Amidst the ups and downs (mostly downs) of a season like 2016, it can be easy to lose track of why we watch baseball in the first place: for entertainment! To have fun! To experience soul-crushing despair at the hands of a group of men we don't personally know, only to have our hearts buoyed by those very same strangers the next day! The 2016 A's have been maddeningly inconsistent, but for about a month now they have looked like a solid baseball team and it's not hard to get excited about what the future may hold.
The A's may be out of the playoff race, relegated to mom's basement in the AL West along with the Angels, but not all is lost this season. When a team reaches rock bottom it provides an opportunity to make a searching and fearless moral inventory. Keep the good, cut the bad, take the ups and downs in stride and learn from your mistakes. While the trade deadline looms and a Josh Reddick extension unfortunately looks increasingly unlikely, the inventory has produced at least one positive result for our position players: the emergence of Ryon Healy, the lithium prescribed to lessen the impact of the unpredictable bipolarity of our team this season. Healy has come through with 6 RBIs in his first 5 major league games and has already moved up from batting 9th to 7th in just his second MLB series. Once the trade deadline passes the inventory can take place in full, with the potential for a youth movement featuring Healy, Jaycob Brugman, Arismendy Alcantara (who's also in the lineup today!), Bruce Maxwell, and others. We have seen the emergence of Marcus Semien and the dominance of Ryan Dull.
And let's not forget the pitchers we've already called up. Dillon Overton pitched his first major league quality start last night in a tremendous 10-inning walk-off win. Sean Manaea has been looking increasingly confident on the mound and has been going deeper into games. And today we get to watch Daniel Mengden face off against veteran Doug Fister.
The A's have begun to make our fearless inventory and are also playing exciting baseball again. Let's enjoy the little things.
|HOUSTON ASTROS||OAKLAND A'S|
|George Springer - RF||Coco Crisp - DH|
|Marwin Gonzalez - LF||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||Josh Reddick - RF|
|Carlos Correa - SS||Khris Davis - LF|
|Luis Valbuena - 3B||Stephen Vogt - C|
|Colby Rasmus - CF||Yonder Alonso - 1B|
|Evan Gattis - DH||Ryon Healy - 3B|
|A.J. Reed - 1B||Jake Smolinski - CF|
|Jason Castro - C||Arismendy Alcantara - 2B|
|Doug Fister - RHP||Daniel Mengden - RHP|
Game time is 12:35PT. The game is on MLB Network (and Root Sports if you're in the Houston area), but unfortunately not on CSN. Go A's! Let's see Sweemper today!