Saturday, April 29, 2017

Game Result : Triggs and big power lifts A’s over Astros 2-1

HOUSTON – It was back to basics for the A’s Saturday night, terrific starting pitching and a couple of home runs bringing an end to a five-game losing streak.

Andrew Triggs threw shutout ball for seven inning, striking out a career-high nine and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis contributed the homers as Oakland turned back the American League-West leading Astros 2-1.
Triggs, now 4-1 with a 1.84 ERA, faced men in scoring position in the first, third and fourth innings, but came up with three strikeouts with runners in scoring position and got better as he went along, setting down the final 10 men he faced in order before turning the game over to the Oakland bullpen.
Sean Doolittle allowed a solo homer to Jose Altuve in the eighth, but Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless night for the save.
The A’s, now 11-13, can climb back to within three games of the division leaders with a win in the Sunday series finale.
The Oakland offense, which has limped along at times of late, was going nowhere against Houston starter Joe Musgrove as he set down the first 10 batters he faced in order.
The 11th, however, was Lowrie, who jumped on a 3-1 pitch to carry it high and deep into the right field seats. His second home run gave the A’s both their first base runner and first hit in addition to a 1-0 lead.
Lowrie came up an inning later with the idea of adding to the lead. Chad Pinder was on second base with two out when Lowrie singled to right. Josh Reddick got to the ball quickly and the former A’s right fielder gunned a throw to the plate that just barely cut down Pinder.
Oakland bats went quiet again until the eighth inning when with Will Harris pitching in relief, Davis became the American League’s second 10-homer man with an opposite-field rocket to right. The Yankees’ Aaron Judge became the first AL player to get to 10 earlier in the day.
In his first start after being rocked for six runs in 4.2 innings against the Mariners last Sunday, Triggs was back to his form of his first three starts, although the first inning proved to be a challenge. Singles from Josh Reddick and Jose Altuve and a wild pitch had Triggs facing the heart of the Houston lineup with men on second and third.
He came back to strike out Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran, both swinging, to keep the game scoreless, and settled in nicely after that. A single and a hit batter got him in a spot in the third and in the fourth a cannonade of a throw from right fielder Jaff Decker triggered a double play that kept Houston in check.
In all, three of Triggs strikeouts came with men in scoring position and four came to end innings.
And he continued to dominate left-handed hitters. The first hit he allowed was to Reddick, a lefty, but none of the other four. In his five starts Triggs hasn’t allowed more than one hit to a lefty in any game. A year ago lefties averaged .277 against him. This year it’s .088 (4-for-45).
  • Sean Manaea probably will not land on the 10-day disabled list as the A’s once feared he might. Manaea threw on the side before Saturday’s game and came out of it feeling good enough that the A’s are backing off DL thoughts. “I’m feeling great right now,” Manaea said. “I feel like I’m ready to go out there and face hitters.” Manager Bob Melvin said the A’s are in a “wait and see” mode.
  • Jesse Hahn said he’s been able to recapture his 2015 mindset when pitching and feels more in control on the mound. “I’ve got a clean mindset going now,” Hahn said as he takes a streak of three consecutive quality starts into Sunday’s game against the Astros. “I struggled with that last year.”
  • Raul Alcantara, who’d been placed on the designated for assignment list earlier in the week, cleared waivers, which surprised the A’s a little, and was sent to Triple-A Nashville. Melvin said “we thought that there was a pretty good chance that we’d end up losing him. But it’s nice that we have him back. He’s struggled a bit at the big league level, but it’s good to have him back. We’ll need a lot of starting pitching depth over the course of the season.
  • With right fielder Matt Joyce dealing with a toe injury, Ryan LaMarre got a start in center field with Jaff Decker moving over to right. It’s a chance for LaMarre get a couple of starts back-to-back, because he would have been in the lineup Sunday against left-handed starter Dallas Keuchel anyway. And combined with Monday’s day off, the A’s are hoping Joyce will be ready to go come Tuesday in Minnesota.
  • Chad Pinder got a rare start at shortstop Saturday and Melvin said the plan would be to have him start at second base Sunday. Adam Rosales was hit in the finger by a pitch Friday and while he could play, Melvin wanted to give his current shortstop a day off. And he’s looking for a rest day for Jed Lowrie at second, which turns out to be a win-win for Pinder.
  • Early in the day, Adam Rosales and Stephen Vogt went into the Houston suburbs to one of the Sandlot Nation gatherings Rosales is organizing to encourage youth baseball.
  • Daniel Mengden threw 30 pitches in batting practice Saturday in the club’s extended spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz. as he rebounds from his right foot surgery earlier this year.
  • Felix Doubront, who had Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery 12 months ago, threw two innings in a simulated game in Arizona. The A’s are hoping the lefty will be healthy enough to join the bullpen in a month or two.
  • Chris Bassitt, another pitcher coming back from Tommy John surgery, was scheduled to pitch in a simulated game Saturday night.
  • Rajai Davis, on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, continues to run without pain and Oakland expects to have him back on the roster Tuesday in Minnesota. Melvin said the A’s offense has been a little one-dimensional without Davis’ speed in the lineup.
  • Second baseman Joey Wendle, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, came off the DL Saturday after a six-game injury rehabilitation assignment with Nashville and the A’s optioned him to the Sounds. During the rehab he hit .364 with two doubles, a triple and three RBI.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Game Focus: A's Win another Series (vs Seattle) with 4-3 win (3-0 in series with one to go)

The Power of the Sun (as in the Sun of Jharal Cotton) did shine on an overcast day just enough.
Allowing the power bats particularly by The One (Ryon Healy) 2 run shot to hold up to allow the A's with another series win against a division foe and taking this series 3-0 with one to go on Sunday
Friday power bats were supplied by 1b Alonso and 3b Plouffe in their 3-1 win. 

Thursdays 9-6 win was again powered by Trevor Plouffe, keep a watchful eye on this team because there is something special there 

LET OG OAKLAND (tat, tat, TAT TAT TAT)    

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Game Focus: A's win series vs Rangers (2-1) with 9-1 Win

Powered by 3 home runs
 By Chad Pinder his 1st of the year 
Krush Davis hitting his league leading 7th home run with a 2 run blast 
Also Yonder Alonso 2nd home of the year, this coupled with a strong outing by Jesse Hahn, this coming after the A's won  4-2 Tuesday night 
On the strength of Andrew Triggs strong outing who have yet to give up a earned run in 3 starts and is how 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA, Let OG Oakland, (tat tat tat-tat-tat)   

Monday, April 10, 2017

Game Focus :The Sun of Jharel Shines in 2-0 Opening Series Win over Royals

The Sun of Jharel (Cotton) whom I told you to watch out for (see:How the A's 2017 Starting Pitching Rotation is Shaping Up) radiated with extreme brightness with his 2-0 shutout win allowing 2 hits in 7 inning in Kansas City today, the bullpen supplied the final 2 Casilla in the 8th and Doolittle in the 9th to complete the 0'er
The offence was again led by Kush Davis who blasted a 2 run shot to right, bringing the A's record back to the 500 mark (4-4) to start this promising 2017 season
More sunny day are in the forecast when Sunny Boy return to the rotation, after the youngster get a little wet, LET OG OAKLAND

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Game Results : 6-1 2nd of 3 Game Series a Win at Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kendall Graveman seems to be taking this whole “ace of the staff” thing to heart.

Graveman was in spectacular form Saturday night, throwing no-hit baseball for 6.2 innings in carrying the A’s to a 6-1 win over the Rangers. The game was close until the final couple of innings, and for that reason Graveman did what aces do.
He made sure the A’s were in position to win, using his sinker to get a dozen outs on grounders and an additional five strikeouts. By the time he allowed a run on Mike Napoli’s homer that ended both the no-hitter and the shutout in the seventh, the A’s had a 2-0 lead and were never headed.
“For the majority of the game, 95 percent of the pitches were down and on the corners,” Graveman said. “(The no-hit bid) is on your mind, of course. But it’s on your mind that it’s a 0-0 game more than anything. It’s different than not giving up a hit and it being 7-0.
“It’s good knowing that you haven’t given up a hit, but there’s a sense that you have to continue to attack. You can’t walk anyone.”
The Rangers broke through thanks to Napoli, but as Graveman said “the home run didn’t beat us, and we tacked on some extra runs.”
Catcher Stephen Vogt came into the season, as did the rest of his teammates, believing that Sonny Gray would be the team’s ace, the pitcher who would be the man counted on to maximize the opportunity to win every fifth day. Gray’s on the disabled list, but Graveman has picked up the torch and carried it with distinction.
He’s 2-0 in games where the A’s have faced the other team’s No. 1 starter. On Saturday it was Yu Darvish, who had a shutout going for five innings before Vogt’s run-scoring grounder broke the ice. Rajai Davis added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Then the A’s scored four runs late to put this one away, getting Oakland back to .500 at 3-3.
“It’s pretty easy job to sit back there when he’s throwing like this,” Vogt said of Graveman. “He kept them hitting the ball on the ground. It’s a credit to him because they have a tough lineup. Kendall had no-hit stuff, for sure. Everyone knew what was coming, and still they couldn’t find a way to barrel the ball. He was just outstanding.”
“He’s our ace of the staff. We know he goes out there once every five days and we’re going to be pretty tough to beat. The transformation in him the last couple of years is something to see.”
Darvish has somehow always been a pitcher the A’s have been able to pick on. It’s not that he pitches badly against them, it’s just that the Rangers generally don’t beat Oakland on his behalf. He’s now 3-10 against the A’s in his career, even after a start – six innings, one run – that Cy Young would have called a good day’s work. Darvish has six more losses against Oakland than against any other Major League team.
“Darvish is obviously their ace, and he pitched very well,” first baseman Yonder Alonso said. “For a long time this was a real battle. But Kendall was so sharp from the beginning. We were hoping to just find a way to take advantage.”
Alonso himself was an advantage. Playing on his 30th birthday, he singled in his third at-bat and scored the second A’s run in the seventh inning. An inning later he jumped on the first pitch he saw from lefty Dario Alvarez hammered his first homer of the year. Alonso is a career .421 hitter on his birthday.
Or, as Vogt put it, “Happy birthday Yonder.”
  • Rajai Davis was off to a 2-for-22 start to the season before having a double, a sacrifice fly and another double in his final three plate appearances. He was batting ninth, in part because Marcus Semien had good numbers against Darvish and in part because Davis was slumping. Davis contributed what Melvin called a “terrific” catch against the wall in addition to his offense. “He’s like the energizer bunny for us,” the manager said. “He can do spectacular stuff.”
  • Matt Chapman, the third baseman who is one of the organization’s top prospects, came down with a wrist injury in Friday’s game and was seen by an orthopedist in Round Rock, Texas Saturday. He’ll be checked out after the Sounds return home to Nashville Monday
  • Starter Sonny Gray will throw an extended bullpen session on Monday in Kansas City as he works his way back from a right lat strain. The club is hoping he’ll be ready to throw in the big leagues by the end of the month.
  • Chris Bassitt, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, will throw two 15-pitch innings against hitters at Class-A Stockton Sunday.
  • Trevor Plouffe was scratched from the Saturday lineup because of some mild illness, but Melvin said he expected his third baseman to be in the lineup Sunday.
  • Semien, getting his first start of 2017 leading off, walked in his first two plate trips. That gives him six walks in six games. He needed a dozen games last year to get to six walks, so his focus on upping his on-base percentage seems to be kicking in.
Update Texas win series 2-1

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Game Focus: Kush Davis & Ron Healy power A's to 5-1 Win

A's get their revenge today with their 5-1 win over the Angels that evened the series 2-2 after blowing Tuesday night game in the 9th and getting shout out 5-0 in the Wednesday night affair, they righted the ship and here is how they done it

Andrew Triggs started a little rocky with his location, then he found his grove by retiring batter with ground outs and pop ups he finish with a very solid line of 5-2 innings 4 hits 1 run 
The power bats of the lineup did the rest, after tying the game at 1-1 Kush Davis (probably the strongest guy in the MLB) rip a shot to right to give the A's a 2-1 lead
Then Ron Healy ( better then Mark McGuire) blasted a a shot deep up concourse area of Mt Davis in left center field to make it 4-1, they would later tack on a run later with Trevor Plouffe singling for his 1st RBI of the season 

Don't sleep on the A's their 3-4 hitters (Davis & Healy) can put up HR number better then anybody watch and see      

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Game Results: Opening Day Win Over Angel 4-2

A's fan you will get here in this blog 2 types of report outs to A's games results, they are GAME FOCUS and GAME RESULTS

Game Focus will consist of Me/My +Scott Sportman observation of the game and my personalized writing style

Game Results will consist of me copying and pasting the best article I could find about the game

2017 Opening Day Game 4-2 Victory over the Angels is a Game Results from Athletics Nation      

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Last year, when Khris Davis hit 42 home runs, he didn’t collect his first until April 21, over two weeks into the season. He’s already off to a faster start in 2017, khrushing two dingers against the Angels on Opening Day. Those long balls, plus another by Stephen Vogt and a quality start from Kendall Graveman, helped the A’s to a 4-2 victory Monday night.
After losing the first game of the season for 10 straight years from 2005-14, the A’s have now won their opener two of the last three times. They join the Astros in a tie for first place in the AL West, at least for one day. Here’s a closer look at the action!

Graveman steps up

On Opening Day, you’d normally expect a star-studded pitching matchup as both teams send out their high-profile ace starters. Something like Sonny vs. Felix, or McCarthy vs. Felix, or Haren vs. Felix. However, with Sonny on the DL for Oakland, and the Angels once again forgetting to assemble a pitching staff over the offseason, this year’s opener featured ... Kendall Graveman vs. Ricky Nolasco.
To his credit, though, Graveman made the most of his opportunity. It wasn’t his most efficient outing and he didn’t put together a single 1-2-3 inning, but he gutted through six frames with the following quality line: 6 ip, 2 runs, 7 K, 2 BB, 6 hits, 1 HR, 103 pitches.
The evening began ominously for Graveman, as the Angels led off the game with a pair of singles to bring up reigning MVP Mike Trout. But the righty dropped in his signature sinker and got Trout to dribble a grounder for an easy 6-4-3 double play to get the season off on the right foot. The pitch that induced the GIDP registered at 97 mph, a number Graveman touched several times.
Trout got his revenge the next time up, though. Graveman had found a groove, opening the 3rd inning with a pair of strikeouts, but he walked Kole Calhoun after a tough eight-pitch battle. He carefully worked a 2-2 count against Trout but then made his mistake, hanging a fastball up over the plate rather than painting it toward the bottom of the zone. One of the best hitters in the world pounced, sending the ball screaming over the 367-mark in left-center for a two-run homer. It was an absolute laser, not a towering fly but rather a line drive hit so hard that it snuck over the wall before gravity could remind it to land.
Fortunately, that homer was Graveman’s only slipup. He wasn’t mowing down the opposition, but he never let things get out of hand. After allowing the walk and homer, he bore down and fanned Albert Pujols to end the frame. A leadoff walk in the 4th was erased by another double play. Single baserunners in the 5th and 6th were stranded as he uncharacteristically racked up strikeouts.
He didn’t dominate, but he ate innings more than effectively. According to Gameday he threw nothing but fastballs, the vast majority of them sinkers but with a handful of 4-seamers and cutters mixed in. His sinker operated in the 94-96 mph range for the most part, with plenty of 97 in the early frames and some 93 toward the end, giving him a few grounders but even more swings and misses. The homer by Trout came on a cutter that missed its spot.
Overall, this was an excellent outing by Graveman. He stepped up to the big Opening Day stage, overcame any jitters, and calmly put his team in a position to win.


Meanwhile, the offense did its part as well. Oakland got the scoring started in the 2nd inning, when resident All-Star Stephen Vogt knocked one just above the out-of-town scoreboard in RF for a home run (link to video). They briefly lost the lead on Trout’s drive, but a bit of small-ball tied it up — a single by Jed Lowrie, a dinky-yet-productive groundout by Trevor Plouffe, and a bloop to center by Yonder Alonso that fell in for an RBI hit (video).
And then, in the 6th inning, with all the warmup acts complete, the Khris Davis Show began. First, Nolasco hung a curveball about as badly as a pitcher can hang a curveball (video):
Yeah, don’t do this:

You leave a hanger over the plate like that and Khris is gonna khrush it every time 
That shot gave the A’s the lead, but Khris wasn’t done. He came up again in the 8th against JC Ramirez, and this time he showed his versatility by punishing a hanging slider instead of a curve (video):
Want to know what it means to hang a pitch? Watch the catcher’s glove on both of those shots to see where the balls were intended to go and where they ended up crossing the plate. Rather than breaking down at the last moment and fooling the hitter, they just hung there like batting practice fastballs.
The A’s almost did even more damage. In Marcus Semien’s first at-bat he hit one a mile high that sent the left fielder to the wall, but it came down about a foot short of paydirt. Vogt nearly hit another one too, in his second at-bat.
Even leaving aside the near-misses, though, the A’s still had a productive day at the plate. Four runs aren’t anything special, but three homers, five walks, and nine hits are a pretty good haul for the first game of the year on an April evening among the marine layer. Even against Ricky Nolasco and the Angels bullpen.

Closing out

With Graveman’s quality start and some dinger magic from the offense, the only thing left was for the bullpen to seal the victory. The pen was a strength last year, and optimism in the unit is fairly high entering 2017. So far, so good.
Ryan Dull pitched the 7th, and he was a sight to behold. Three batters came up, and each of them struck out after swinging through devastating sliders. Two of the batters saw nothing but sliders, one after another, and they still couldn’t touch it.
Sean Doolittle came on for the 8th and brought some fire with him. His fastball had its zip back, coming in at 95-96 and hitting its spots, and he even got a strike using a breaking ball. He retired both of his batters, though the Angels fought off some tough pitches and made him work for it. With Trout due up next, though, Ryan Madson got the call for the especially tough righty hitter.
Madson’s box score line doesn’t look like much, but he was better than the numbers. He began his season by standing up off the bench to face Trout, which is already an unfair assignment. He got ahead in the count, flashing a good changeup and a 95 mph fastball along the way, and on the 2-2 offering forced Trout to fight off another tough fastball. However, the superstar was able to shoot it into right field for a bloop double. That’s not to take away from the hit — he earned it with a great swing — but the point is that Madson made a solid pitch and simply got beat by an elite opponent.
The next batter was Albert Pujols, who entered with a career 1-for-19 line against Madson, but Bob Melvin opted to take the bat out of his hands just in case. That gave us our first glimpse of the new intentional walk procedure, in which the call is made from the dugout and no pitches are thrown. Pujols walked up to the plate, a few words were spoken, and he trotted to first base. I know lots of people hate this new rule and I agree it’s silly, but I’m having a hard time caring. There are bigger battles to fight on more important issues.
More interesting than the rule itself was Melvin’s decision to walk Pujols. Talk about a tough matchup decision — you know Pujols is always dangerous, even at age 37, but Madson sure has had his number over the years. For me the tiebreakers would have been that there were already two outs (and thus no need to create a force for a double play), and that at this stage the next batter, C.J. Cron, isn’t much less scary than Old Pujols. (Pujold?) Nevertheless, the gamble paid off this time, as Cron grounded out harmlessly to end the threat.
The A’s have refused to name one specific closer yet, but the first call went to newcomer Santiago Casilla. He wasn’t as sharp as the other relievers on this night, issuing a non-intentional walk and allowing a loud out on a liner to RF, but he still did more than enough to wrap up the save.
Overall bullpen line: 3 ip, 0 runs, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 1 hit. And 1-for-1 on saves (or 4-for-4 on save/holds).

Other notes

  • The A’s have played some awful defense the last couple years, but they put up a clean sheet on Monday. The closest thing to an error was Marcus Semien merely knocking down a sharp liner instead of catching it, but even he had a quality fielding day overall. Rajai Davis reminded us what it’s like to have an MLB-caliber CF, new outfielder Matt Joyce made a diving grab of his own, and new 3B Trevor Plouffe passed his first test in the Coliseum’s expansive foul territory.
  • Two walks for Semien, who usually has a low OBP; two hits for Jed Lowrie, who stopped hitting last year; and one of each for Yonder Alonso, carrying over his strong spring performance.
  • Rajai Davis is here for his defense and speed and we love him for those, but hopefully he winds up batting ninth instead of leadoff.
  • Jose Canseco + microphone + TV camera = fire emoji
  • This guy:
It’s hard to imagine how Opening Day could go better than this. A bunch of pre-game ceremonies for Bill King and Rickey Henderson, perfect weather, and a victory in a well-played game against our most despised division rival, highlighted by a bunch of dingers by our favorite star players. And most importantly, NO FELIX!
The Oakland A’s are undefeated so far in 2017! They go for 2-0 on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., Sean Manaea vs. Matt Shoemaker.