Category Archives: Oakland A’s

Carlos Correa knocked the stuffing clear out of a baseball; and the Astros won a wild one in Houston last night


[Box Score]

It looked in doubt a couple times, but Carlos Correa and Luis Valbuena would not let Houston lose this game. The Athletics got five runs in the top of the 9th (four coming off closer Will Harris), and took a 9-7 lead.

But in the bottom of the ninth, Valbuena’s three-run homer off Ryan Madson would walk the Astros off a winner by a score of 10-9.

Correa touched up Daniel Mengden earlier in the game, and he got all of this one:

Correa had two hits and drove in three. Valbuena knocked in four. Jose Altuve had two hits because that’s what Altuve always seems to do. Give the win to Michael Feliz who is now an unlikely 6-1. The Astros trail the Boston Red Sox by one game in the Wildcard race.

Jay Bruce is still as good once as he ever was

Ah man, we still love this guy. Old favorites die hard. This was definitely one of Jay Bruce’s longest home runs at Great American Ball Park. He slugged number 14, and drove in runs 43 and 44; in the Reds 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati.

He’s arguably been the Reds best offensive player. With an OPS over .900, we kind of hope as his swan song in Cincinnati (if they’re not going to keep him as part of the ‘next’ core) that they do him the honor of letting him be the Reds only All Star.

He’s definitely looking like the player he always should have been offensively, even if advanced metrics tell us he’s somehow worth less than an empty trash bucket in right field. I actually saw with my own two eyes – Bruce made a nice defensive play in right field Saturday afternoon. So WAR and it’s defensive judgements can just suck it on this one.

Rich Hill: Oakland’s latest Mistfit Toy Success Story


I was bored last night, and the Reds were inevitably going to get shutout by the Dodgers before that game ever happened; so I found myself watching Rich Hill.

Yes, the same Rich Hill who has appeared in over 120 relief appearances. The Rich Hill who has flamed out for about seven other teams. That Rich Hill is now 7-3 on the season with a 2.18 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 57.2 innings. He’s walked 21; his K to BB ratio is about one full unit better than his career rate of 2.18. As Fangraphs likes to say, ‘he’s figured something out’.

The Athletics beat the Mariners 5-0.  Mr. Hill – a 36 year old starting pitcher – beat Taijuan Walker. And that’s evidence of something greater I want to point out.

For guys like me who play fantasy baseball and don’t really like to invest in pitchers, it says something that Hill beat Walker even if it was only one night. The story of this game really should have been about Taijuan Walker. He was pitching in front of his home crowd and should be entering his prime in his fourth partial season at the age of 23; he’s now thrown 275+ big league innings. But no, that isn’t the story because Taijuan Walker really isn’t that good yet. Or rather, it’s hard to tell when a pitcher is even good unless they’re one of the few elite. Outside of just a few names, who can you really trust as a pitcher? And even then they’re one pitch from being on the shelf for 20+ months. Pitchers are like NFL kickers anymore. There’s no reason to get attached to them or invest in them, either in real life when you’re following your team or in fantasy.

The Mets built their team around a pitching staff and now they face a shaky foundation because Harvey and DeGrom are poor and pedestrian; respectively.

That’s why the Rich Hill story is a good one in my eyes. Hell, I traded Carlos Martinez for Hill in a league just because I liked Hill’s upside and I was tired of waiting on things to be just right for the presumptive Cardinals ace-in-waiting.

A few things could happen from here. Rich Hill could turn back into a pumpkin. He’s unlikely to continue showing flashes of being Clayton Kershaw.  Or Hill could continue this magical little run that is going mostly unnoticed to the mainstream fan in baseball and be shipped off to a contender this summer and become slightly more prominent to the mainstream fan (despite some mentioning that he’s the perfect fit for the Oakland A’s).

My guess is that Hill is this year’s Dickey/Iwakuma/fill in the blank with pitcher who has one magical year that stands out forever on the back of his baseball card. He’ll get flipped for some prospect from a contender that ends up being a pretty good chip for the A’s and he’ll make some important starts for the Red Sox or the Astros or someone who is in a race in September.

I don’t think I’ll fully ever get invested in pitching (while following certain teams and playing fantasy), and I’ll be searching for a Rich Hill each year for the rest of my life. Every year births us new guys like this; it’s inevitable. And Hill has been so good to this point we actually did a post about the Oakland Athletics. That’s impressive in it’s own right.

The Royals Wildcard Comeback win was full of ridiculousness


I lost a pile of money last night, and I still feel like I was on the right side. My gut told me the Oakland A’s would win last night and then move on to Anaheim to give the Angels all they could handle in the ALDS that begins tomorrow. The Royals simply would not die, winning a wild 9-8 ballgame in 12 innings that was an excellent display of how exciting the sport of baseball can be.

I underestimated the effect that all that team speed can have in a one-game and go home scenario. The Royals had seven different players steal bases. They were able to constantly apply pressure to the Athletics, even when they would reach base with an out via a walk or single; it would be just moments until that guy was in scoring position or thinking about stealing third.

After the Royals came back a few times, it became apparent that there was nothing the Athletics could throw at them to give them a ‘kill shot’. It sounds insane saying that about a baseball game, but if you watched how the game played out; the A’s seemingly had this game won two or three times, except for they didn’t.

It was an excellent game to kick off the 2014 playoffs, and I hope some people who say baseball is a slow game had their eyes on the Royals last night. It was their explosiveness, clutch-hitting, and sheer will to not be denied that gave them their first postseason win since 1985. It’s good for the game we all love.

And for the A’s…. well… bye. I don’t know if I could have handled an Oakland ALCS. This is one less boring team in the tournament we all have to worry about being forced to watch.

It’s Baseball Playoff Time


Baseball fans, rejoice. We’re into the start of a second season. The Royals last found themselves in a playoff game on October 27th, 1985. It was game seven of the world series. I was two years and change.

Brett Saberhagen and the Royals shut out the Cardinals 11-0 on that night in game seven of the World Series. Lonnie Smith! Willie Wilson! Some guy named Frank White hit clean-up that night and played second base. Their shortstop was Buddy Biancalana!

There’s something magical about the MLB playoffs. This post is a little overdue because of a busy workday but it’s great to see the A’s and Royals square off in front of a rabid crowd with all the talking heads saying this is the A’s last running of the bulls. Something’s got to give. Tonight is win or go home.

And in honor of the Royals big night – which is so very good for baseball – we have George Brett talking about the time he shit himself at Kokomos Steakhouse in Vegas.

How nice it is to be able to use those post categories ‘Kansas City Royals’ and ‘MLB Playoffs’ in the same place. You had to figure if you lived a long, normal lifespan you would live to see the Royals get here one time that you could recall. This *could* be the only time. Soak it in!

One Last Stop for the Big Donkey


In what is looking like the final chapter in a long and storied career of home runs, Adam Dunn hit his 461st career blast today in his first at-bat as an Oakland Athletic.

Let us just say; we’re totally not ready for a baseball world without Adam Dunn being a part of it. It seems like just yesterday it was May of 2002, and Dunn was 22 years old in his first full big league season; and we were saying hello to him just as he came out of the Cincinnati dugout at old Riverfront Stadium before a game to get warm.

Where did the years go!

At least Dunn will finally get a chance to appear in some postseason games unless something unlikely happens. And Billy Beane finally has that coveted player that was written about in Moneyball.

Mike Trout sets a career high in home runs


In an odd turn of events, the Anaheim Angels have won six games in a row; including a four-game sweep of the team that was supposed to win the American League West after acquiring the two biggest arms on the trade market. In yesterday’s 8-1 win in Anaheim, Mike Trout drove in three runs and set a new career high for home runs in a season with his 31st of the year off Jesse Chavez on a pitch that was in a zone that should never be sniffed to Mike Trout:

The Angels now sit five full games up on the Athletics who are scrambling to find some offense. Many awoke to the news yesterday that Adam Dunn had been traded to the Athletics at the waiver wire deadline.

Mike Trout continues his MVP showing at the Oakland Coliseum


ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. A’s and Angels on center stage, gridlocked in a 76-52 tie for first place in the AL West. The Angels are down a Garrett Richards and to be honest the first two games of the series went exactly as we planned with the A’s getting a couple wins to pull even in the division standings. This was even though Mike Trout hit his 28th home run of the season on Friday night off Sonny Gray. This was despite Gray having lights out command and going eight strong for the win.

But last night, the Angels took the game they had to take. You can’t go into the Oakland Coliseum and get swept by your foes; those rotten A’s. And Mike Trout hit a towering home run into the camera well to put the exclamation point on a 9-4 Angels win.

This was obviously one of the more impressive Trout home runs of the season – though it’s hard to pick a favorite. And you guessed it: it was a low pitch. He was also the Sunday conversation on SportsCenter with Buster Olney. He’s all the rage right now for good reason.

It is important to document as much as we can in what might Mike Trout’s first MVP season.

Ernesto Frieri feels the A’s are Bullshit; just like we do


Man the Oakland Athletics sure are annoying. They have a bunch of junk-heap guys who seemingly just fit into place and get the job done. Sure, it’s to the credit of a mastermind General Manager who is one of the greatest of all-time. But it doesn’t make them any more entertaining.

And it’s not just their roster that gives me that sense of dread, it’s their damn morgue of a park! There was a game cancelled there for sewage overflow this year!

Look, I thought the little run they made to the postseason in the early 2000’s was a great story and great for baseball. You know what isn’t great for baseball? The A’s getting in the playoffs now and keeping a team with star appeal like the Angels out.

Ernesto Frieri feels that the Angels are the better team, and he was feeling froggy about this so he jumped. Queue up the OC Register, please.

“We played really good baseball against a really good team,” Frieri said Sunday. “It’s good for our confidence, to let us know that we can beat anybody.”

Frieri was then asked if anybody included the Oakland Athletics, the team that easily swept the Angels just one week ago and the team the Angels host for three games beginning Monday. He didn’t hesitate.

“We’re going to beat them,” Frieri said. “Get ready to write that. I hate to say this, but they have a little bit extra luck. If you pay attention every play, it’s stupid how the game goes their way.”

I agree with Frieri that they probably will ‘beat them’. The Angels have played like six games against the A’s this season (losing five) so with 13 left to go; they probably won’t get skunked. But you get Frieri’s poorly made point; the A’s are a sack of shit and fuck their producing lineup with Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp and that dweeb Eric Sogard going out their every night and getting it done. Derrick Norris is going all Scott Hatteberg on us from the right side so he can suck one too.

I hate the A’s, their shitty stadium, and their boring ass games that put me to sleep. I hope this rivalry ends with Mike Scioscia taking a big stinky dump that overflows into the A’s home dugout in September and cancels another game.

Going to sleep on Mike Trout was a bad idea


I had the Angels game somewhat queued up last night when I passed out on the couch with my bulldog – Garrett Richards was doing everything he could to hand the game back to the A’s despite those darling Angels doing everything they could do to get him the win in the face of his own futility.

And I fell asleep on Michael Nelson Trout. And wouldn’t you know it that he did something that I very much would have liked to have been awake for. He hit a majestic two-run home run off the A’s closer Du Jour Sean Doolittle. It sent the game into extra innings. And that’s what Mike Trout does – he takes something and makes it beautiful. Trout’s gift to the world on Jackie Robinson Day was bonus baseball. As M.J. Lloyd would say, he isn’t real.

The Angels would lose the damn game 10-9 in 11 innings, making all those handicappers who said Oakland would win last night correct and my very gut feeling that the Angels would steal one so very wrong (I am picking stuff at around a 75% clip this season on the money line, giddeup).

Mike Trout has five home runs and just may have learned a new trick: how to lead the American League circuit in homers. Don’t worry about what the A’s players did because they’re boring.

Sonny Gray looks the part of Superstar


[Box Score]

Sonny Gray has the name of a star and shined last night in his MLB postseason debut. He out-dueled Justin Verlander in one of the better baseball games in recent history. Gray went eight strong shutout innings and struck out nine holding the game scoreless and allowing the A’s to steal a 1-0 victory in the bottom of the ninth.

And perhaps Gray ends up being the great young arm that a guy like Rich Harden could never be consistently for Oakland. From the first time we saw him pitch (his MLB debut in relief in Pittsburgh) we thought he had electric stuff despite having a small frame. Gray is the type of arm that could get the A’s on a roll all the way through the postseason.

Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week


I kind of thought this might be a breakout year for Brandon Moss. He’s OPS’ing about 100 points less than he did last season, but with the huge week he had last week he’s already bettered his power numbers and has an eye on destroying his previous career bests. He’s also also been named Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week. Here’s the weekly stat line that got him the gig:

8 for 22 (.360), .500/.955/1.455, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 walks, 8 runs, and as always the token “slow guy stolen base”.

Moss’ four homers came in three consecutive games in which he ransacked the Tigers pitching staff – Verlander, Smyly, and Scherzer were the victims.

What is it with these Oakland journeyman guys (Moss previously played for the Red Sox, Pirates, and Phillies – you did not know that) going on these apeshit streaks? I mean seriously; they have a bunch of roundabout guys who comprise a roster of 25 that no one else really wanted, they’re not good on paper, and every year they’re somehow winning the damn division and having guys get on these late season hot streaks that are the stuff of legend.

If you’re looking to catch lightning in a bottle on your fantasy team, be sure to scope out some Oakland players on the waiver wire early tomorrow morning. Like catfish in a lake that hasn’t been fished, they’ll be there. Bring your lantern for these bottom feeders.

It’s that time of the year where Jay Bruce says “Hop on my back boys, I’m going to carry you a while.”


[Monday Night Box Score]
[Today’s Tuesday Matinee Box Score]
[Bruce Home Run #23]
[Bruce Home Run #24]

Dan Straily and Bartolo Colon learned the hard way, when Jay Bruce decides he’s hot; it’s best just not to mess with him.

The Reds answered my notion that they were dead with two big wins at home over the Oakland A’s, and today on the radio Marty Brennaman brought up a good point. Maybe in this game of such a long season – you never are quite as good as you seem but things are never quite as bad as they seem either.

Bruce hit a big home run last night to the power alley in left center to get the Reds going in a 3-1 win. He also made a terrific running catch in the fourth inning to get Mat Latos out of trouble. Today he hit a two run homer and drove in three total and threw a runner out at home plate.

Bruce is carrying the Reds right now as he has so often through different points of this long and challenging season.

After a day off tomorrow the Reds welcome the Padres to Great American for the weekend with yet another chance to get hot and put their stamp on this 2013 chapter in the book of Cincinnati.

By the way, this was the second Simpsons match up lifetime. That’s right, today at GABP it was Homer vs. Bart just like six years ago (June 14th, 2007) when Colon and Homer Bailey faced off. In yet another piece of evidence that baseball just repeats its own history, neither pitcher has been very sharp when they’ve faced off, like in today’s game.

It’s a good night to watch Buccos late-night baseball from Pittsburgh


As of this very minute, the Pittsburgh Pirates are a .600 baseball club. It’s a great story. They’ve slipped a little bit lately, and they’re mostly blacked out in my city of residence; so I am not getting the opportunity to enjoy their ride each night watching on

However, tonight the Pirates take on the Oakland Athletics from Pittsburgh. Their de facto ace Francisco Liriano is going. You get the feel that Liriano has his badge of justice on, and the losing streak stops tonight.

In any event, they’re a fun bunch. McCutchen, Marte, Cole, Grilli, Melancon, Cole, Liriano and even shitty old Pedro Alvarez are a scrappy, fun bunch to pull for a little bit. That city deserves a baseball winner. I can’t wait to watch them tonight in their rare ESPN appearance.

Image via Pirates official twitter