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Game #28: A Win’s a Win, Right?

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t smooth-sailing, but it was a win nonetheless.

Jharel Cotton proved that he can come up big under pressure: his final line was 6 innings, 3 hits (2 HRs), 3 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts. While his walks were still an issue, his strikeouts were clearly not (his previous career high was 7). Both of his earned runs came on solo shots.

Although it ended up OK, the A’s left the bases loaded FOUR times. The first time, Khris Davis grounded out, the second time Yonder Alonso grounded out, and the third time Ryon Healy was called out on strikes (then ejected), and then Davis struck out.

Just when I thought the last few innings might go okay, Frankie Montas and Santiago Casilla came in to spice things up. Montas allowed two, and Casilla loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter. I may have lost some years off my life.

The bottom line: the A’s won by three runs but could have shored this one up a lot earlier.

Here are the highs and lows:

Stephen Vogt:

Despite much discussion over the last few weeks about what to do with Vogt, today he went 2 for 5 with a triple and a double! At this point, he’s probably best used to DH against righties. I still believe in Stephen Vogt [hitting].

Ryon Healy:

Healy has been seriously struggling — like “maybe this guys needs some time in AAA” struggling. I’m not saying one decent game means he’s cured, but it was sure nice to see him hit a homer. However, he did leave five men on base and get himself ejected. All in a good day’s work.

Frankie Montas:

This guy is worth SO much more than the mop-up man spot, but at this rate that’s the only place he fits. He was able to get two outs, but not without giving up two runs.

Montas is now sporting a 6.89 ERA after 15.2 innings pitched. He almost certainly could benefit from some time in the minors.

Matt Joyce & Chad Pinder:

Both had quietly solid days, reaching base on two hits and two walks a piece. Pinder’s got himself a 4-game hitting streak and should probably be starting everyday for the foreseeable future. As for Joyce, today could be a sign he’s turning into a legitimate leadoff option.

Santiago Casilla:

When I texted my best friend (a Giants fan, ugh) in the offseason that we had signed Casilla, he just responded “lol.” Despite this, I was optimistic that he could turn things around and help out the team that gave him his first shot in the Majors. Nope! If today’s game showed us anything, it’s that Casilla is quite literally out of control. Yes, he technically has five saves on the season, but he also has walked 6, for a BB% of 10.8. With Doolittle and Axford on the DL I’m not sure how many other options we really have for closer, but this increasingly cannot be one of them.

Despite all this, the A’s won and that’s a pretty good thing.

After a long road trip, the A’s will take on the Tigers at home tomorrow at 7:05, with our shining star Andrew Triggs on the mound. Let’s make it two in a row!