Reality Sets In: A’s drub Mariners, 10-3 as reminder their path to the post-season isn’t completed

By Morris Phillips

For the Mariners, Friday’s celebratory release has ended. On Sunday, the A’s pre-empted the hosts’ post-season party and staged one of their own.

Shea Langeliers, Cristian Pache and Nick Allen homered off Seattle starter Robbie Ray and the A’s built a 10-0 lead on the way to a 10-3 win at T-Mobile Park.

The A’s interrupted a six-game losing skid with the win, and moved closer to insuring that the Washington Nationals will finish with the Majors’ worst won-loss record, not Oakland.

The Mariners lost ground to the Blue Jays with the loss in their race to determine the host of their likely, three-game Wild Card series beginning on Friday. The Jays beat Boston on Sunday and can insure that they’ll host the series with any combination of Toronto wins and Seattle losses that adds up to two.

Manager Scott Servais characterized his club’s low-energy performance Sunday while likely attempting to calculate how fiercely they should approach their final four games against the Tigers, which are shoe-horned into a three-day span.

“There’s been a lot of emotion around our team here in the last four or five days and I think you saw a little bit of the wind out of our sails today,” Servais said.

With the new-playoff format, the Mariners could go from the high of ending their unprecedented 21-year post-season drought to the reality that the renewed love affair between themselves and their fans could end Wednesday. The visitor in the opening series faces the reality that they could be eliminated without hosting any playoff games.

“We’re at the point where you almost got to win out,” Servais noted.

The A’s took control on two fronts Sunday. James Kaprelian pitched no-hit baseball into the sixth inning before allowing a single to Ty France. At that point, the A’s led 6-0. Kaprelian walked two, struck out seven and departed after retiring Eugenio Suarez to end the sixth. His win-loss record (5-9) may not reflect it, but Kaprelian’s growth as a starter is apparent.

After a two-week pause beginning August 31, Kaprelian has made four starts and equaled or surpassed his innings pitched and the pitch count reached in his initial 23 starts of the season. Translated, he’s establishing himself as someone the A’s can count on to get deep in games going forward.

“It was a good finish for James in terms of his bounce back from some struggles in the middle of the season to ending this month and really performing well,” manager Mark Kotsay said.

Conversely, Ray left too many pitches in the strike zone and the A’s didn’t miss them. His three home runs allowed tied a season-high, and he walked three batters in the second inning as a precursor to falling into serious trouble in the fourth and fifth.

“This is one that just, flush it and move on. I’m not going to let it take away from what I’ve been able to do this year,” Ray said.

Ernie Clement, in just his third start for the A’s, and Allen both came up with terrific defensive plays, throwing runners out after cat-quick diving stops. Langeliers homered in the fourth, and again in the ninth, a three-run shot off Penn Murfee.

The A’s conclude the season at the Coliseum against Anaheim. Adrian Martinez gets the start in Monday’s opener opposite Patrick Sandoval for the Angels.

What’s Your Mindset? A’s keep their spirits positive, beat the Mariners, 6-5

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s came to the park loosey goosey, ready to swing the bats, then bear down to get some critical outs.

The contending Mariners admittedly were tight, overthinking things and probably burdened by the longest post-season drought any of us have ever seen.

The unlikely result? The youthful and hopeful A’s built on the momentum they gained Saturday night, and booted the Mariners in a 6-5 win on Sunday that captured the series, and highlighted the team’s promise and hopeful approach.

JP Sears outpitched Seattle’s higher-profile in-season acquisition, Luis Castillo, and the A’s built a 4-1 lead after five innings. The Mariners drew closer with two runs in the seventh, but were stymied in the eighth with runners in scoring position. Shea Langeliers tripled home an insurance run in the bottom of that inning and the A’s held on.

Afterwards, the Mariners expressed frustration with their play, and blowing an opportunity to boost their standing in the AL Wild Card hunt by not taking advantage of the league’s worst team.

“We know how important these games are and what they mean,” said Ty France, who hit into a third inning double play that spoiled a potential, big inning for Seattle. “I think sometimes we are trying too hard and trying to make things happen instead of just playing our style of baseball. We are trying to force things when he don’t have to. Usually, when we go out there and play our game, we are in a good spot.”

Conversely, the A’s clearly enjoyed their 4-3 extra-inning walk-off win Saturday night (on a FOX Network national broadcast as well) and walked into their clubhouse Sunday morning with improved posture. Their aggressive approach at the plate was noticeable in Sean Murphy’s first inning RBI double, Langeliers’ double in the left field gap that initiated a rally in the second inning and Nick Allen’s RBI single that put the A’s up 3-0.

“Luis has been awesome for us since we acquired him,” manager Scott Servais said. “Maybe left a few balls in the middle of the plate, but they were super aggressive. They were hunting they fastballs and didn’t miss them.”

Sears had just one hiccup, a home run allowed to Mitch Haniger in the third. He went five innings and scattered six hits with one walk issued. He worked seamlessly with Langeliers behind the plate, showing chemistry that was built off one outing the pair had earlier this month at Triple-A Las Vegas.

“He’s one of the most poised young catchers I’ve ever seen,” Sears said of Langeliers.

Six A’s relievers followed with Sam Moll and Domingo Acevedo the only two entrusted to get as many as three outs. Moll came up the biggest by retiring J.P. Crawford and Dylan Moore with runners at the corners in the seventh.

Oakland A’s podcast with Daniel Dullum: A’s have trouble holding leads; MLB teams shopping for Montas

Oakland A’s centerfielder Ramon Luareano can’t reach a ball hit by the Houston Astros Aledmys Diaz in the top of the fifth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Fri Jul 8, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Daniel:

#1 The Oakland A’s (28-57) lost their second game in their last four games on Friday night at the Coliseum dropping an 8-3 decision. The A’s got out to a 2-0 but couldn’t hold back the Houston Astros (55-28) who scored three runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings.

#2 The A’s also faced some great pitching from Astros starter Jose Urquidy pitching eight innings giving up three runs all earned and four hits. Also Astros manager Dusty Baker showed all the confidence in Urquidy letting him go eight innings and confidence in his line up to catch up on the struggling A’s.

#3 he Oakland Athletics traded catcher/infielder Christian Bethancourt to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league right-handed pitcher Christian Fernandez and minor league outfielder Cal Stevenson, the club announced today.

#4 Who will the A’s send to the All Star game in LA on July 18th? They have two young prospects who represent them at the Futures game catcher Shea Langeliers and outfielder Denzel Clarke. Langeliers is hitting .271, 71 hits, 14 home runs, and 40 RBIs in the A’s triple A affiliate Las Vegas. Clarke is hitting .279, with 57 hits, nine home runs, and 32 RBIs.

#5 Oakland A’s number one pitcher Frankie Montas will miss his next start due to shoulder inflammation he exited last Sunday’s game in Seattle and was supposed to start either yesterday or today. He did get a cortisone shot after getting an MRI last Wednesday. He’s the go to pitcher on the A’s staff will his shoulder inflammation hamper his trade status before this month’s trade deadline?

Daniel Dullum is a MLB analyst for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: The Tale of the Fire Sale–Chapman looks very close to leaving for Philadelphia or New York

Oakland A’s Matt Chapman (26) will not be forearm bashing anymore with former teammate Matt Olson (right) seen here Mar 5, 2021 against the Los Angeles Angels in spring training at Hohokam Park in Mesa. Olson now with the Atlanta Braves and Chapman on the trade block (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary:

#1 Amaury, it comes as no surprise that once the lockout was lifted the Oakland A’s would have an early season fire sale and pitcher Chris Bassitt who left for the New York Mets was one of the first followed by A’s first baseman Matt Olson.

#2 And while it’s no surprise of their departure it’s still hard to grasp for anyone who follows the A’s that it’s a hard pill to swallow to have to say good bye to Bassitt, Olson and soon to be Matt Chapman.

#3 Olson led in many categories for the A’s at different times with on base percentage .371, 101 runs, 153 hits, 35 doubles, RBIs, home runs and walks with 88, 74 base hits, and four stolen bases.

#4 The in picking for players from the Atlanta Braves in the Olson deal two right handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes, catcher Shea Langeliers and outfielder Cristian Pache. Langeliers could be the key player in the deal a number one draft choice for the Braves. A’s team vice president Billy Beane might have some of that Money Ball magic going again and have himself a core of players in the works.

#5 Amaury talk about Matt Chapman being on the trade block bubble he’s the All Star third baseman the guy that A’s fans sought in their pack of baseball cards he’s very close to being no more and the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are shopping Chapman hard core he might get a crazy Bryce Harper type contract.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzaelz at the mic for Oakland A’s Spanish radio beisbol all season long on flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and for News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Olson the latest to leave A’s in early season fire sale; Oakland picks up four players from Braves

Former A’s slugger Matt Olson is seen here getting into the swing of things against catcher Tom Murphy (left) and the Seattle Mariners on Sep 21, 2022 at the Oakland Coliseum. Olson was dealt to the Atlanta Braves on Mon Mar 14, 2022 in five player deal (AP photo file)

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–Some are calling it an early fire sale the Oakland A’s might call it a rebuild to going young and getting some value for their former veteran players such as former A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt who left Oakland for the New York Mets.

Household names are sliding off the A’s roster and the latest pitcher Matt Olson is going back to his native hometown Atlanta. The former first baseman is going to the Braves in exchange for two right handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes, catcher Shea Langeliers and outfielder Cristian Pache.

As the A’s get four players for Olson, Olson was selected to the American All Star team in 2021 and hit .271, 39 home runs, 111 RBIs, in 156 games. Olson offensively was part of the heart and soul of the A’s line up during his days under former A’s manager Bob Melvin.

Olson led with on base percentage .371, 101 runs, 153 hits, 35 doubles, RBIs, home runs and walks with 88, 74 base hits, and four stolen bases. While it might not make sense to the average A’s fan that players like Bassitt and Olson have gone to greener pastures of money the A’s have been here time and time again.

This is a rebuild on the part of A’s team vice president and minority owner Billy Beane. He’s back to Money Ball again building from scratch to see if he can get enough veteran and young talent to see if an unpredicted A’s team can break the glass ceiling again and surprise critics and oddsmakers by making the post season. Noted that post season will take awhile but Beane based on his past experience could have one of those unknowns in the works again.

With Cusick, Estes, Langeliers (a number draft choice for the Braves) and Pache you could be assured that Beane has done his scouting report homework and is either counting or assured that this foursome will somehow develop into what his fire sale players were in the past.

It won’t happen over night it took time for Olson, Bassitt, Marcus Seimen, and the soon to be delivered Matt Chapman were on rebuild status but in a season or two maybe the third season you might see one of the foursome of Cusick, Estes, Langeliers, or Pache make some headway.

Jerry Feitelberg is an Oakland A’s beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com