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Fatrolf’s Monday Sketches 2019

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Getting Up Close and Personal With Brett Anderson’s Streaks Edition

One sign that things are as they should be, is the fact that Khris Davis already smashed four dingers in his first six games. Whether your star has the largest contract in sports or is still fighting through his rookie status, it’s comforting to see them back to their winning ways.

Fernando Rodney had a birthday. Normally player birthdays aren’t a topic I bring up — don’t get me wrong, I’m not against people having birthdays, they’re bound to happen at least once a year. But while the A’s were still in Japan, Rodney celebrated his 42nd birthday. Because of Ichiro’s almost simultaneous retirement, this gave Rodney the unusual, but memorable, birthday present of being pretty much the oldest guy in baseball.

Why pretty much? Well, he’s the oldest player to have played in MLB so far this season, but there are still a couple others who haven’t officially retired yet. Bartolo Colon is still alive and kickin, but he’s a free agent. Then there’s this guy named Walter Silva, who hasn’t played in MLB in ten years, but is technically still an “active” rookie as he’s continued pitching professionally in the Mexican League. So, Rodney is the oldest active MLB player — unless the A’s go and sign Colon or Silva as I post this.

The A’s got some swag after the 2018 season came to an end, and were presented with their awards before Friday’s game. There were Gold Gloves and other defensive awards, a manager award for Bob Melvin, and a DH award for Khris Davis. The A’s are impressive. Even Eric Chavez thinks so, saying Matt Chapman looks like he could end up being better than him, as well as reminding us Chappy’s arm is better than Chavy’s ever was. Being able to start a season with handing out so many trophies is kind of surreal.

Since so many awards got presented on Friday, it’s only right that Dallas Braden gets recognition for his hard work as well!

Going into Sunday, Frankie Montas was under some unusual pressure. Fiers, Estrada and Anderson had not given up a single run in each of their consecutive starts, combining for a scoreless 18 innings and giving up only six hits between them. This was the first time since 2005 that three consecutive A’s starters have gone scoreless in six or more frames. The string of guys who accomplished it before them? Kirk Saarloos, Barry Zito, and Joe Blanton.

At the start of the sixth with nothing on the board for the Angels, Montas looked like he was going to be able to keep the streak alive. However, a Kole Calhoun dinger marred Montas’ attempt. The run turned out to be the only one the Angels would score all day as the A’s picked up their third win on the season and returned to .500.

Speaking of streaks, Brett Anderson has been forging his own since last season. Between seasons and all the time he was forced to miss because of injuries, Anderson has carried over his home scoreless innings streak to 34 1/3, now the longest streak ever by an Athletics pitcher in Oakland. Woohoo!

Injuries suck. Injuries suck more when they happen to your key guys right at the start of the season. Thankfully, the A’s found a good roll of duct tape in Kendrys Morales. To help fill the void left by injured Matt Olson, the soon-to-be 36 year old Morales was acquired from the Blue Jays prior to the A’s home opener. He’s an aging DH, but he has more spark and spunk than you would expect to get in an emergency situation. Morales won the Silver Slugger award just three years ago and boasts a home run total consistently over 20, showing we got some bang for our buck.

Additionally, his nickname on Baseball-Reference is officially listed as “Mo Mo”, so what’s not to like?

Having finished up their series against the Angels and coming out on top, the A’s get no rest as they welcome the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox into town tonight at 7:07PM. While there’s no more pitching streak to keep an eye on, we will be seeing Aaron Brooks’ first start in an A’s uniform since 2015. The Red Sox won’t be making it an easy one for him as he’ll be facing off against veteran lefty David Price. With a string of rock-solid performances from our previous starters, Brooks has even more pressure on his shoulders. Will he succumb to the weight? Or will he prove to us why he’s worthy of his slot in our rotation? Tune in to find out!