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).
#1 With the Oakland Raiders playing just one preseason game in the Oakland Coliseum surface, the outfield always gets scuffed up. How much of a role does that play in the A’s injuries?
#2 The A’s have three players that were out due to injuries that are back in the lineup: First baseman Matt Olson (hand), DH Khris Davis (oblique), right fielder Stephen Piscotty (knee), and center-fielder Ramon Laureano (shin). Laureano was not in the lineup on Wednesday night against the New York Yankees.
#3 The A’s starting pitcher from Wednesday night Mike Fiers has one of the best records in the American League and pitched against the Yankees. Tell us about how Fiers does it all season long.
#4 We’ve talked about Chad Pinder has just about done it all covering for open positions and has pulled it off. Talk about how valuable Pinder has been for Oakland.
#5 The starters for Thursday for the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka (9-6, 4.56 ERA) for the Oakland A’s Tanner Roark (7-8, 4.01 ERA) to conclude the series in Oakland.
All photos by Charlie O Mallonee Sports Radio Service
by Charlie O. Mallonee
Oakland — The Athletics had lost three straight games going into their contest on Saturday night with the Texas Rangers. More importantly, the A’s were no longer in possession of a Wild Card Playoff slot.
Yes, there is slightly over two months of baseball remaining to play, but with the tight race for the Wild Card spots, no team can afford to fall very far behind. Two of the teams that have a realistic chance to grab a Wild Card slot are in the Western Division – the Angels and the Rangers.
Major start for Homer Bailey
The A’s made the trade with Kansas City for the veteran Bailey hoping that he would be able to shore up their starting pitching woes. While it true that the team added Bailey for very little cost, that did not mean the Athletics had low expectations for what he could bring to the mound.
Bailey was spectacular in his first game for Oakland as he picked up a 10-2 win over the Mariners. His second start was extremely disappointing. On July 22, he made the start against the Astros in Houston. Bailey lasted only two innings while giving up nine earned runs. At that point, the front office was not sure who they had added to their team.
On Saturday night, Bailey was in control on the hill. He worked 6.2-innings allowing three runs (all earned) while striking out seven and walking just one. The three runs he allowed came with two in the seventh inning. As manager Bob Melvin said, Bailey just could not get that one pitch over to get Danny Santana out. Santana hit a two-out two-run double to keep the inning alive.
In his postgame analysis, Melvin said that Bailey on Saturday night was is exactly who they wanted him to be when they traded for him. Bailey threw a total of 105 pitches (71 strikes). He faced 28 Texas batters. Bailey induced six hitters to groundout and four to flyout.
Bailey is now 2-1 as a member of the A’s. His overall record is 9-7 with an ERA of 5.33.
National Enquirer Story of the game
This story actually began back on June 8 in Texas when Rangers starting pitcher Adrian Sampson had a problem with Mark Canha when the A’s outfielder flipped his bat after hitting a home run. Words were exchanged and people were removed from Christmas card lists.
Flash forward to Saturday night, Canha came to the plate to face Sampson for the second time in the game, and you guessed it. The pitcher hit Canha with a pitch. Canha just trotted to first base like the man he is and was ready to play on.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Oakland center fielder Ramon Laureano hit his 21st homer of the season off Sampson. It was a “screamer” that landed halfway up the steps behind the left-field wall. Laureano did take a little time to admire his work and then began his home run trot. Sampson came off the mound and began yelling at Laureano to start running and stop looking. Words were exchanged. Again, names were crossed off the Christmas card list. The benches all stood up but nothing happened.
By the way, the Laureano home run was the fourth round-tripper Sampson had issued in the game.
Now for the rest of the story. In the bottom of the eighth inning, relief pitcher Rafael Montero was on the hill for Texas when Ramon Laureano came to bat for the Athletics with Canha on at first. Montero hit Laureano with a pitch and the benches along with the bullpens cleared.
There was lots of yelling and screaming. Some players were discussing their favorite IPA brands. It was stupid like most baseball bench-clearing situations. The umpires took charge and ejected Montero along with his manager Chris Woodward just as baseball mandates.
This time nothing bad happened, but it is only a matter of time before a situation gets out of hand. Commissioner Rob Manfred has to “suck it up” and take charge before one of these stupid situations becomes tragic.
Focus on the Athletics
All of the Oakland runs came via the home in this game. All were solo shots except Matt Chapman’s fifth inning 2-run home run off Sampson. Sampson gave up all four home runs.
Ramon Laureano went 2-for-3 in the game with a home run (21), a double (26) and a hit-by-pitch. He is batting .348 versus Texas.
Marcus Semien had a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included his 16th home run and he scored two runs. Semien is batting .400 against the Rangers this season.
Homer Bailey (9-7) was the winner. Liam Hendriks picked up his ninth save of the year.
The A’s scored five runs on six hits and left just four runners on base.
Adrian Sampson – who took the loss – allowed a season-high-tying four home runs in 6.0-innings pitched. He did the same thing versus the Red Sox on June 13. Sampson is 3-11 with a 5.77 ERA as a starting pitcher. He is 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA as a reliever.
Nomar Mazara went 3-for-4 with the bat on Saturday night. He is 7-for-15 in his last four games. Yes, he is starting on Sunday.
Elvis Andrus snapped an 0-for-11 streak at the plate by having a 2-for-4 game against the A’s on Saturday night.
The fourth and final game of this series is set to begin 1:07 PM on Sunday. The Rangers will send RHP Pedro Payano (1-0, 1.50) to the mound. It will be Payano’s third appearance in his Major League career. This makes Payano a bit of a wild card because the Oakland hitters will have to look at some pitches to figure how to hit off him. The scouting reports and videotape will be in limited supply.
The Athletics will counter with veteran RHP Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.57) who is hoping to take young Mr. Payano to school. Fiers is 7-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 14 starts.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Oakland Athletics trailed the Minnesota Twins 4-3 with two outs when Mark Canha came to the plate to face Taylor Rogers. Rogers threw Canha a slider that hit the batter on the back foot to give the A’s a runner to keep the inning alive.
Ramon Laureano hit a double to left field that moved Canha into scoring position at third base. That set the table for Khris Davis who hit a line drive to the right side of the infield that deflected off the glove of first baseman Ehire Adrianza that allowed Canha and Laureano to score. The A’s took the lead 5-4.
The Twins did not go quietly into the night
The A’s brought in Liam Hendriks to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth. It was clear right from the first batter that Hendriks was not as sharp as he usually is on the mound. He had pitched on Friday night and that may have taken a toll on his effectiveness.
Hendriks ended up loading the bases with just one out. Mitch Garver came to bat and hit the first pitch from Hendriks on the ground to the shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien underhanded the ball to Profar who had plenty of time to make the throw to Olson at first to complete the double play. Just that quickly, the A’s had won the game 5-4.
Blake Treinen (3-3, 4.46) was credited with the win. Treinen pitched 0.2-innings giving up one hit and walking two hitters.
Liam Hendriks picked up his eighth save of the season while working his way out that ninth-inning jam.
Starting pitcher Brett Anderson did not figure into the final decision and had to leave the game due to a blister on the left middle finger. His status is listed as day-to-day.
Matt Olson extended his hitting streak to 15 games which is now the longest active streak in baseball. Olson is now hitting .295 (18-for-61) with four home runs over the 15 games.
Ramon Laureano recorded his 29th multi-hit game and fifth consecutive contest on Saturday night. The young outfielder has hit 20 home runs this season.
Mark Canha hit his 16th home run of the season on Saturday night. He is now just one home run short of tying his career-high of 17 which he set last season.
Taylor Rogers (2-2, 1.97) was the losing pitcher. Rogers was also charged with a blown save – ouch!
Minnesota starting pitcher Jose Berrios worked 5.2 innings and gave up no runs, but he did not figure into the final decision.
This was the first loss this season for the Twins when they were leading after eight innings. They are now 53-1 when leading after eight innings.
The Twins have hit 181 home runs this season tying them with the Dodgers, Brewers, and Braves for the most home runs hit in the Major Leagues.
Miguel Sano hit his 14th home run of the season in the game, but it was just his second round-tripper at Target Field this year.
Nelson Cruz hit his 379th career home run on Saturday night which allowed him to pass A’s coach Matt Williams on the All-Time list.
The A’s and Twins wrap up this four-game series on Sunday at 11:10 PM PDT. Oakland will send RHP Daniel Mengden (5-1, 4.21) to face the Twins RHP Michael Pineda (6-5, 4.38).
Photo credit sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha, right, is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams (4) after hitting a home run off Seattle Mariners’ Tommy Milone in the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Oakland, Calif
On the A’s podcast with Charlie O for Jerry Feitelberg:
#1 Is the ball juiced? There were six home runs hit during the A’s-Mariners game in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon.
#2 A’s hit six home runs Wednesday from Jurickson Profar 12th and 13th, Mark Canha 14th and 15th, Chad Pinder 8th, and Ramon Laureano 19th. In this lineup, you just never know who is going to get a base knock, but on Wednesday, it was everybody.
#3 A’s starter Homer Bailey debuted for Oakland pitching six innings, two earned runs and six strikeouts. He might be what the doctor ordered for the A’s rotation.
#4 The Mariners have had a rough trip so far in Anaheim. They got no hit on Tyler Skaggs night. the odds were not with them that night, then in Oakland, the Mariners getting swept in a two-game series by a hot A’s club. Most likely will be sellers at the trade deadline.
#5 A’s head to Minnesota for a four-game series starting on Thursday night at Target Field. For the A’s, Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61 ERA), and for the Twins, Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03 ERA).
OAKLAND–When it comes to post All-Star break success, the A’s have no peer. With Bob Melvin pulling the strings, the Billy Beane-led front office making the deals, not to mention the baseballs flying over the fence, the A’s know how to put the finishing touches on a 162-game season.
On Sunday at the Coliseum, the A’s laid the foundation for the 2019 version of the climb up the American League standings with a 3-2, walkoff win over the White Sox.
Baserunner Chad Pinder, looking to take second base on Ramon Laureano’s ground ball in the hole, instead raced home with the winning run when shortstop Jose Rondon’s throw sailed past second and into foul ground as the alert Pinder crossed the plate.
“I was just trying to beat the throw, and as I’m sliding, I saw the second baseman lunge a bit,” Pinder recounted. “And from there, I was trying to get ahold of Matt (the third base coach) and see what he sees. He sent me, so I went home.”
After the Sox were basically no-shows on Friday and Saturday, losing both days by a combined score of 18-3, starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez set the tone by limiting the A’s to three hits with seven strikeouts through six innings.
Lopez had allowed at least one home run in ten consecutive starts, while the A’s had homered in 14 straight games, but that intersection was bypassed when Lopez exited with a 2-1 lead.
A’s starter Brett Anderson stepped on a bat in foul territory, allowed a tie breaking homer to Eloy Jimenez, and exited in the seventh after a Yolmer Sanchez double. But other than those unfortunate moments, Anderson was steady in pursuit of his tenth win of the season.
Once Lopez departed, the home run ball appeared. Laureano got the A’s even leading off the seventh with his career-best 18th off reliever Evan Marshall.
“We felt like he had a chance to be a 30-homer guy,” Melvin said. “Maybe he’s on pace a little sooner than we expected.”
The A’s have won 12 of 15, and surpassed Cleveland, Texas and Boston in the ever-changing wild card race. The A’s are within striking range of the Astros in the AL West as well.
Given that, the Sunday morning’s timing of the deal with the Royals to acquire starting pitcher Homer Bailey was brilliant. Bailey was scratched during warmups in Kansas City, and will be available on Wednesday afternoon for his first start with the A’s.
The deal for the 33-year old former Red who pitched a no-hitter against the Giants came at the cost of 2017 compensatory pick Kevin Merrell, an infielder with speed currently at AA-Midland.
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
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.”
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.”
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 — 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
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
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.
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.