Frazier homers late to give Mets a 7-3 victory over the Giants

Photo credit: @Mets

By Jeremy Kahn

NEW YORK — Todd Frazier gave the New York Mets the win on one swing off the bat against Mark Melancon.

Frazier hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning off of Melancon, helping the Mets to a 7-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants before a crowd of 28,857 at Citi Field.

He golfed it out, he is a pretty good hitter, said Bruce Bochy.

Following the Frazier two-run home run, Melancon then gave up a single to Adeiny Hechavarria and then a double to Juan Lagares that saw Hechavarria blow through the stop of third-base coach Gary Disarcina to give the Mets a 6-3 lead.

Jeff McNeil drove in the final run of the game, as he singled to right field to score Lagares. In all, Melancon faced 10 batters in that one inning, giving up four runs on five hits, walking one and did not strike out a batter.

It was a tough no-decision for Shaun Anderson, who went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking three and striking out three.

The game did not start well for Anderson, as he gave up back-to-back home runs to lead off the game to Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith.

Thats all you get, said Anderson, concerning the trip to the mound by Matt Herges following the back-to-back home runs.

The pitch to Rosario was a fastball and the pitch to Smith was a slider, according to Anderson.

Anderson joins Roger Mason and Bud Black as the only pitchers in Giants history (since 1958) to allow back-to-back home runs to start a game.

Mason did it on April 13, 1987, as he surrendered back-to-back-to-back home runs to Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn and John Kruk in a 13-6 Giants victory at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.

Black was the last Giants pitcher to give up back-to-back home runs to Jacob Brumfield and Bret Boone of the Cincinnati Reds on August 3, 1994, in a 17-4 Giants loss at Candlestick Park.

Former Giants farmhand Zack Wheeler retired the first eight batters he faced, but he then Anderson on the right forearm with two outs in the top of the third inning; however, he regrouped to get Joe Panik to popup to Rosario to end the inning.
Brandon Belt tied up the game with one swing of the bat, as he hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning. Mike Yastrzemski broke up Wheelers bid at a no-hitter, as he led off the inning with a single.

Pablo Sandoval gave the Giants the lead in the top of the sixth inning, as he launched a 438-foot home run into the second deck of the right field seats. It was the second longest home run of the season for the Giants, behind the 441 foot home run by Tyler Austin.

Reyes Moronta was unable to secure the victory for Anderson, as he gave up a bloop single to McNeil to score Lagares, who led off the inning by walking, then Tomas Nido singled and that was the end of Anderson.

I am pretty pissed about that leadoff walk, said Anderson.

Tony Watson came on to replace Moronta, and the only batter he faced, pinch-hitter J.D. Davis grounded into a double play that ended the inning.

What a job Waddy did, said Bochy.

NOTES: This was the first time since May 9 that the Giants gave up back-to-back home runs in a game. Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds turned the trick for the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

As for the Mets, this was the third time in team history that they led off a game with back-to-back home runs. Jose Reyes and Ruben Gotay did it on July 12, 2007 against the Cincinnati Reds, and then on August 16, 2016, Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera went to back-to-back against the Philadelphia Phillies.

UP NEXT: Following the 4-5 road trip thru Miami, Baltimore and New York, the Giants return home for an eight-game home stand beginning on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Drew Pomeranz will take the mound in the opener for the Giants, while Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers.

Jeff Samardzija will face Rich Hill on Saturday, and on Sunday, Madison Bumgarner will face Walker Buehler before a day off on Monday.

A’s explode for 10 runs to win second in a row over the White Sox in Chicago

CWS graphic

by Charlie O. Mallonee

No, you did not read the headline wrong. The Oakland Athletics beat the White Sox 10-2 on Saturday and have now won back-to-back games on the road in Chicago. This A’s team had won just nine game on the road this season going into the series with the Chisox. They are now 11-25 on the road after winning on Friday and Saturday. Winning on the road is key for the A’s to even their record at .500 which is the most important goal for this team right now.

This was a game of record setting first

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Rookie Franklin Barreto celebrates his first home run*
  • Three Oakland A’s rookies hit their first major league home run in this game. That had never happened in Major League history.
  • Matt Olson hit his first career home run in the top of the first inning off the very tough veteran pitcher James Shields. Matt Joyce was on base so the HR was a two-run shot. Olson was not done. He hit another two-run round-tripper in the top of the seventh off Jake Petricka. Olson finished the game going 2-for-3 with four RBI and two walks.
  • Rookie center fielder Jaycob Brugman stepped in the batter’s box to face Shields in the top of the second inning with one out and the bases empty. Brugman hit the ball over the wall in right center field for his first career home.
  • Franklin Barreto — the A’s number one rated minor league prospect — played for the Nashville Sounds in Oklahoma City on Friday night. After the game, he was told to report to the big club in Chicago. Barreto was initially told he would not play on Saturday. That situation changed and he was inserted into the starting lineup. In the third inning Barreto hit a one out, two-run home run off James Shields for his first major league hit and home run. Barreto finished the day going 2-for-5.
  • There was one more first in the game. Starting pitcher Daniel Gossett recorded the first win of his career in the contest. Gossett (1-2) pitched 6.0-innings giving up two runs (no earned runs). He struck five while walking just one White Sox batter. He threw 93 pitches — 64 strikes.
MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Daniel Gossett recorded his first win of the season*

Every batter in the A’s lineup recorded a hit

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Rosales had a 2-for-5 game*

The A’s pulled off a rare feat on Saturday when every player in the lineup picked up a hit. They scored 10 runs on 15 hits that included four home runs (all hit by rookies) and one double. They drew six walks. Oakland left 13 runners on base and was 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position as a team.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell who was called back to the majors when Stephen Vogt was DFA’d went 3-for-5 and scored two runs in the game. He also did another fine job in handling the pitchers in the game.

The number nine hitter — Adam Rosales — had a big day at the plate. Rosales went 2-for-5, scored two runs and had one RBI for the A’s.

Oakland relievers do their job

A trio of A’s relievers each worked one inning after Gossett was done for the day. Daniel Coulombe, John Axford and Michael Brady combined to hold the Chisox to no runs on no hits in final three frames. In fact, they did not allow a base runner in their relief efforts.

There was a negative — three Oakland errors

The A’s did commit three errors in the game. They were very fortunate that they happened in a game where they scored 10 runs and could compensate for them.

Errors were charged to Barreto (1, fielding), Rosales (6, fielding) and Healy (13, throwing).

The White Sox committed two miscues of their own on defense.

Chicago notes

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Rick Renteria watched the end of the game from the locker room*

James Shields took the loss and his record drops to 1-1.

Alen Hanson had the only multi-hit game for the White Sox going 2-for-4.

Todd Frazier and manager Rick Renteria were ejected from the game in the seventh inning for arguing with the umpires after a video review went against the Sox. It was the first ejection Frazier’s career.

A’s go for the sweep on Sunday

Sonny Gray (2-3, 4.84) will take the ball for A’s on Sunday. Gray lost his last start on Wednesday when he gave up five runs on seven hits to the red hot Houston Astros.

LHP Derek Holland (5-7, 4.48) will go to the hill for the White Sox. Holland also made his last start on Wednesday and he lost that game to the Minnesota Twins. The Twins roughed him up for seven runs on nine hit in just 2.2-innings.

First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. PDT.

*Photos by Patrick Gorski of USA Today Sports

Oakland A’s Sunday game wrap:White Sox pitching too strong again as A’s lose 4-2

8-21-16

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Chicago White Sox won the “rubber game” of the three-game series with the Oakland A’s on Sunday 4-2. The loss dropped the A’s record on the six-game road trip to 1-5.

The White Sox struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning with two of those runs scoring with two out. When a team is having trouble winning games, allowing two runs to score with two men out is a back-breaker. It certainly was for the A’s on Sunday.

The A’s did cut the Chicago lead to one run in the top of the fourth inning when Khris Davis hit a two-run home run (32) to center field but that would be all the scoring for Oakland in game.

Jose Abreu – who has become an Athletics killer – led off the bottom of the fourth inning with his 16th home run of year to give the White Sox a much needed insurance run and a 4-2 lead in the game. That would prove to be the final scoring play of the game.

On the Bump

The White Sox were able to lean on their starting pitching again on Sunday as they sent LHP Jose Quintana to the mound in search of his 10th win of the 2016 season. Quintana had not been able to get that 10th victory in his two previous outings.

Quintana had everything working for him on Sunday. He gave up just two runs (both earned) on eight hits. The two runs did come off a home run. Quintana walked one and struck out eight Oakland batters. He faced 29 hitters and threw 99 pitches (66 strikes) in his 7.0 innings of work. Quintana did pick up the win and his record now stands at 10-9.

The Chicago bullpen was solid in helping Quintana get the win. Nate Jones came on in relief in the eighth inning and gave up no runs on one hit. He struck out two and was credited with holding the lead for the starter for the 25th time this season.

RHP closer David Robertson took over in the top of the ninth inning for the White Sox. Robertson did give up a lead-off single to Yonder Alonso but then settled down to retire the side and pick up his 32nd save of the year.

Zach Neal (2-3) made another emergency start for the A’s. Neal had actually been reassigned to the bullpen when it appeared that Jesse Hahn would be back to start this game for Oakland. When it was determined Hahn could not go, Neal stepped back into the starters role.

Neal gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning with those runs coming after what should have been an inning-ending double play. Neal would give up one additional run on a Abreu home run in fourth inning, and he ultimately became responsible for the loss.

Neal pitched 4.2 innings giving up the four runs (all earned) on eight hits (one home run). He walked none and struck out two batters. His record now stands at 2-3 with a 5.49 ERA.

The A’s bullpen did a great job again on Sunday. The four Oakland relievers – Hendriks, Rzepczynski, Dull and Coulombe – allowed no runs on just three combined hits and one walk. The A’s bullpen is doing everything they can do to give their team a chance to get back into games and pick up wins.

In the Batter’s Box

The White Sox spread the offense over the entire line up again on Sunday. Seven of the nine men in the batting order picked up at least a base hit against the Oakland pitchers. Todd Frazier – who has been having a tough year with the bat – went 3-for-4 on Sunday driving in two of the Sox four runs. Frazier hit his 14th double of the season and picked up RBI 75 and 76 in the game.

Jose Abreu who hit his 16th home run of the season also scored two runs for Chicago.

Chicago Shortstop Tim Anderson had a 3-for-4 day and scored a run.

The White Sox went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

Khris Davis was the A’s man with the bat on Sunday. He hit his 32nd home run of year and picked up two RBI to make his total 79 for the season.

Marcus Semien was also seeing the ball well on Sunday. He hit two doubles (17) off Quintana in the game and also scored a run.

A’s rookie second baseman Chad Pinder started the second game of his career on Sunday and picked up the first hit of his major league career. Pinder hit a single off Quintana in the top of the seventh inning with one out. The pressure of getting the first hit is off and now Pinder can settle in and just be a hitter.

The A’s went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

Defense

The A’s did not turn a double-play that would have ended the bottom of the first inning and held the White Sox scoreless. Jose Abreu grounded into a force out to shortstop Marcus Semien who tossed the ball to second baseman Chad Pinder who stepped on the bag to erase Melky Cabrera. Pinder then threw to first. The throw was low and to the right of first baseman Yonder Alonso’s glove and he was unable to make the catch. Abreu was safe at first and Tim Anderson advanced from second to third with two out.

The play was one that fans have become used to seeing Alonso dig out of the ground on a regular basis but he was not able to do so on Sunday. The inning continued and Chicago scored three runs. Pinder was charged with an error for his throw.

Up Next

The A’s jumped on their plane after the game and headed home to Oakland where they have a three-game series with the American League Central Division leading Cleveland Indians. The pitching probables are:

Mon. 8/22 7:05 PM  RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 3.34) vs. RHP Andrew Triggs (0-1, 4.98)

Tue. 8/23 7:05 PM RHP Danny Salazar (11-4, 3.57) vs. LHP Sean Manaea (4-8, 4.73)

Wed. 8/24 12:35 PM RHP Trevor Bauer (9-5, 3.88) vs. RHP Kendall Graveman (9-8, 4:09)

Photo: Chicago Tribune

A Pitcher in the Home Run Derby? Why Madison Bumgarner Should Have Been Considered

By Matthew Harrington

Monday night, the annual tradition of launching baseballs into the atmosphere like NASA satellites will commence once again, as the MLB’s greatest current sluggers converge at Target Field in Minnesota for the 2014 Home Run Derby, a rocket launch to the 2014 All-Star Game Festivities in the Twin Cities.

Sure, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton and Yoenis Cespedes are going to put on a show, launch tape measure bombs and make Chris Berman yell “Back, back, back!” more times than a construction foreman guiding a reversing dump truck. Absolutely the field is filled with deserving candidates worthy of the honor to compete for the superfluous, superlative title of home run champion. The only problem is, National League captain missed a great opportunity to invite an unexpected participant; San Francisco Giants 2014 All-Star Madison Bumgarner.

With Bumgarner having pitched in Sunday’s first-half finale, he won’t be available to perform his duties in the Mid-Summer Classic Tuesday night, he’ll instead be replaced by teammate Tim Hudson. It’d certainly free him up for Monday Night’s fireworks display though, and here’s why he should be included.

Consider this blind sample:

Batter A – 13.33 at-bats per home run
Batter B – 16.81 at-bats per home run
Batter C – 27.46 at-bats per home run
Batter D – 14.76 at-bats per home run
Batter E – 19.05 at-bats per home run
Batter F – 28.58 at-bats per home run

The figures for batters B though F are this year’s National League Entrants in the home run derby Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Morneau, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Frazier and Yasiel Puig in that order. Subject A, the leader in long ball frequency amongst the above sample group, is Bumgarner. Over 40 at-bats this season, he has exited the park three times.

There are no doubts that Tulowitzki, NL leader in home runs (21, tied with Stanton) selected an entertaining senior circuit squad. Justin Morneau represents the veteran savvy, having won the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium after hitting four balls out of AT&T Park in the previous iteration. While other players were still adjusting to another season on April fourth, Stanton already showed his penchant for the tape-measure poke, launching the longest NL home run of the season an astounding 484 feet. Puig brings the flair, ranking fourth in the Majors in average distance per homer (417.3 feet) while Frazier brings the backstory. Tulowitzki selected Frazier based off a leadoff home run the Reds third basemen hit…for New Jersey in the Little League World Series. Surely, the Colorado shortstop couldn’t be accused of not bringing the best to Minneapolis.

That being said, Despite playing in the very homer-unfriendly AT&T Park (ranked 6th in the NL in home runs hit this season), Bumgarner has excelled at the big fly at home in 2014. Following Sunday’s grand slam, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 387-footer off starter Matt Stites, the Giants All-star collected all three of his first-half dinger on the banks of McCovey Cove this season. None came cheap, with the average distance for MadBum blasts measuring in at 402 feet. That matches or is better than Morneau (402), Frazier (398.6) and Tulowitzki (398.4). Sure, it’s a small sample size, but it’s an impressive one no less, and one that started the train of though to invite the lefty-throwing, righty-hitting starter.

If a small statistical pool is troublesome, let’s shed some light on what Bumgarner has done with the bat in comparison to some of his teammates. The Hickory, NC native currently sits in seventh place amongst Giants hitters in offensive wins above replacement, ranking above Brandon Belt, Tyler Colvin and Brandon Hicks as well as five other position players with more at-bats than Bumgarner. In only 1/5th the numbers of opportunities of many of his teammates, Bumgarner and his .275 batting average and 12 runs batted in have proven he’s no slouch with the stick. Throw in that he’s pitched brilliantly, going 10-7 with a 3.47 earned run average and 127 punchouts over 128 innings.

While selecting a pitcher in the home run derby sounds outlandish in theory, in practice it would create quite a buzz for the event. No pitcher has ever participated in the event, a far more significant first than the change in format implemented this year. A move to segregated league brackets that will culminate in an AL bracket-winner vs NL bracket-winner final sounds mildly interesting for the sake of it being something new, but it still represents the same old Derby concept of mashers pummeling baseballs ad nauseum till someone emerges a victor.

Inserting a starting pitcher as a combatant into the fray would draw buzz. Fans would tune in, if not to watch with intrigue of what the seldom offensively-gifted could do, at least for the train wreck aspect. The fun of watching the Derby for some isn’t the amount of success the participants have, but rather the lack there of. Who didn’t have a laugh when Robinson Cano couldn’t clear the fence even once amidst a rousing round of jeers from those in attendance at Kauffman Stadium in the summer of 2012?

There are plenty of hurdles to even considering a pitcher for the annual laser show. First and foremost is the production from the position. Bumgarner is one of only seven NL pitchers with a homerun, and only Chicago’s Travis Wood has multiple jacks to join Madison. Bumgarner is also the only hurler with more than 10 RBIs this season meaning there’s a severe lack of offensive output league-wide from the NL’s ninth spot in the order. So forgive Tulo or any other future captain for not tabbing a starter to the team.

Dim positional offensive positivity aside, imagine the resistance a general manager and manager would offer. It’s hard enough to convince star hitters to take part for fear of ruining their swing for the second half. Now picture the long list of pitchers who have injured themselves over the years taken hacks at the plate. No front office would want to see their pitcher, whom they have invested millions of dollars in, injured in a meaningless exhibition for a skillset none to prevalent at the position with no consequence other than a hollow title.

But the All-star game isn’t about managers, or GMs, or the players to some degree. It’s about the fans, rewarding them with a chance to watch the best of the best, to dream about what an All-World outfield of Mike Trout, Bautista and Adam Jones. It’s about seeing the never-before-seen, the never-to-be-seen-again. Hopefully, one day, it’ll be about seeing a starting pitcher take his long ball hacks with the best of them in the Home Run Derby.

Reds edge A’s, 6-5

By George Devine, Sr.August 7, 2013
 
Corky Miller, Alberto CallaspoThe A’s will be glad to leave Cincinnati. They lost 6-5 to the Reds in a hard-fought game to end their series on the banks of the Ohio and now head to Toronto.

The scoring started in the first as Shin-Soo Choo singled to right, beginning a busy day in the position for Seth Smith, then advanced on Todd Frazier’s walk and reached third on Joey Votto’s base hit to right, scoring when Jay Bruce grounded into a 6-4 force.

Josh Donaldson put Oakland on the board in the second with a homer to right, his 17th of the year. In the bottom of the inning Zack Cosart singled to right and scored as Corky Miller hit a double in Smith’s direction.

In the home third, Votto singled to right, and scored on a homer hit over Smith’s head by Jay Bruce, his 24th of the season. Cozart walked and scored when Miller doubled to left.

In the fourth, Brandon Moss singled to short, then Alberto Callaspo doubled to right, so Moss reached third, scoring on Stephen Vogt’s single to right.

In the fifth, Xavier Paul hit a ground rule double to right and scored when Devin Mesoraco singled to third.

The Athletics’ last scoring drive was in the sixth, when Jed Lowrie doubled to center, reached third when Moss singled to right and scored as Donaldson grounded a base hit to left. Eric Sogard tripled to right, plating Moss and Donaldson.

The winner is Homer Bailey (7-10) and the loser Bartolo Colon (14-4). Araldis Chapman picked up his 27th save of the year.

After a travel day, the A’s first game in the Toronto series is at 4:07 p.m. PDT on Friday, August 9, with Jarrod Parker (7-6) facing Esmil Rogers (3-6).