By Charlie O. Mallonee
The 2018 Oakland Athletics at Coors Field in Denver was supposed to a “power hitting show” that would send their fans into ecstasy as the seven-game road trip to Texas and Colorado came to an end. After the four-game sweep in Texas, could a seven-game sweep be a possibility? No, it is not a possibility. Now the question is — can the A’s avoid being swept by the Rockies?
The Rockies beat the A’s 4-1 on Saturday night to hand Oakland their second consecutive loss. The loss also means the A’s will lose their first series since back in June. The magic of “the comeback kids” has temporarily disappeared, but that doesn’t mean A’s fans should be calling their doctors for antidepressants. The A’s are just experiencing the “yin and yang” of a very long 162-game season.
Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela looked like he would have a very short night when he needed 32 pitches to get out of the top of the first inning. He gave up a run to the A’s on two hits, a sac fly, and a base-on-balls. The A’s held a 1-0 lead before the Rockies ever picked up a bat.
The A’s run did not come without controversy. Khris Davis hit a fly ball to right field that Carlos Gonzalez caught and then made an on-target throw to his catcher Tom Murphy. Murphy used his left foot to block the plate as he put the tag on the sliding Nick Martini’s jersey. Martini was called out, but the A’s challenged the call. After a long review by replay center in New York, the call was overturned and Martini was called safe.
Senzatela settled down and did not allow the A’s to score again. He gave up one run (earned) on five hits. Senzatela struck out six and walked four in his 5.2 innings of work. He was credited with the win and upped his record to 4-3 on the season.
Brett Anderson made his eighth start of the season for the A’s and after the first inning looked like his was going to have a great night. The Rockies figured Anderson out and scored on him in the second, third, and fourth innings. Those four runs were enough for them to win the game.
Anderson (2-3) gave up four runs (all earned) on eight hits. He struck out one and walked one. Two of those eight hits were home runs. Three of the hits were doubles and one was a triple. It was the kind of start that will keep a pitcher from sleeping well for a few nights.
It was also a night of missed opportunities for the A’s. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position while they left nine runners on base.
Live by the late comeback — die by the lack of one
The A’s have been a very exciting team to watch because of their late-inning dramatic comeback victories. Seeing your team come back from a 10-5 deficit to eventually win the game 13-10 in 10 innings is as exciting as it gets for baseball fans. The problem is that the odds of being able to keep those late-inning miracles up over a long period of time are incredibly difficult and almost impossible to pull off.
That is not to say that those late-inning victory celebrations are over for the season, but is important for fans to remember that there will be momentary breaks in the action from time to time. Miracles do happen — just not every game.
Altuve headed to DL
No true baseball fan wishes for a player from an opposing team to sustain an injury that renders them unable to play. That being said, injuries are a part of a grueling 162-game season and teams must take advantage of situations when their opponents have players who have to go on to the disabled list.
Saturday night, the Houston Astros placed All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve on the 10-day disabled list – retroactive to July 26 – according to a tweet from Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Altuve has been dealing with right knee soreness for the past several days and has not played since Wednesday.
Houston is now without their feared double-played combo of Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa. Correa has been on the DL for over a month due to back problems and is not expected to return until sometime in August.
This is a situation that the playoff-minded A’s must take advantage of if they are still planning on playing baseball in October.
More trades to come before Tuesday at 1:00 pm PDT?
A’s fans are curious about whether their favorite team is going to make another trade or two before the non-wavier trade deadline on Tuesday. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle told the A’s radio announcers – Vince Controneo and Roxy Bernstein – that the team is looking, but will not break the bank.
Slusser said the team may look for another reliever if they cannot find a No. 3 or 4 starter available at a reasonable price.
Those thoughts are backed up by reports from MLB Trade Rumors that stated A’s scouts were seen in Miami looking at RHP Dan Straily who was an Athletic for three seasons. Those same scouts may also have been looking at 38-year old reliever Brad Ziegler. Yes, that Brad Ziegler who was an Oakland Athletic for four years.
The final game of the three-game series between the A’s and Rockies will be played on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm PDT. Oakland will send RHP Frankie Montas (5-2, 3.54) to the hill to start the game. Montas was recalled from Triple-A Nashville last Tuesday and made the start versus the Rangers in Texas. Montas pitched 5.0 innings giving up four runs (three earned) off five hits. He struck out three batters and walked two. Montas had a no-decision in the game which the A’s eventually won 13-10 in 10 innings.
Colorado will counter with RHP German Marquez (8-8, 5.00). Marquez will be making his 21st start of the season and his first since coming off the paternity list last Friday. He last pitched on July 20 versus the D-Backs back had a no-decision in the Rockies’ 11-10 win. Marquez gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits. He struck out six and walked three in his 5.0 innings on the mound.