Oakland A’s starter Sean Manaea seen pitching in his last start will start against the San Diego Padres Tue Aug 3, 2021 at Oakland Coliseum (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Oakland A’s (60-47) have an off-day on Monday. The A’s were 4-2 on the last road trip against the San Diego Padres (61-47) and Los Angeles Angels (52-53). The A’s split the series last Tuesday and Wednesday against the Padres in San Diego.
The A’s moved up to Anaheim to play four against the Angels. The A’s won three of the four games. They would have had a sweep if they had given Cole Irvin some run support last Saturday. Irvin pitched a gem but was the losing pitching as the A’s fell to the Angels 1-0.
After the two-game set concluded last Wednesday, both teams were active before the July 30th trade deadline. The Padres were hoping to make a big splash by landing Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals. Most of the pundits had the big righty heading to San Diego.
San Diego’s hopes were dashed when the Los Angeles Dodgers snagged Scherzer and Trea Turner. Turner going to LA was unexpected. The Dodgers made quite a few headlines with the deal. The Padres did make a deal as they traded for Nats’ reliever Daniel Hudson.
The A’s acquired four players as they hope to catch the Houston Astros in the race for the AL West crown. The A’s bolstered their bullpen as they made a deal to acquire lefty Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs. Before the trade, Jake Diekman was the only lefty in the A’s bullpen.
The move helped A’s manager have more flexibility using his relievers. The next big move was the trade to get outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins. The A’s gave up Jesus Luzardo in the trade. It was sad to see Luzardo go, but the team needed improvement in the outfield.
The A’s finished the wheeling and dealing by making a trade with the Washington National. They sent prospects to the Nats in exchange for catcher Yan Gomes and the versatile Josh Harrison. All three players have contributed since coming to the A’s. Gomes homered in yesterday’s game to help the A’s beat the Angels 8-3.
So, let’s look at what happened last week in the two-game series in San Diego. San Diego beat the A’s and starter James Kaprielian 7-4 last Tuesday night. Kaprielian went four innings and took the loss. The winning pitcher was Chris Paddack. Both pitchers are now on the 10-day IL. Kaprielian has a shoulder impingement.
The A’s brought up Dulton Jefferies to take his spot in the rotation. Jefferies made his second Major League start on Sunday against the Angels and was the winning pitcher. In the 7-4 loss to the Padres Last Tuesday, the Padres’ young superstar, Fernando Tatis, Jr., homered, doubled. Veteran third baseman Manny Machado also hit a big fly in the game.
The Padres pounded A’s pitchers for 12 hits Tuesday night. The A’s turned the tables on the Padres on Wednesday. The A’s had no trouble with Pads’ starter, Blake Snell. They sent Snell to the showers at the end of the fourth inning. Snell gave up seven hits and seven runs as he absorbed his fourth loss of the year. The A’s won the game 10-4. A’s starter Sean Manaea went six innings and allowed one hit.
The A’s played four against the Angels last week. They won three of the four. The Padres split their four games series with the Colorado Rockies.
Both teams are in the second Wild Card spot in their respective leagues. If the Wild Card Games were to be played today, The Padres would travel to Dodger Stadium and face the Dodgers. The A’s would fly to Boston for the one-game playoff against the Red Sox.
The probable pitchers for the series will feature the Padres’ lefty Blake Snell going against Sean Manaea. Frankie Montas will go for Oakland Wednesday, and Joe Musgrove pitches for San Diego.
Fernando Tatis, Jr. will not be in the PAdre lineup as he suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder. The Padres placed him on the 10-day IL.
The Padres still have a lot of firepower on their roster. Keep your eyes on third baseman Manny Machado, Second Baseman Jake Cronenworth, Adam Frazier, and Eric Hosmer. Tommy Pham, Wil Meyers, and Trent Grisham all can win ball games for San Diego.
Marte, Harrison, and Gomes have bolstered the A’s offense. The A’s are now four and 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. The Astros made two moves to bolster their bullpen. They traded for former A’s starter Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners. The M’s converted Graveman to a closer, and he has resurrected his career. The Astros also acquired Yimi Garcia from Miami to strengthen the ‘pen.
The A’s are 60-47 for the season. They made the moves to better the team. The A’s have made the playoffs the last three seasons. They know how to win. They can do it by playing better against the Mariners, Rangers, and Astros. The A’s meet the Rangers six times in the next two weeks. The last-place Rangers have given the A’ fits this year. The Rangers traded their best player, Joey Gallo, to the Yankees. Hopefully, the A”s will turn the tables on the Rangers.
The A’s now they can beat the Padres. A’s fans will be hoping for a sweep. The Padres have other thoughts.