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Game #52: Homer Happy Olson, Canha and Piscotty Soar A’s Over Mariners for 7th Straight Win

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Game Thread #1
Game Thread #2
Game Thread #3

The A’s keep rolling along; racking up yet another victory for their seventh in a row, despite a shortened starting pitching effort by tonight’s starter. The A’s offense more than made up for their pitching tonight; they racked up another three home runs as they finally figured out a way to beat Seattle.

Tonight, more than any other, highlighted what was missing in the first two months of the baseball season, Matt Olson and Mark Canha, both of whom were on display for a brief, yet game-winning, moment in today’s fourth inning, as the A’s survived a wild night by starter Daniel Mengden, who allowed just one run instead of the six he deserved, flipped around a early 1-0 deficit and held on for their seventh win in a row.

This was indeed a nine-inning game, but nearly all the action took place within about four pitches in the fourth inning. Marcus Semien walked to open the fourth inning and looked as if he might be stranded there with two outs until a single by Chad Pinder moved him to second. The A’s, who up until this very moment had made Wade LeBlanc look like Cy Young, rallied quick and hard. Matt Olson, on his very first pitch, hit the ball to dead center field to score all three runs and flip around the 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in short order. Cue one pitch, a ball, before Mark Canha lined up the back-to-back on the very next pitch, giving the A’s the 4-1 lead.

This game must have been horrendously frustrating for Seattle fans as they watched their team leave fifteen runners on base throughout the game, from a unique combination of hitter ineptitude by the Seattle lineup and effective wildness by the A’s pitchers. A one-out walk in the first and two two-out singles scored the first run for Seattle in the first inning, but they left the bases loaded. They’d leave two more on in the second, and the A’s barely escaped the third, thanks to the most improved defender in baseball, Marcus Semien, who with two on and one out, scooped a ball at shortstop from a seated position and threw the ball at the only base he could reach, third, as Matt Chapman scooped the throw and recorded the out. Another walk loaded the bases again, and only the world’s best strike three call on Mallex Smith’s 2-2 pitch; a call Mengen absolutely did not deserve, got the A’s out of the inning.

Meanwhile, the A’s went nine-up, nine-down through three; the only baserunner was Ramon Laureano after his single, and he was promptly erased in a double-play.

We headed to the fourth inning; feeling like the A’s were down 6-0 instead of the 1-0 deficit, and despite a mostly clean inning, it was Mengden’s last. Mengden finished with a line of 4.0 innings, a very inefficient 99 pitches (only 55 of which were strikes, in case you were wondering), and five walks. Of course, he didn’t earn the win (Lou Trivino did), but even somewhat terribly, he kept the A’s in the game.

After the A’s stellar fourth inning comeback, the A’s bullpen kicked into gear; the only hiccup on the night was the one run allowed by Petit. Hendriks, Petit, Trivino, and Treinen shut down the Mariners effectively for five innings; the A’s original four runs would have held up, but as Semien stole second base in the seventh, Laureano came in to score on the errant throw for the A’s fifth run, and just when Treinen was cued up for the save opportunity, Stephen Piscotty hit the A’s third home run to give the A’s the comfortable (at the time) lead in the eighth, allowing them to survive the ninth. A leadoff walk and two two-out singles allowed by Treinen loaded the bases yet again for the Mariners, but a lineout to Olson ended the game, and secured the team win.

This was a hard-fought game for the A’s; one they won even though Mengden should have imploded at multiple points; he found for just enough outs to keep the A’s in the game early, and Treinen found just enough outs to secure the game late. The A’s offense (even minus Khris Davis) is showing up night after night and the A’s are winning game after game, racking up their seventh win to go a game over the .500 mark.

These are the A’s we’ve been yearning for since the magical run of June-October of 2018. The one where you show up every night to see what the A’s have in store and it’s nothing short of magical. Enjoy this moment; the A’s are going for their eighth (possibly ninth) in a row tomorrow at 1:07PM. Mike Fiers vs. Yusei Kikuchi. We’ll see you back here for all the action!