It is August 1, 2018 and the Oakland A’s are tied for the second Wild Card position in the American League! (Mariners lost to the Astros today)
***Read today’s game thread + comments here***
2018, the year of the sweep:
The A’s find themselves in the postseason hunt thanks to their series sweeps of the White Sox, Orioles, Tigers, Padres (home and away), Rangers and now the Blue Jays twice (In Toronto in May and this week in Oakland, finishing 7-0 against the Jays for the season) on the way to their 64 wins (4th best record in the Majors!).
Jonathan Lucroy, hero of the day:
The Oakland offensive got going this afternoon in the second inning off Blue Jays starter, Marcus Stroman. Khris Davis walked to start off the inning and Matt Olson followed him by drilling a 2-0 pitch down the right field line to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Mark Canha and Marcus Semien would both fail to score the runners, leaving Jonathan Lucroy with the responsibility to drive in the runs. Lucroy delivered, driving a 2-1 fastball to the opposite field to give the A’s a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Lucroy came up again in the bottom of the fourth and again delivered for the A’s with a RBI double to plate Marcus Semien, who led off the inning with a base hit. Lucroy advanced to 3rd on a Franklin Barreto groundout and scored on a Nick Martini sac fly to give the A’s a 4-0 lead. Here are a few clips of Lucroy’s big day:
Sean Manaea really likes to pitch in the sun:
Sean Manaea took over from there, throwing six scoreless innings (scattering 5 hits and two walks). Here are a few highlights of his outing (He has won 12 straight day games)
Barreto Insurance Company:
The boys in Green and Gold would tack on 3 more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to back to back singles to start the inning from Mark Canha and Marcus Semien and then another run scoring single from Jonathan Lucroy (3-4, 4 RBI, 2 runs scored). Franklin Barreto playing second base today to give Jed Lowrie a much needed breather, then doubled to plate Semien and Lucroy and give Manaea a seven run cushion. Barreto would later add his 4th homer of the season, a majestic shot to leftfield:
Bullpen comes through again:
The Jays made things a bit interesting in the 7th inning, scoring their first run off the Manaea and knocking him out of the game (his pitch count was at 99 pitches) and then loading the bases against JB Wendelken before lefty reliever, Ryan Buchter, fanned Justin Smoak to end the threat..
Toronto scored 2 runs in the 8th off Buchter before Lou Trivino came in and shut the door, throwing 1 1⁄3 innings of scoreless baseball to give Manaea his 10th win of the season.
The A’s have a much needed off day tomorrow (Thursday) before resuming play in their Kelly Green 50th anniversary uniforms against the Mike Fiers led Tigers (errr!!) on Friday night at 7:05pm at the Colisuem.
This team is so much fun to follow!
Enjoy the off day tomorrow A’s nation and then get ready to root for the next series sweep against Detroit!
PS - I love A’s radio announcer Vince Cotroneo’s shade directed toward MLB’s Astros beat writer: