Week 7 of the NFL features two teams who don’t have or haven’t established an identity of what kind of team each will be. The Denver Broncos will travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals. Denver has gotten off to a 2-4 start with wins over the Raiders and the Seahawks. A tough loss last week against the Rams showed that they can play. They have a tough defense but has not played well as well as a pretty good running game. Von Miller leads the defense but has given up 154 points over the first 6 games. Some of their losses have been blowouts to the Jets where they gave up 34 points and 27 to the Ravens and Seahawks. Then they have had good games defensively holding the potent Rams to 23 and losing a tough Monday night battle with the division-leading Chiefs. They will face a rookie QB with two starts and is 1-1. Denver needs to rely on the running game and shutting down the run so they are forced to put the rookie in tough situations to convert first downs and TD’s.
The Cardinals have a 1-5 record in which their only win was against division rival San Francisco. One reason they won is because the 49ers turned the ball over five times and only won by 8 points. They are 0-5 in the other games that have produced little to nothing offensively even with one of the best RB and a WR who is found the fountain of youth. The Cardinals have scored 76 points in six games and that will not get it done. Defensively after a few mix-ups has responded well since 81 points in the last 4 games compared to 58 in the first two games. They have had tough losses as well including a GW-FG loss to Seattle and another 2-point loss to the Bears. Last weekend they were in the game until they ran out of gas in the 4th quarter against a stacked Minnesota team.
Which offenses will show up will be the question tonight but both defenses have out-performed their respective offenses.
The Thursday preview of Fantasy Football ramifications will be broken down below between the Broncos and Cardinals from Glendale to get you a good jump on your week.
Case Keenum was one of the FA names that came up for QB when the Vikings decided not to re-sign him in spite leading them to the NFC Championship Game losing to the eventual champion Eagles. Keenum has thrown for 1687 yards but leads the NFL in INT’s with 8. If he is forced to throw the ball in long situations it bodes very badly for the Broncos’ fortunes. Arizona’s defense is 14th in the league in passing yards but 31st in rushing yards allowed. Keenum needs to manage the game and establish the run and establish play-action when needed. How does this affect Fantasy Football looking for a good QB play? Keenum is a QB 2 or 3 this week. Denver will rely on its running game to be successful.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have combined for 618 yards and 3 TD’s with Lindsay leading the way with 346 yards. He is a good candidate for a starting RB vs. a 31st ranked run team of the Cardinals. The Broncos will be establishing the run and my bet is Lindsay will be the one to get the majority of carries. If you are looking for a guy with TD capability then Freeman would be your best bet.
WR / TE
The Broncos are led by Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas at WR. Both are No. 2 candidates for WR and are probably not good plays this week with the Broncos looking to establish the run. If there are no other candidates to play on your team then Sanders would be the best available pick as he has 40 catches and two TD’s. Jeff Heuermann is a serviceable TE but probably a No. 3 choice at TE.
Josh Rosen was the 1st round pick for Arizona last spring and has started the last two games taking over for the ineffective and often-injured Sam Bradford. Rosen has mixed results going 1-1 with a win against the 49ers and a loss against the Vikings. Rosen has two TD’s and two INT’s. He has thrown for 626 yards in the two games. Rosen will look to throw the ball against the 14th ranked pass defense. With weapons offensively and hopefully the O-Line will protect Rosen to allow him to exploit the defense. Throwing the ball should be mixed in with the run as Denver has struggled against the run. Rosen has to be accurate and use the running game to his advantage. He is a good No. 2 option or realistically QB 1.5.
David Johnson is a RB1 and an obvious choice to start. Denver’s defense against the run is ranked 32nd otherwise known as last in NFL. Johnson has come off injury in 2017 but had over 2000 yards from scrimmage in 2016. He is healthy and running the ball very well. His speed and power is a big asset to Josh Rosen learning the ropes at QB for a team that is 1-5. David Johnson is a must play for Fantasy this week. Arizona’s offense is 32nd in Rush yards but David Johnson is a fantasy starter.
Larry Fitzgerald has regained his form from years gone by. He has 22 catches for 215 yards but has yet to find the end zone. Fitz has a complimentary piece this year in rookie Christian Kirk. Kirk has had a successful rookie year with 25 catches and long TD catch against the 49ers. Both are good picks but probably No. 2 WR’s. Arizona’s offense is 31st in passing. TE is not an option for Fantasy as Jermaine Gresham and Ricky Seals-Jones are pass catching and blocking TE’s who don’t contribute to the passing game as Rosen has really developed a rapport with Kirk more so than Fitzgerald. Seals-Jones is not a good matchup facing the Broncos.
Defenses have kind of switched from the beginning of the year to where they both have switched good to bad and bad to good. Arizona has improved the defense the last few weeks but still has a 1-5 record while Denver started 2-0 and now is 2-4 3 games behind KC. Neither defense is worth picking up in fantasy week. But neither offense has performed up to standard either. Stay away from defenses on Thursday night football.
Denver comes into the game as small -1 favorite with the total being at 42.5. The totals have been especially high for the league this season but this might be accurate being in that both teams offenses have not performed as expected. Denver has lost four in a row while Arizona is 1-1 since starting 0-4. Both teams passing games are adequate at best but both teams can run the ball. Denver’s defense has played terribly in losses to KC and the Jets but played better at home against the Rams. Still it’s not very good. The Cardinals look to have some synchronicity over the last two weeks since Rosen has taken over at QB. He has help with future HOF’er Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk at receivers plus the all-purpose, when healthy 1500 yds+ David Johnson in the backfield.
Not exactly the matchup that Fox or the NFL Network wanted, but every team has to play on a Thursday.
Don’t forget to listen to the Fantasy Football Doctors podcast with Dr. Charlie O. Mallonee and myself Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty on SportsServiceRadio.com for the rest of the NFL as it relates to Fantasy Football.
Any correspondence you may have can be sent to my Twitter account @VPartySports or directly to Sports Radio Service.
Week 5 of the NFL has a matchup of two teams who have played just ok to start the year. The Patriots, everyone’s gold standard has been nothing short of pedestrian the first 3 weeks but then, after the ugly upset in Detroit two Sunday nights ago, came back and showed the 1st place and previously undefeated Dolphins that they are not exactly conceding the AFC East yet with a 38-7 win in which all three phases played extremely well. Specifically, the defense who had been shell-shocked stepped up and held Miami to very little offensive production.
The Colts have started out 1-3 but have been very competitive in all four games including a big upset win at Washington who some believe could win the NFC East. The Colts had the lead vs. the Bengals in week 1 but the defense let them down. The Redskins win was very big. The Eagles loss was late in the 4th and because of Luck’s arm strength, not all the way back had to use their backup Brissett for late heave on the final play of the game. Last week, after coming back down 14 to send it to OT, they decided to forgo a punt and a potential tie to end up losing in OT to Houston.
The question here is can the Colts be competitive at New England a place that has been a house of horrors including the bludgeoning by the Pats in the AFC Championship game some years ago, that eventually lead to the whole “Deflate-Gate” situation. Ever since then the Patriots have made it a personal mission to go after the Colts every time.
The Thursday preview of Fantasy Football ramifications will be broken down below between the Patriots and Colts to get you a good jump on your week.
Andrew Luck is certainly back and has shown the competitive fire when he was completely healthy in his first few years. Post-surgery has been a question mark of exactly how healthy he is. He’s had 4 pretty good games but the arm strength is not there. That was never more evident than the end of the game in week 3 vs. Philadelphia when they took him out on the final play of the game. Luck is a good choice because he doesn’t make mistakes and won’t cost owners negative points. The Patriots defense hasn’t been good all year until this last weekend. This is a spot where Luck could succeed but if there are other options I would use them. This could be a tough spot for Luck considering the history between the two teams and the way the Patriots played last weekend.
This section of the Colt’s preview is going to consist of one sentence. Unless you have bye-weeks and injury, there are no options for the Colts from the RB standpoint. Wilkins and Hymes are the two main backs for Indy but these are clearly RB3 and RB4 options. Not to totally dump on them Hymes did have nine catches for 63 yards last week in the OT Loss vs. Houston. All in all, if you have to rely on the Colts RB for fantasy points then you can expect a loss without having to worry about other positions.
WR / TE
Receivers are a different story for the Colts because of Luck and his ability to find open receivers. They have had success in the air for the four weeks so far this season. TY Hilton has been Luck’s “go to” receiver, but he will not be available on Thursday night due to injury. He would be a 1.5 or WR2 on any fantasy team because Luck will look for him. Ryan Grant the former Redskins player is another option for Luck. Luck’s lack of arm strength enables the offense to get quick short passes out and this could be an option for a TE with the skill of Eric Ebron as a solid TE2. He has been a very good option through the first four weeks and should be a decent option.
Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady. He is everyone’s QB1. While his numbers have not been great this year, he has the ability to pick up numbers. The running game has featured a few injuries and potential roadblocks to a decent running game. This could be a great spot for Brady to attack the Colt’s defense. Coming off a big victory last week vs. Miami and at 2-2 challenging for the division again should be enough motivation for Tom Terrific to have one of his great, or at least really, really, really good game. Not to mention whenever he is on National TV he always seems to rise to the top. Start him!!
Rex Burkhead has been up and down and suffered an injury that caused him to miss last week vs. Miami and that has now landed him on the IR list. James White has been in the system for a few years. He has been effective but nothing more than a solid RB3 because there are other options that can be used. However, the star of the blowout last week was rookie RB Sony Michel. The rookie from Georgia is a quick, small load. 112 yards last week on 25 carries. Granted a lot of that was after the Pats established a big lead but he is an effective back and if the Patriots get out to a big lead again look for him to get a good workload going. He is a solid RB2 for your team.
WR / TE
Rob Gronkowski came out early last week against Miami with a non-serious injury. Bumps and bruises are starting to get in the way of fantasy football owners as well as bye weeks. Check your injury reports to find out what his status is. You may not know until near game time what Gronk’s status is but the faster we find out the faster the click to No. 1 TE button and start him. He’s the best TE or definitely top 3 so he’s a clear TE1 pending injury status. Phillip Dorsett has become a deep threat for Brady since the loss of Cooks from last year. The big question is how much will Josh Gordon be implemented into the offense. With the potential of Gronk being out feeling is that Gordon knowing the playbook better and the Colts secondary not playing very well could be another factor to make Gordon a starter on your team this week. WR1.5 or WR2 is the most likely spot for Gordon because of the ability for Tom Brady to utilize his entire offensive weapons.
Special Teams/ Defense
Both special teams and defenses have been shaky at best. Though the Colts has played pretty well before week 4’s OT loss vs. Houston. 34 vs. Cincinnati, 9 in a win vs. Washington, 20 vs. Philadelphia and 37 vs. Houston. Lots of yards and lots of points on defense has gotten them off to a 1-3 start. Not a good play on the Colts defense. The Patriots gave up 20 to a struggling Houston offense in a win, 31 given up to a so-so offense in Jacksonville in a loss, 24 to a Lions team whose offense is pretty good but a bad night overall. Last week looked the part for NE has they had all phases working but defensively was outstanding giving up 7 points and thoroughly stifling the Dolphins offense. This is a good play for the Patriots to start as a defense for the following reasons; it’s Thursday night football, a home game and finally the last game of domination against Miami.
Patriots are -10 with an over/under of 51. This might be a low number based on last Sunday’s game if, in fact, the Patriots are back from their dominant win over Miami. The Colts could find themselves in a tough spot coming off an OT Loss on Sunday and then trying to get ready for a potential Super Bowl contender only 3 days rest. This could be a bad spot for Indy and NE licking their chops. This is where Belichick and the coaches are the best prepared when it comes to preparing for two opponents at the same time.
Don’t forget to listen to our Fantasy Football Doctors podcast with Dr. Charlie O. Mallonee and myself Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty on SportsServiceRadio.com for the rest of the NFL as it relates to Fantasy Football.
Any correspondence you may have can be sent to my twitter account @VPartySports or directly to Sports Service Radio.
There is a possibility that the PGA Tour could be heading to the Bay Area–closer than Napa or Monterey–soon. In the meantime, however, the Web.com Tour–the minor-league affiliate of the PGA Tour–is here, and it is getting ready to kick off again.
The Ellie Mae Classic will commence play Thursday morning at Hayward’s TPC Stonebrae, and there will be a familiar face on the course, at least for the first two days.
Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry, who is a scratch golfer, will make his second appearance at this event. He is not expected to make the cut, but that will not stop fans from coming out on Thursday and Friday to get an up-close glimpse of the NBA star.
Curry will tee it up alongside Northern California natives Martin Trainer and Cameron Champ, who won the Utah Championship just three weeks ago. The group will begin Thursday’s first round at 9:06 am PST and will start on the 10th hole.
The group will play later on in the day on Friday, as the threesome will go off at 2:26 pm PST, as the tour gives players one morning tee time and one in the afternoon for the first two days, after which the cut line will be established.
Curry did not make the cut last year, but he did give a good account of himself after shooting a pair of 74’s.
He is playing on a sponsor’s exemption, which means that he did not have to go through local qualifying for the event. NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, on the other hand, went through local qualifying, but it did not go very well at all, as he withdrew after only 10 holes in the Monday qualifier.
Last year’s event was won by Martin Piller, who is now on the PGA Tour.
OAKLAND — Game five of the 2018 Bay Bridge Series – the second of three to be played in Oakland – was played before the largest crowd to witness a Major League Baseball this season. The A’s (56-43) decided to take the tarps off the seats in the upper deck known as “Mount Davis” for the first time since 2006. The result was 56,310 Bay Area baseball fans were treated to a “wild and woolly” affair.
The top the ninth arrived at the Oakland Coliseum, and as usual, it was Treinen time. The A’s held a slim 3-2 lead over the Giants, but the A’s have been the masters of winning one-run games (15-8) in 2018. Treinen retired the first two batters — Posey and Sandoval on groundouts. The third hitter of the inning – Alen Hanson – struck out, but the strike three pitch was wild, got by the catcher and Hanson wound up safe at first (this is now the first paragraph of a Stephen King novel).
Hunter Pence then hit a pitch into right field that rolled into foul territory and into the Giants bullpen for a double, and Alen Hanson scored on the play. As right fielder Stephen Piscotty charged the ball, a member of the Giants bullpen picked up a chair and made contact with the outfielder. The Athletics contended that it should have been a “dead ball” at that point which would have kept the run from scoring. There is no rule that umpires could invoke, so the A’s challenged the play on a boundary call. A video review of the play upheld the call on the field. When the top of the ninth inning was over, the game was tied at 3-3.
The A’s were unable to score in the bottom of the ninth, so it was on to extra innings.
There was no scoring in the 10th inning and the Giants (51-49) failed to produce any runs in the top of the 11th frame.
The A’s are late inning battlers
Teams are learning that they cannot let the A’s hang around late in games and continue to have chances to score – because they will. That is exactly what happened on Saturday night.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Giants put LHP Will Smith on the mound. Piscotty grounded out to lead off the inning for Oakland. Dustin Fowler was then robbed of a hit when he lifted a “flare” to shallow right-center and shortstop Brandon Crawford made an outstanding sliding catch beyond the bag at second.
With two out, Matt Chapman picked up his third hit of the game with a single up the middle. Chad Pinder followed up with a single to left-center that moved Chapman up to second. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy – who did not enter the game until the 10th inning – singled to right-center field and Chapman never had any thoughts of doing anything but crossing home plate to score the winning run which he did.
The A’s won the game 4-3 to even the series in Oakland at 1-1 and to take a 3-2 lead in the six-game series after five games.
The walk off single was Lucroy’s second of the season. The Athletics are now 7-4 in extra inning games for the season and improved to 14-6 in games decided in the last at bat.
On the Hill
The Giants started their one-time superstar – LHP Madison Bumgarner – who has struggled since coming back from a broken finger on his pitching hand. “MadBum” looked strong in the opening four innings, but the A’s hitters got patient and things went south for Bumgarner in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Bumgarner loaded the bases and walked two runs in to give the A’s the lead 2-1 which ended his night. Sam Dyson came in to relieve Bumgarner and induced Mark Canha to hit into a double play but Chad Pinder scored the A’s third run on the play.
Bumgarner worked 4.0-plus innings giving up three runs (earned). He walked six and struck out five.
Will Smith (0-1) took the loss.
Trevor Cahill started the game for Oakland. It was his second start since coming off the disabled list. He worked 5.2-innings and gave up one run (earned) on a home run to Brandon Belt. Cahill struck out five and walked three.
Blake Treinen was charged with his fourth blown save of the season as he gave up the tying run when Hunter Pence hit the RBI-double into the bullpen along the right field line.
Yusmeiro Petit picks up his fifth win of the year as he was the pitcher of record after working a perfect top of the 11th inning for the A’s.
At the Plate
Matt Chapman went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead the A’s with the bat. He is now hitting at a .253 clip.
Stephen Piscotty hit his 26th double of the year off Bumgarner.
Phegley (10), Semien (34) and Lucroy (28) all recorded RBI for the A’s.
Oakland went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.
Hunter Pence likes being a DH. He went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI as the Giants DH Saturday night.
The Giants also went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 8 men on base.
Let the buying begin
The question has been answered. The A’s are going to be buyers as the non-wavier trade deadline approaches. Oakland has acquired RHP relief pitcher Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets for two minor leaguers and $1-million in international slot money. Familia appeared in 40 games for NYM posting a 2.88 ERA with a 1.230 WHIP. He has struck out 43 in 40.2-innings and walked just 14. Familia has given up just one home run. He will be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season.
Get those suitcases packed
The A’s will head out on the road after the game on Sunday for a seven-game, two-city road trip. They will play four games in hot, humid Arlington, Texas versus the Rangers. All four games are night contests. There is no thought of day baseball this time of year in the Metroplex. After the four games in Texas, Oakland heads to Denver to play three games at Coors Field with the Colorado Rockies. The power hitting Athletics may find batting at a mile-high just to their liking.
Lonnnnng homestand coming
The A’s will return home from their road trip on Monday, July 30 to begin a stretch where 17 of their next 20 games will be played in Oakland. The only break in the homestand is three games in Anaheim with the Angels. Oakland will host the Blue Jays, Tigers, Dodgers, Mariners, Astros and Rangers in those 17 home games.
A belated parade for the 1989 World Champions
The 1989 World Champion Oakland Athletics were honored with long overdue parade to celebrate their 1989 World Series sweep of the San Francisco Giants. The team did not receive the parade because they did not want to show disrespect to those who lost loved ones in the tragic earthquake that disrupted the series. The celebration before the game was very nice. The one sad thing was there are several players that have passed on who could be there to be a part of the pregame honor.
The sixth and final game of the 2018 Bay Bridge Series will be played on Sunday at the Coliseum at 1:05 PM. The Giants will send RHP Johnny Cueto to the mound for his third start since coming off the disabled list on July 5th. He is 3-1 on the year with a 2.36 ERA. Cueto is 2-0 in Interleague games this season.
The A’s will counter with LHP Sean Manaea who 4-0 with a 3.14 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of June. His overall record this season is 9-6 with a 3.42 ERA. Manaea has an 11-game winning streak when pitching in day games that dates back to May 20, 2017. He is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts versus the Giants.
The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. A Triple-A team serves two purposes for a major league franchise:
It is the place where the major team stashes its backup players they may need if injuries or poor performance require an immediate roster change without having to make a trade or having to go to the waiver wire.
Triple-A is the highest rung on the minor league ladder. It is where the final determinations are made whether a player can or cannot make it in “the show”. Being promoted to Triple-A is no guarantee of making a major league roster before your career is over. Triple-A can also be the end of a very long road for a player.
The River Cats play in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Divison along with the Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) and Reno Aces (D-Backs). There are four divisions and 16 teams in the PCL. The other Triple-A association is the International League which is comprised of 14 teams.
The Pacific Coast League has traditionally been known for high batting averages and inflated Earned Run Averages. This is due in part to the fact that many of the teams play at higher altitudes or in weather conditions where the ball tends to carry farther. Player personnel directors have always had to hope that pitchers ERA’s would improve over their Triple-A stats and expect that hitters batting averages would be at least 50 to 100-points less in the majors than they were in the PCL.
The Giants called up three players from Sacramento on Saturday. Because of the doubleheader on Saturday, San Francisco was able to expand the roster to 26 for Saturday only. RHP Derek Law from the River Cats was called up to cover that special spot.
The Giants had to place second baseman Joe Panik on the 10-day disabled list due to a left thumb strain. San Francisco selected the contract of Alen Hanson from Sacramento to take Panik’s place on the roster.
Right fielder Mac Williamson has been put on the seven-day disabled list because of a possible concussion. River Cats outfielder Austin Slater received the temporary promotion to the MLB.
Sacramento can also be a rehab location
Giants outfielder Hunter Pence went on the 10-day disabled list on April 20 with a right thumb sprain. Pence was batting just .172 when he went on the DL, but the Giants would certainly be happy to have a player with his experience and leadership ability back with the club as soon as possible because Pence will not stay below the “Mendoza Line” much longer.
Pence played in Sacramento on Friday night on a rehab assignment. He played in right field and went 0-3 at the plate striking out twice but Pence did score the first run of the game for the River Cats. Pence reached first base on a throwing error in the bottom of the first inning and ultimately came home to score. Sacramento won the game downing Reno 6-4. It was the River Cats third consecutive win.
River Cats current situation
Sacramento is 10-11 so far in the month of April and is in third-place in the PCL Pacific North. They are 4.5 games back of division-leading Fresno. The River Cats are 5-4 at home and 5-7 on the road. They are 5-5 in their last 10-games and have won three games in a row.
It is important to keep in mind that winning games, divisions and league championships is not the number goal for a Triple-A franchise. The number one goal is player development followed closely by keeping backup players for the “big club” in shape and ready to go at a moments notice.
The Giants would we very happy to see the River Cats fighting for the PCL championship because it would mean their prospects are playing great baseball and their backup players are not needed in the majors because the major league stars are not getting injured. That is a perfect scenario that seldom exists as the Giants have already demonstrated this season.
Who to watch in Sacramento
The key prospects to watch in SAC are:
OF/1B – Chris Shaw – he is not on the 40-man roster. Currently, Shaw is playing left field which makes sense with Brandon Belt having a career year at first base. He is batting .247 with an on-base percentage of .310. Shaw has hit five home runs and has posted 15 RBI in 19 games. He is rated the number two prospect in the Giants minor league system.
OF – Steven Duggar – another player who is not on the 40-man roster. Duggar is playing outfield and leading off for the River Cats. He is currently hitting .274 with a .354 on-base percentage. Duggar has walked nine times and has three steals. He has one home run, six RBI and has scored 14 runs in 18 games. Duggar is the number three rated Giants minor league player.
RHP – Tyler Beede – this player is on the Giants 40-man roster. Maybe no other minor league player in the Giants system has been talked more about than Beede. Drafted in the first-round in 2014, Giants fans have been expecting him to join the starting rotation almost every year. There was much anticipation that Beede might be brought up last season but control issues and a season-ending groin injury put that idea to an end. He did make two starts this season for San Francisco recording a no-decision in the first start and a loss in the second start. Beede is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts with the River Cats since being sent back to Triple-A. He is ranked the number four best prospect in the system.
OF – Austin Slater – has been called up to the Giants because Pence and Williamson are on the DL. In 14 games with the River Cats, Slater was hitting .358 with a .435 OBP. He posted one home run, eight doubles, and 13 RBI. Slater scored 13 runs. He is rated the number five player in the system.
LHP – Andrew Suarez – he is a member of the 40-man roster. Suarez did get a start with the Giants vs Arizona and was hung with the loss. He has made three starts for SAC and has a 2-0 record with a 1.08 ERA. Suarez has struck out 16 hitters, walked 7 and has a WHIP of 1.02. He listed as the number 10 prospect. Keep your eye on this pitcher.
LHP – D.J. Snelten – another member of the 40-man roster. This 6-foot-6 lefty is making the transition to becoming a reliever. Snelten has made six appearances for Sacramento and has a record of 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 9.0 innings of work. He has allowed just six hits (no home runs), walked five, struck out seven with a 1.22 WHIP. He is listed as the 27th best minor league player in the Giants system.
There will be many moves to come
With April just coming to a close, there are many more moves involving the Sacramento River Cats to made during the 2018 season. More players will travel west to San Francisco. Some players will travel east to SAC. Other player players will get promoted from Richmond and will go from being a Flying Squirrel to being a River Cat.
Watch for weekly updates, special features, and updates as needed as Sports Radio Service keeps you informed on the happenings down on the farm in Sacramento.
The Oakland A’s can score runs. On Saturday night in Seattle, they put eight runs up on the board which frankly should be enough to win any major league game. The problem is the A’s pitchers gave up 10 runs to the Mariners and Oakland lost their second game in a row 10-8.
The Athletics four pitchers gave 10 runs off 17 hits. They gave up four home runs in the game. The A’s pitchers gave up three 2-out RBI which breaks the back of team trying to get healthy on the road. Ironically, the Oakland pitchers issued only two walks.
The performance of A’s starting pitcher Kendall Graveman (0-3) has to be of real concern to the coaching staff and the front office. Graveman made his fourth start on Saturday night and lasted only four innings. He gave up five runs (all earned) on eight hits. Graveman – who was the losing pitcher – recorded five strikeouts and walked two hitters. He gave up one home run – a three-shot with two out in the bottom of the second to Jean Segura (1).
A’s television color analyst Ray Fosse believes Graveman needs to change his pitching style back to what he was doing last season. Graveman was pitching like a classic “sinker-baller” who was working to get a ground ball out and not a strikeout. This season, Graveman appears to have upped his velocity and is going after strikeouts which does not seem to be working out very well for the pitcher.
Oakland used three relievers on Saturday. Danny Coulombe came on in relief of Graveman and was hit hard by the M’s. He issued three runs (two earned) off four hits including one home run. Emilio Pagan worked 1.1 innings of relief and posted all deuces in the book. He allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits – both home runs.
The one positive out of the bullpen in the for the Athletics was the performance of Yusmeiro Petit. Petit came on in the seventh inning and stopped the Mariners in their tracks. He worked two innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out two batters.
Seattle used seven pitchers in the contest. The M’s starter Marco Gonzales lasted just 3.1 innings giving up four runs (all earned) off five hits. Chasen Bradford relieved Gonzales and ultimately was awarded his first win of the season. Edwin Diaz came in for the top of the ninth inning to record his sixth save of the season. It is not very often you will see a team score 10 runs and need their closer to come into the game to record a save.
The seven Mariners pitchers gave up eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits. They walked three and combined for 11 strikeouts.
A’s with the bat
Mark Canha had a big game. He went 2-for-5 at the plate and hit his first home run of the season.
Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 on the night with one RBI and a run scored.
Khris Davis hit his fifth home run of the season – a two-run shot in the seventh inning with two outs.
Stephen Piscotty also had a nice game with the bat. He hit his first home run of the season while going 2-for-4 in the game picking up two RBI.
Seattle was in power mode with their bats
Segura, Haniger, Seager, and Vogelbach all hit round-trippers off A’s pitchers in the Mariners win.
Seager and Vogelbach each recorded a double.
The M’s went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
The final game of the series and the road trip will take place on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM. The A’s will send lefty Sean Manaea (1-2, 1.74) to the hill to face the Mariners “King” Felix Hernandez (2-1, 6.00).