by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Most Import Oakland Athletics Story of Saturday, July 29, 2017:
Bill King receives the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame
Thank you Mr. King. Holy Toledo! You made it to the Hall of Fame!
Second Most Important Athletics Story of Saturday, July 29, 2017:
Sonny Gray reportedly has been scratched as the starter for the game on Sunday
Multiple sources from USA Today Sports to Bleacher Report and more are reporting that Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray has been scratched as the starter in final game of the series with the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. With the Major League trade deadline set for Monday, July 31 at 1 p.m. PDT, the anticipation is that a deal involving Gray is in the final stages and his potential new club would want to have him ready to start as soon as possible.
Many of those same sources are pointing to the Yankees as being the final destination for Gray which really comes as no surprise. New York needs a starter to replace Michael Pineda and have been on the hunt since he went to the disabled list. The hang-up seems to be the price the Athletics want for Gray.
As the late, great broadcaster Red Barber used say the A’s know “they are in the catbird’s seat!” They have what the Yankees need plus Sonny Gray comes with two additional years of team control. That is going to come at a price and Oakland wants young, very talented prospects.
The Yankees have one of the most talented minor league organizations in the major leagues. Naturally, they want to give up as little as they have to in order to acquire Gray. It’s like buying a car, everybody has to keep going back to the sales manager to see if they can get it for that price.
If you are an A’s fan, the sad news is by August 1 Sonny Gray will be wearing a different uniform. The good news is you will have some great young talent for team when the new stadium opens in 2021 or so.
Third Most Important Athletics Story of Saturday, July 29, 2017:
Athletics break five-game losing streak and give Melvin win 1000
The Oakland Athletics ended a five-game losing streak in dramatic fashion on Saturday night when Rajai Davis hit a 1-0 pitch from the Twins Taylor Rogers over the left-center field wall with Adam Rosales on at first to give the A’s a 5-4 walk-off victory. The big crowd of 27,047 on fireworks night exploded with excitement as their team celebrated the win at home plate.
The win was also significant for Athletics manager Bob Melvin as it was the 1000th of his major league career. After the game, he was quick to downplay the milestone but it is one to be celebrated and honored as only 64 other managers have accomplished that feat.
The A’s jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first-inning thanks to an RBI-double by Ryon Healy that drove Rajai Davis home from second base. The Twins came back and scored two runs on three hits and left the bases loaded in the second inning. A’s starter Chris Smith almost did not make it out of that inning.
Minnesota scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning when Miguel Sano hit his 24th home run of the season — a two-run shot — down the right field line. That gave the Twins a commanding 4-1 lead.
Ryon Healy hit his second double of the game to lead off the A’s half of the fifth inning. With two out, Yonder Alonso drove Healy home on a single to left-center field. The Twins held a 4-2 after five.
Rookie Matt Chapman breathed hope into the fans when hit a 2-0 pitch from LHP Buddy Boshers deep into the stands in left field for his sixth home run of the season. The round-tripper chased Boshers from the game and closed the gap to a one-run lead for the Twins at 4-3.
After Daniel Coulombe held the Twins scoreless in the top of the ninth, the A’s put Adam Rosales in the game to pinch-hit for Jaycob Brugman. Rosales drew a walk off Taylor Rogers. That brought Davis to bat who ended the game with his fourth home run of the year.
In the batter’s box
- Rajai Davis went 4-for-5 on the night including the home run, two runs scored and two RBI. This was the second walk-off home run of his career.
- Ryon Healy had a 2-for-4 game with both hits being doubles. He now has 21 two-baggers on the season. Healy also had an RBI (58) and scored a run.
- Matt Chapman went 1-for-4 against the Twins but his one hit was his sixth home run of the year which created his 10th RBI as well.
- Jed Lowrie broke out of an 0-for-14 hitless streak with a single in the third inning.
- Minnesota’s Miguel Sano’ had a 1-for-5 game hitting his 24th home run of the year. It was his first home run in a road game since July 1 in Kansas City.
- Zack Granite went 2-for-4 for the Twins and posted two RBI. That extended his hitting streak to nine games.
On the hill
- Chad Smith had a rough start for the A’s versus the Twins and really had to work very hard to hang in there for 5.0-innings. He gave up four runs (all earned) on seven hits. He walked three and struck out four. Smith allowed one home run and did not figure into the final decision.
- The A’s used four relievers in the game: Dull, Casilla, Josh Smith and Coulombe. Each pitched one inning. Each gave up one hit. None gave up a run which was the key to Oakland hanging in for a chance to win the game.
- The victory went to Daniel Coulombe (2-1) who was the pitcher of record in the ninth inning.
- Casilla was used to pitch the seventh inning which was a bit of surprise. This does not mean that he has been demoted from the closer’s role.
- Taylor Rogers takes the loss for the Twins. His record falls to 5-3 and he also records his third blown save of the season.
- Minnesota used four pitchers in the game.
The same two teams meet on Sunday in Oakland at 1:05 p.m. RHP — “the ageless one” — Bartolo Colon (2-9, 8.00) is scheduled to go for the Twins, and if the reports are true, TBA will be on the mound for the Oakland Athletics in place of Sonny Gray.
Two notes from disabled list
- Chad Pinder went 1-for-3 in a rehab start for Triple-A Nashville Saturday. He has played eight games for the Sounds and has gone 5-for-27 including one home run.
- Kendall Graveman made a rehab start for the Sounds on Saturday. He pitched 4.2-innings allowing four hits, one run (earned) while walking two and striking out five.