The A’s are finally firing on all cylinders. After outscoring the Tigers 24-5 in just two games, the team is starting to look a lot more like the 2018 A’s and less like the 2015-2017 A’s.
However, some caveats:
- The Tigers are one of the 5 worst teams in the league (bottom 5 in both hitting and pitching).
- They were coming off a brutal three-game sweep by the Astros, having been outscored 24-6.
- The A’s put forth their two best starting pitchers — Bassitt and Montas — to start the series.
- Each had a rare 8 inning pitching performance, i.e. they were at the top of their game.
On the other hand, A’s hitters left 33 runners on base — 13 more than the Tigers — meaning they could’ve ended up with an even higher runs margin. Moreover, we’ve already learned this season that beating bottom-5 teams is not a walk in the park (I still quiver in fear when I hear anyone say “Blue Jays”). The fact that we’re stomping a team that’s teed up for us is still great news. Not only do we get a couple of coveted wins added to our total, but this also helps our hitters get in rhythm and our pitchers work out some kinks.
With Bassit and Montas going long the first two games, I’m hoping Melvin releases the bullpen, which is in dire need of a confidence boost.
Mengden’s on the mound tonight, hoping to build off a shaky first start. He’ll be facing off against Matt Boyd, who’s relaying his strong second-half last year into a bonafide breakout season that may lead to his first all-star appearance season.
Unfortunately, two of our big guns — Davis (hip) and Olson — are getting days off. This moves Piscotty to DH, Pinder to RF, and Canha to 1B. It’s not great timing given that they’re facing off against the Tiger’s ace, but Pinder and Canha, both of whom homered yesterday, have shown that they’re overqualified as backups and that they can compete with some of the better guys in the league.