#1 The Astros certainly had their backs to the wall as they beat the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington 4-1 to cut the Nats’ series lead 2-1.
#2 How much does postseason experience come into play for the Astros in a win like this on the road?
#3 Jose Altuve was the hero for the Astros when they played the New York Yankees during the ALCS, and now he does it again with two doubles and scoring twice on Friday night.
#4 Astros pitcher Zack Greinke started throwing 4.2 innings, seven hits, one run, three walks, and six strikeouts, which was key in holding the Nats to just one run.
#5 In the first two losses for the Astros, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman, who was fired on Thursday over his Game 6 ALCS rant when he said he was glad the Astros picked up closer Roberto Osuna from Toronto, who was suspended for 70 games for domestic violence in front of female reporters. Was this story in itself a distraction amounting to the Astros to lose the first two games of the series?
photo sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Phoenix.
On the Giants podcast with Morris:
#1 Morris, the way you saw it at Chase Field on Sunday, Giants starter Madison Bumgarner had the kind of outing you don’t see him have too often — getting shelled for six hits and four runs in six innings of work.
#2 You don’t see Bumgarner have too many nights like that, but on Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks got to him early scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
#3 The Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski, who hit three home runs on Saturday, hit a triple on Sunday. He’s been a hitting machine during the Diamondbacks series.
#4 Zack Greinke, the Diamondbacks pitcher, was supposed to start, but Merrill Kelly (9-12) got the call for Arizona pitching 5.2 innings, six hits, one run earned, two walks, five strikeouts and didn’t allow a home run.
#5 The San Francisco Giants’ Tyler Beede (3-7, 3.77 ERA) will open up the first game in Chicago Tuesday night. The Cubs will start Cole Hammels (6-4, 3.69 ERA).
Daniel Mengden pitched a brilliant game for the Oakland Athletics on Saturday afternoon to lead them to a 3-0 victory and even the series at 1-1 as the teams head into the finale on Sunday. Mengden worked 9.0 – shutout innings giving up just two hits, walking none while striking out five Diamondbacks.
Athletics manager Bob Melvin had nothing but compliments for Mengden and his starting performance Saturday. The skipper did reveal that Chad Pinder’s eighth-inning leadoff home run probably gave Mengden the chance to go for the complete game rather than using a closer in the top of the ninth.
That is the only name that will appear in the box score for the A’s. This was his second career shutout. His first came versus Philadelphia on September 17, 2017.
Mengden has now won his last three consecutive starts. That is the first time he has done that in his career.
Over his last eight starts, Mengden has posted a 1.79 ERA while striking out 31 in 50.1 innings pitched.
Mengden threw 102 pitches of which 76 were strikes.
The key pitching stat for the game is zero Base on Balls.
Mengden is now 5-4 on the season with a 2.85 ERA.
This was his second start for the Diamondbacks. He started versus the Mets on May 20 but did not figure into the decision.
It looked like it would be a short outing for Buchholz when Matt Joyce his the first pitch of the game over the right-field wall into the seats for a “no doubt about it” home run to give the Athletics a quick 1-0 lead.
Buchholz then settled down and proceeded to retire the next 15 Oakland hitters he faced. The next A’s batter to reach base was Chad Pinder who hit a double deep into center-field but Buchholz was able to get out of the inning stranding Pinder at third base.
The D-backs lifted Buchholz after 6.0-innings of work. He allowed the one run (earned) on just two hits. He walked none and struck out three batters.
Buchholz was charged with the loss and his record falls to 0-1 for the year.
Jorge De La Rosa
De La Rosa replaced Buchholz in the bottom of the seventh inning.
After inducing Jed Lowrie to fly out to center, Matt Olson hit a 2-2 pitch over the center-field fence that bounced around in the television camera box for his eighth home run of the season. That gave the A’s a 2-0 lead.
De La Rosa was able to finish the inning without giving up any additional runs.
Salas was the third and final pitcher used by Arizona in the game. He came in for the bottom of the eighth to face the leadoff man Chad Pinder. Pinder hit the first pitch from Salas over the center-field fence for his fifth home run of the year to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.
Salas did give up one additional hit – a double to Marcus Semien – but he was able to close out the inning without allowing any additional scoring.
It was home run or nothing game
Those “Swingin’ A’s” scored all three of their runs off home runs.
Matt Joyce hit his sixth HR of the season. His first leadoff shot of the year and the ninth of his career
Matt Olson hit his eighth round-tripper of the year and it was his first HR to be hit off a lefthand pitcher this season.
Chad Pinder who hit his fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning had the only multi-hit game for Oakland. He hit a double to leadoff the sixth inning for the A’s.
Marcus Semien recorded his 12th double in the contest.
The D-backs had two hits in the game. Both were singles.
Up Next on the Schedule
The Diamondbacks and the Athletics will close out their three-game series with the “rubber game” of the match on Sunday at 1:05 PM. The real surprise here is Oakland will be starting RHP Frankie Montas who has been called up from Triple-A Nashville. Montas has spent the entire season with the Sounds appearing in nine games recording a record of 1-5 with an ERA of 4.39 in 41.0-innings on the mound. He has struck out 33, walked 13 and allowed five home runs. His WHIP is 1.34. The transaction will not become official until tomorrow morning.
Montas will face the crafty RHP veteran Zack Greinke. Greinke is 3-3 on the year with a 3.71 ERA.