It’s Tuesday, and the Oakland Athletics are back home to start off a 3 game set against the Cincinnati Reds. This is the 7th interleague matchup between the A’s and Reds, and the last time the Reds were in the East Bay was back in 2013 when the series was split. Cincinnati is sitting in a very similar place as the A’s are at this point in the season. The two teams’ records are identical aside from the A’s last loss in Pittsburgh, though the Reds have had a bit of an edge as their bats took a huge jump during their last series against San Francisco.
While the rest of the team made their way back from Pittsburgh after a disappointing road trip, Matt Olson has made his way back to The Town from Las Vegas finishing up his rehab and ready to make an impact in the A’s lineup. With Olson’s reinstatement from the IL, the A’s made the corresponding move to send Skye Bolt back down to AAA for now, being on the MLB roster for only the last 3 games.
Mike Fiers starts the game for the Athletics today. Fiers’ last two starts have been a bit more of what was expected of the A’s opening day starter, lasting 7 innings against Toronto and pitching 5 against Boston. While those starts earned Fiers a no-descision and a loss, they were still stonier than most of Mikes offerings through April. Another good sign is that Fiers’ velocity has been on the rise:
Fiers has added 1 mph on average each month so far, with his fastballs moving from a March 88mph average, to over 90mph so far in May. Hopefully these improvements continue and Fiers can lead the A’s past a lacklustre April.
The Reds send Tyler Mahle to the mound, making his 7th start of the season. Mahle has yet to earn a win, but his record does not necessarily reflect his performance so far this year. The Reds’ batters have yet to give Mahle more than 3 runs of support in any of his 2019 starts.
Update: Kendrys Morales will be taking KD's spot in the lineup due to his left hip contusion. https://t.co/wMn4OGi400— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 8, 2019
Nick Senzel is the Reds’ rookie who has hit 3 home runs in 4 games since being called up, the always dangerous Joey Votto is leading off, and the Reds have free agent signing Derek Dietrich DHing after his extermination escapades in their last bee-delayed game.
The A’s have Olson back batting 5th, have Laureano
and Khris Davis back in the lineup after being considered day-to-day with minor injuries, and and have Blake Treinen available in the bullpen again after a few days of elbow tendinitis. Inserted as DH On the bench for the A’s is Kendrys Morales, who while expected to be relieved of duty once Matt Olson returned, is being held as a backup for both DH and 1B, at least until Mark Canha is back from the IL.
The A’s themselves look to get back on track after a tough road series, hopefully things start clicking with Olson back in the lineup.