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Fatrolf’s Sunday Sketches: Things are Gettin’ Hairy (and Furry) in the Bullpen edition

After a week of dump and slump, the Oakland A’s are ready for a fresh start in September

Let’s face it, this week did not go great. We only have won two games so far this week. Starters got injured. Relievers are starting. Matt Joyce is coming back. Life as an A’s fan this week has not been ideal.

So get yourself a tub of ice cream and let’s shake off those woes. It’s time to get ready for next week with ...

Brett Anderson himself probably summed this past week up best out of all of us.

However, something awesome did happen. Khrush.

He’s been in a pretty nasty slump, too. Since his last homer, Khrush has been to the plate 31 times, only posting two hits while striking out 15 times. A couple of K’s in and Saturday seemed like it was panning out to be just another frustrating outing for our star slugger. However, in the bottom of the 8th, Khrush found his sweet spot and cracked a solo homer that set his third straight 40+ HR effort in a row! Not only that, the same shot finally surpassed JD Martinez (again) and reclaimed his position at the top of the HR leaderboard!

Since Khrush paved the way last year by becoming the first A’s player in franchise history to record consecutive 40+ HR seasons, he has now beat his own record with this year’s effort. Currently, Jimmie Foxx holds the most home runs in a single season by an Athletics player at 58, set in 1932.

Sean Manaea and Brett Anderson have both disappeared onto the DL. If you turned off all media and shut yourself out of the baseball world for a week, this is why Liam Hendriks ended up starting Saturday’s game two against the Mariners. It ... went.

The game kind of reminded me of watching one of my cats cough up a hair ball. (If you don’t have cats, it’s ok, use your imagination.) It looks bad and sounds worse, but it just won’t stop. It goes on for so long that you start to think, Hey! Maybe she actually won’t throw up this time! Then she spews it all over the couch, and the dog eats half of it and I have to go find the cleaning spray.

Another light amongst the dim is Anderson, who has already started throwing again. Diagnosed earlier this week with ulnar nerve irritation, no set date of return, but seeing him on his way back is comforting. Manaea’s outcome may not be as hopeful after. Officially reported with rotator cuff tendinitis, the jury is still out on whether he’ll return at all this season. Cross your fingers, but try not to sprain one of them when you do.

While others are rehabbing, our own Alex Hall actually brought Matt Joyce up from the DL with this article. Magic.

I see no better time than this to bring up Reba, the groundskeeper, Clay Wood’s, yellow lab. She works out on the field and helps her guy keep the grass lookin’ (almost) as good as she does.

Reba lives a life of royalty. Endless grass, endless supply of balls to chase and hands to pet her head ... and she doesn’t even have to share with other dogs. It’s her own paradise. She even gets chauffeured around to find new things to sniff!

And she gets love and affection wherever she goes!

Making sure everyone is working as hard as she does!

If Manaea still remains on the DL, Reba is surely field-ready to fill in a starting slot or two. She seems to enjoy fielding a little more than pitching, but she’s a team player and surely will step up to whatever role she can in this time of need.

A flurry of roster moves brought up some more meat for our bullpen sandwich, and getting Cory Gearrin from the Rangers was the bun on top. We acquired Gearrin from Texas not even two months after they got him from the Giants.

Gearrin is a 32-year-old righty from Chattanooga, TN. He started up his career pitching for the Braves, throwing a couple decent seasons before he lost all of 2014 to TJS. The Giants gambled on him, seeing only 3.2 innings of work from Gearrin in 2015. They cashed in in 2017 with Gearrin posting a stellar 68 IP, only giving up 16 runs and earning 64 K’s.

So he still has some stuff in his arm, and hopefully we get to see that stuff in our stats. (Or sandwich.) He posted a 4.20 ERA in 30 innings and 31 K’s this year for the Giants, but rebounded with the Rangers. In 21.1 innings with Texas, he only gave up six runs and struck out 20.

I like talking about Ramón Lareano a lot. And why not talk about good things when the week didn’t go so hot. In his last 15 games, Laureano has posted three dingers and 15 hits over 41 at bats. He has also had a hand in driving in the winning runs for our only two W’s this past week.

Bad things happen to good baseball teams. We’ve all seen it happen over and over. The light at the end of the tunnel is the effort the team is making to put all our broken pieces back together again. While the future is uncertain, we can at least know the team we’re watching is really putting its all into this bid for October.

We have one more game to wrap up the series against Seattle before we welcome the Yankees into town, who are 5.5 up on us in the Wild Card. We’re going into today’s game 4.5 up on Seattle and still only 2.5 back on Houston. Weirder things have happened and will continue to happen and we certainly have the rag-tag bunch of misfits to crawl our way into the postseason.

Today, we have Edwin Jackson on the mound, who is a real actual starting pitcher. Oh, yeah, he’s also pretty good, too!


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