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Game Thread #21: Astros vs. A’s

Tonight would be a perfect night for “Chaptain America” to take over and subdue the streaking Astros

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics
Matt Chapman and the A’s are looking to break out of their funk against the Astros tonight in the final game of the two game series
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Houston Astros are among the elite teams in the American League and in all of baseball. The 2019 Oakland A’s would like to believe they are one of the elite teams in the American League and in baseball as well. In order for the A’s to prove their case to the league (and to themselves), they need to begin winning games like tonight’s matchup at 7:07pm from the Oakland Coliseum.

Astros are Streaking: 10 Straight
Houston started the season 2-5 after opening road series losses to the Rays and Rangers. They came home to Minute Maid Park to begintheir home schedule and swept the A’s and Yankees before going back on the road to sweep the Mariners and take game one of this short two game set in Oakland last night. Sometimes in baseball, it is not who you play, but when you play them and right now is certainly a difficult time to be facing off against the ‘Stros.

HOU: Wade Miley (1-1, 3.45 ERA) vs. OAK: Frankie Montas (2-1, 3.18 ERA)
Miley shut down the A’s eleven days ago, throwing 5 23 innings of scoreless baseball. The only A’s hitter to have success against the former 1st round selection of the Diamondbacks on that day was Stephen Piscotty. The A’s Right Fielder walked, singled and doubled off of Miley...Miley, the son of a Louisiana truck mechanic, is a soft thrower who throws five pitches (four seam and two seam fastballs, change-up, curveball and slider). It is his slider that he normally goes to when needing a big strike or out...In my opinion, the slider is the “Achilles Heel” of the Oakland line-up. However, the good news is, when a slider hangs, it becomes a very hittable pitch and in Miley’s last outing, the Mariners tagged his slider and other pitches for 3 runs on six hits and two walks in only four innings. A’s faithful hope the Seattle version of Miley shows up tonight and not the Houston version they saw a week and a half ago.

For the A’s, Frankie Montas takes the mound for the Green and Gold. Francellis “Frankie” Montas Luna has pitched well so far in 2019. He has thrown six innings (win vs. Angels), five innings (loss vs. Astros) and six innings (win vs. Orioles). In those seventeen innings, he has averaged 96.3 mph on his four seamed fastball, allowed only six runs and struck out fourteen. Like most of the A’s starting pitchers, he has been vulnerable to the long ball, allowing four home runs in those seventeen innings. The twenty six year old native of Sainagua, Dominican Republic (home town of former A’s, Jose Rijo, Jose Guillen and Santiago Casilla) has established himself as a viable big league starter in 2019 by committing to a split fingered fastball. The pitch will be featured prominently by Montas in tonight’s game. Coincidentally, Montas’ growth as a starting pitcher has coincided with his off season marriage...Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Montas!

Who’s Hot
OAK: “Khrush” Davis is hitting .400 with five homers and ten rbi in the last seven games
HOU: Jose Altuve is hitting .400 with four homers and seven rbi in the last seven games

Who’s Not
OAK: Jurickson Profar is hitting .176 in the last seven games (3 for 17); Kendrys Morales is hitting .188 in the last seven games (3 for 16)

HOU: George Springer is hitting .238 with 7 strikeouts in the last seven games

A’s Pitching Transaction Today:
Oakland RHP, Marco Estrada, mercifully goes to the 10 day IL (Back)
RHP, Chris Bassitt, called up from Las Vegas to fill his roster spot (2 Starts in Vegas, 9 K’s)

Tonight’s Line-ups from Oakland (Sunny; 62 F; 8 mph wind)

Let’s Go Oakland...Let’s Go Oakland...Let’s Go Oakland