The A’s amazing 2018 season continues this afternoon (4:05pm pst) from Oriole Park at Camden Yards where the A’s aim for their sixth straight win and 89th victory on the season.
Word of the Year in Major League Baseball: “Bullpenning”
Taking the mound in the first inning tonight for the A’s will be 29 year old Aussie, Liam Hendricks. Imagine if BoMel would have sat Hendricks down during Spring Training this past March and said, “Okay Liam, here is our plan for you. You are going to make our opening day roster, but then you will sit on the DL for three months with a injured groin and then you will come back, but not for long because we are going to designate you for assignment in late June when your ERA will balloon to 7.36. Then no other team in baseball will want you, so you will discouragingly move down to our triple AAA affliate in Nashville, where we will forget about you for the rest of the summer. Then on September 1st when rosters expand, we will call you back up to the big league club and you will make four starts for us in twleve days all in the heat of the pennant race.” Hendricks would most likely respond to BoMel with a saying many Australians often use, “Bob, you are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.” A’s excellent beat writer, Martin Gallegos of the Mercury News, had a great article about Hendricks a few days ago...
Hendricks finds himself with a quirky but key role in this September push to the playoffs, leading off tonight’s bullpenning game as the first inning starter. Former Houston homeschooler, Daniel Mengden, will likely take over in the second inning for Oakland (although BoMel didn’t rule out Montas or Bassitt also making an appearance). Mengden is fresh off a great appearance against the Yankees in Oakland last Tuesday (9/4), where he pitched 4 2/3rds scoreless innings of one hit ball in relief of Hendricks one inning start.
Here are Tonight’s Starting Line-Ups from Baltimore, Maryland (4:05pm pst, weather: 80F, Cloudy with 30% chance of thunderstorms):
|Ramon Laureano - CF||Cedric Mullins - CF|
|Matt Chapman - 3B||Jonathan Villar - 2B|
|Jed Lowrie - 2B||Trey Mancini - DH|
|Khris Davis - DH||Adam Jones - RF|
|Matt Olson - 1B||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Stephen Piscotty - RF||Tim Beckham - SS|
|Marcus Semien - SS||DJ Stewart - LF|
|Nick Martini - LF||Austin Wynns - C|
|Jonathan Lucroy - C||Jace Peterson - 3B|
A’s vs. Baltimore
The A’s swept the O’s back in NorCal in May (4th thru 6th) and won last night to give them a perfect record against the birds in 2018. The A’s have unblemished records this season against three AL East teams (Tigers, Blue Jays and O’s). Though Baltimore has had a dismal season, they are actually leading the American League in team batting average since the All-Star break (.266), so tonight’s game is no pushover.
Andrew Cashner on the Bump for Baltimore
Cashner was a free agent pickup many of us here at Athletics Nation thought would be a good fit for the Green and Gold in the off-season. He ended up signing with the Orioles for two years and sixteen million dollars. That contract hasn’t exactly worked out so far, as Cashner (the son of a mortician) has been a workhouse this season, (starting 27 games) but has a record of 4-14 and a ERA of 4.89. He has started once against the A’s in 2018 and was roughed up to a tune of six hits and 4 runs (3 earned) in 4 2⁄3 innings as Khris Davis and Matt Olsen hit first inning homers.
Piscotty is Very Hotty
Stephen Piscotty was 3 for 4 last night which included his 39th double and 75th RBI. The 27 year old rightfielder has a 12 game hit streak and is batting .347 (26-for-75) with five doubles, eight home runs and 21 RBI over his last 20 games.
The entire bullpen (all 16 relievers minus Hendricks) will be available tonight. Closer Blake Treinen had the night off last night after pitching every game over the weekend and thankfully in a crucial save situation, Jeurys Familia locked down the victory, 3-2. Treinen will be available tonight to close things out if necessary.
Witness Protection Program: Aaron Brooks and Beau Taylor
RHP, Aaron Brooks, was acquired by the A’s on September 3rd and although rumored to have been considered to start one of the previous bullpen games, he has not appeared in a game for Oakland since joining the team. Catcher Beau Taylor was called up to the A’s from Nashville on September 1st to serve as the team’s 3rd catcher and made his major league debut defensively that day in the 9th inning. He is still looking for his first MLB at-bat. What do you think will happen first, Brooks entering a game to pitch? Or Taylor getting a chance to swing the bat?
What will we see first, a Aaron Brooks pitching performance or a Beau Taylor at-bat?
This poll is closed
Brooks will get into a game first, perhaps even tonight
Taylor will pitch hit on this road trip
Playoff Watch (A’s have 16 games left in the regular season after tonight)
Houston (3.5 games ahead of the A’s in the AL West) faced off this afternoon against Detroit and downed the Tigers, 5-4 .The Astros have won 10 of their last 11 games. The Astros are off tomorrow, so with the A’s playing tomorrow, an A’s win would shave a half a game of the Astros lead.
The Yankees (2 games ahead of A’s in the Wild Card standings) play the Twins at 5:10pm (pst) with Luis Severino (17-7, 3.52 ERA) pitching against the Twins Jake Odorizzi (5-10, 4.57 ERA). The Yankees are also off tomorrow.
The Mariners (8.5 games behind the A’s in the Wild Card) are continuing their interleague series against the Padres this afternoon and the Tampa Bay Rays (8.0 games behind the A’s in the Wild Card) defeated the Indians 3-1 earlier today.
Did You Know?
The first United States post office system was inaugurated in Baltimore in 1774. Look for the A’s to “airmail” a few missiles out of Camden Yards tonight as Davis, Piscotty, Olson and the boys face “Home Run Cashner.” Every game is huge this time of year, let’s go Oak-land!!!!