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Fatrolf Wraps Up the Second Week of July

Recounting the week’s happenings as the Oakland A’s head into the All Star Break

Tricky Treinen and Scowly Lowrie

The second week of July kicked off better than anyone could have ever foreseen. You know that feeling we’ve gotten at the beginning of a season where the A’s are above .500 after five games and you’re so stoked, even though you know it means absolutely nothing? Well, this is the real deal. This is coming within inches of sweeping the Astros in July, this is Sean Manaea with a no-no under his belt before April being out, this is setting a MLB record for consecutively hitting AT LEAST ONE home run per game on the road. This is the A’s in July, eight homers back from the Boston Red Sox in team dingers. This is the 2018 Oakland Athletics, and this is your team.

The A’s started the week by coming within inches (quite literally) of sweeping the Astros. While they didn’t get the clean cut, they still took three of four against the division leader, as well as a major confidence boost.

A’s fans have been experiencing a strange, light feeling lately while watching games and looking at the standings. A warm, comforting feeling. I’ve heard Yankees and Sox fans call it “giddiness” or “happiness” or “pride,” perhaps. Another sign of something different this season is that I, an A’s fan living in Chicago, have only been mocked by a Cubs fan once this season, and it was by an intoxicated gentleman who thought my A’s hat was a Braves hat — to his credit, it was the right letter and the right sport — so I’d say things are going pretty A-OK.

Khrush was red hot with a hitting streak that ended on Friday, capping off at 21 hits over 14 straight games. Go Khrush! Piscotty now has to pick up the slack, heading into the All Star break with 13 hits over nine games.

Just short of the second game against the Giants on Saturday, veteran reliever Santiago Casilla was DFA, just 11 days shy of his 38th birthday. The three-time World Series Champion originally signed out of the Dominican Republic by the A’s back in 2000. In his 15-year career, Casilla has only pitched in the Bay Area, but, all things must come to an end. Casilla’s BB9 this season (5.7) is higher than it’s ever been, while his SO9 (6.3) is lower than it’s ever been. In fact, he’s already walked 20 guys this season, compared to 22 total at the end of last season. He’s struggling, and with a team who is finally still fighting for a chance at the postseason by the ASG break, there’s no more room for him.

The A’s have seven days to figure out what they’re going to do with him, while Casilla is still entitled to the remainder of his guaranteed $6mil this season.

In a more uplifting move, the A’s called up 31-year-old reliever, Jeremy Bleich, for the first time in his ten years swimming around in the minors and independent ball. Born in New Orleans, but attending Stanford, Bleich was selected in the first round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Yankees. He was tossed from team to team, once missing over two years of play due to shoulder rehab that wouldn’t end. In fact, Bleich was close to throwing in the towel at that point and finding himself a desk job in New York, well away from the tortures of minor league ball, but something kept him playing, kept him fighting to get back to pitching like the Stanford star the Yankees spent their 44th overall pick on. And as a non-roster invitee in Spring Training this year, the A’s coaching staff were sure that’s what they saw.

Bodacious Bleich Believes he’s a Better Bleich than Before

While his debut wasn’t as storied as his journey, Bleich was admittedly dumped into a painful spot to put a start to his MLB career. He came into a bases-loaded, no-outs mess that Ryan Dull had left on the field, and gave up a two-run double, followed by a hit batter. Not pretty, but nothing was pretty on Friday. It’s fine. Having a second lefty in the bullpen takes some weight off of Ryan Buchter’s shoulders.

With the Mariners waning, the A’s couldn’t waste the chance at reeling in that second place spot in the division. Down 3-2 in the 7th? No problem. A two-run homer from Canha, then Trivino and Treinen to shut the Giants down sealed the win. Sunday’s win sealed the deal on a victory in the San Francisco half of the Bay Bridge series. Now it’s on to the All Star break. We are currently eight games behind Houston and three behind the Mariners. Baseball is strange. Only difference now is, it’s being strange in our favor.

Truly Tantalizing Trivino

Poll

What has excited you most this week?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Lowrie making it into the ASG
    (11 votes)
  • 29%
    Almost sweeping the Astros
    (53 votes)
  • 62%
    Being only three behind the Mariners
    (114 votes)
  • 2%
    Brett Anderson’s tweets
    (4 votes)
182 votes total Vote Now