Today, it will be hotter in Oakland (97º) than it will be in Tampa (88º), where the A’s are set to take on the Rays. This is a weather phenomenon we like to call “What the Heck.” It’s also called an “unpleasant surprise.” On the flip side, the A’s have had a mass of pleasant surprises this season. One, is that they get to miss playing in 97º heat today by being in Florida.
Another, is Josh Phegley, who may be the most endearing of our pleasant surprises.
Since we got him in 2015, Phegley has been the solid backup, the time-splitter, the Old Reliable. He’s the guy you wanted to come to your family cook-out, the every-day man. The nickname he chose to wear for Players Weekend will tell you everything about Josh Phegley’s personality: “PTBNL.”
Who knew he would rise above the injury to Chris Herrmann in Spring Training and take on his role as sole starting catcher? Who knew he’d have already crushed 8 dingers and a team-leading 38 RBI, both stats surpassing his totals from his past three seasons combined? And when he was asked to step up in Saturday’s first game of the doubleheader when Nick Hundley was injured, who could have seen him striding in and doubling on the first pitch he saw, then smacking a dinger, driving in three runs, and drawing himself a walk?
Because real life is stranger than fiction. (And also Meat Tent, of course.)
Phegley has always been the guy we wanted to have a breakout season, but no one could have predicted what actually happened. He’s currently 7th in All-Star voting among AL catchers.
Speaking of guys you never would have predicted a couple years ago, Frankie Montas is showing no signs of slowing down in the rotation. In his last start in Sunday’s 9-8 win over the Rangers, Montas K’d 10 and gave up only two runs over six innings of work. His ERA is 2.84, which nearly ties him at #10 in the majors, with Max Scherzer. Montas, however, has a little edge over Scherzer. Montas holds a 7-2 record this season, while Scherzer sits at 4-5 on a bad Nationals team. He may not have the number-one-K’s-in-the-league slot Scherzer does, but Montas’ 69 SO are nothing to sneeze at.
The night before the doubleheader in Arlington, Friday’s contest was in danger of going into extra innings. With the game knotted at three, and his bat still sizzling from a home run earlier in the game, Marcus Semien stepped to the plate with one man on. With the tie, all we could hope for was even pushing one run in to get ahead.
Semien danced his way to a 3-2 count, and when he was offered a fastball, he slammed it out of the park to put the A’s up 5-3 and bring in his second dinger of the night. The score stood, A’s won. Normal bed times for everyone!
Not to be outdone, Khrush finally smacked his 13th homer of the season yesterday. The dinger broke his drought of nearly a month, which surrounded the 9 full days he missed on the injured list with a hip contusion. Open ye floodgates!
After Brett Anderson showed signs of injury, the A’s were afraid of missing out on having a guy named Anderson in a uniform. So, in addition to getting a healthy Brett Anderson back on Friday, Tanner Anderson was summoned from the minors to beef up the Anderson quota, just in case.
The last time Tanner stepped on a Major League mound, it was out of Pittsburgh’s bullpen. However, today, Tanner will be the A’s starter at Tropicana Field to kick off the three-game set against Tampa. This will be Tanner’s first MLB start.
Two weeks ago, the Harvard grad celebrated his 26th birthday. Happy belated birthday, Tanner! You get ... a start against 1st-place Tampa Bay!
Since Daniel Mengden was bumped back down to the minors, we needed another guy with a wacky windup. Oh, wait, how about you, Tanner!? Karate kicks for days!
To say Jharel Cotton has the worst luck would be an understatement. The young righty was en route to making his Major League return from TJ surgery, when he was set further back by a hamstring injury. More than a minor pull, Cotton then needed surgery again last week to remove a torn tendon. According to Susan Slusser, the team expects to see Cotton back on the mound this season.
Nick Hundley also went on the IL with a back spasm, so the A’s called up Beau Taylor in his place to fill in the slot for backup catcher.
Tanner Anderson takes the mound at 4:10 p.m. PT for his first time as a major league starter, facing off against 35-year-old All Star, Charlie Morton. The Ivy League underdog is ready to ride the high from Sunday’s victory, set to put a chip in Morton’s unbeaten 7-0 record. If worst comes to worst, maybe he can just start karate kicking — that would be unexpected!
Why is it 88º and raining in Tampa and 97º here?
This poll is closed
Josh Phegley did a rain dance
It’s the actual flood gates opening after Khrush’s home run
Tanner Anderson accidentally kicked a hole in the sky
Skye Bolt is coming back!!