers, Lance Lynn (14-11, 3.77 ERA), and for Oakland, Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.12 ERA).

Joey does the A’s podcasts Sundays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s Saturday game wrap: It’s a laugher, A’s trounce Texas 12-3; A’s could sweep Rangers Sunday

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Marcus Semien (10) celebrates with Matt Olson, right, after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.

Texas: 3 | 8 | 2

Oakland: 12 | 14 | 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND — Before today, the only time the A’s had faced Brad Burke, tonight’s starter for the Rangers, was last week in Arlington on Friday 13th. It was an unlucky day for Texas, who lost the game, 14-9, and the left handed rookie, who was lifted after six innings of work with his team leading 7-6. In his brief stint on the mound, all of the six runs scored against him were earned, coming on six hits, three of which were home runs.

Nonetheless, Burke is a promising youngster. He came to Texas in the three way trade between the A’s, Rangers, and Rays that brought Jurickson Profar to Oakland this past off season. Before that, he had been in the Tampa Bay organization, where he was the 2018 pitcher of the year, with a combined record in advanced-A and double-A of 6-2, 3.08 ERA. It’s noteworthy that his numbers were better in the higher classification. His main pitch is the four-seam fastball, which he mixes with curves, sinkers, change ups, and the very occasional slider.

His opposite number tonight was Sean Manaea, whose long awaited return from shoulder surgery and its consequent rehab assignments he celebrated with a 2-0, 0.50 ERA record in his three starts. One of those was on the road against Texas, where he threw six innings of three hit shutout ball, chalking up three strike outs in the process. That was a week ago Sunday.

Manaea got off to a shaky start, but a timely double play and a running catch in right by Laureano with a runner on second got him out of trouble. Burke, on the other hand, had a nightmare of a first inning. Two-thirds of an inning, to be exact. The A’s batted around, with hits by Chapman, Olson, Laureano (a double) off Burke and by Phegley and Chapman off his replacement, Luke Farrell, bringing in seven runs, all charged to Burke. A wild throw to first by third baseman Danny Santana on what would have been a double play ground ball by Canha allowed runners to advance, but they would have scored any way. So, after one inning of play, Oakland was up by seven.

Manaea continued to be unsteady in the second frame, allowing two hits before the second out was made, but, once again he followed the Lefty Gomez plan for successful pitching, clean living (we assume) and a fast outfield, to escape unscathed.

There was no reason for Farrell, who had surrendered two hits and a walk in his one-third of an inning performance, to remain in the game, and he didn’t. Jonathan Hernández was didn’t fare any better. He gave up two hits and three walks and already had allowed two runs when he left with the bases loaded and two outs in the second. Adrian Sampson, the Rangers’ fourth pitcher in two innings, came in and struck out Chapman on a full count.

The Rangers’ third was notable for two spectacular defensive plays: Laureano’s diving, rolling over catch of Andrus’s fast falling foul in right and Chapman’s backhand grab in the shift of Willie Calhoun’s hard shot towards left and then his off balance throw to get him at first.

Sampson’s effective relief work restored a semblance of order, so when Shawn Kelliey replaced him to face the top of the A’s lineup in the bottom of the fifth, the score still was 9-0. That expectation lasted three pitches. On the fourth Semien blasted Kelley’s 80 mph offering into the left center field seats for his 35th home run of the year. Three men later, Canha made it 11-0 by going long for the twenty-sixth time of the season, slamming a 368-foot drive over the left field fence. Kelley finished the inning but gave way to Joe Palumbo, who pitched the home sixth without allowing anyone except Davis, who got to second on a throwing error by Odor, to reach base.

The top of the sixth finally saw the Rangers get on the board. Elvis Andrus led off with his 11th dinger, a no doubter to center. Danny Santana hit his 26th two outs later, a fly to left that narrowed the gap to 11-2. The long and short of it is that Rougned Odor then dropped a bunt down the third base line against the shift for a single, and JB Wendelken came in to relieve Manaea, who either was tiring or had lost his concentration. He had worked 5 2/3 innings, allowed two runs, both of which were earned, on six hits, two of them home runs. one walk, a wild pitch, and a hit batter. His ERA ballooned to 1.14. He would get the win.

Wendelken got his man, DeShields, out on a grounder to Neuse at second.

Joe Palumbo took care of the A’s with a scoreless bottom half of the sixth, and Jesús Luzardo answered the bell for the visitors’ seventh, punching out two of the four Rangers he faced. Of the remaining two, one walked, and the other flew out.

Ryan Bouchter took his turn on the mound for Oakland in the eighth and coughed up the Rangers’ third solo home run. It came from the bat of Nick Solak and ended up over the left field fence.

Jeffrey Springs was the last Texas pitcher the A’s had to face. They touched him for their 12th and final run, Phegley driving in Davis from third on a single to left.

Once Manaea had lost his touch, hitting was the story for the A’s. Semien went three for three; Chapman, two for four; Canha, two for four; and Neuse, three for four. Semien and Canha homered.

Daniel Mengden closed out the game, throwing a shut out ninth with the help of two splendiferous plays by Franklin Barreto at short.

Because Tampa Bay pulled another victory out of the jaws of defeat back in St. Petersberg, they stayed two games behind Oakland in the race for home field advantage. Cleveland’s loss to the Phillies dropped the tribe to a game behind the Rays in the battle for the second wild card slot. The A’s magic number dropped to six. The magic number to eliminate any threat from Cleveland now is five.

Tomorow will be September 22nd, an appropriate time for number 22 Ramón Laureano bobblehead day. Game time is 1:07 p.m.Tanner Roark will try continue the A’s winning ways, facing Lance Lynn, who will take the mound for the Rangers.

In a brief ceremony before tonight’s contest, the A’s inducted Rickey Henderson, Walter Hass, Campy Campanaris, Vida Blue, Mark McGwire, and Tony LaRussa into the team’s Hall of Fame.