If there is one movie character who embodies the Oakland A’s, it is Forrest Gump. Undeniably lovable, a big heart and strong resolve, despite setbacks beyond his control. Forrest believed he had to take on the world, armed only with what God gave him at birth to fulfill his own destiny. For us, the history of baseball is the All Mighty who has set the (financial) challenges we must overcome.
Life is like a box of chocolates…
Perhaps the nastiest chocolate in the box so far this season has been Frankie Montas’ PED suspension. Whether you side with Frankie or not, it’s a cruddy situation. Montas states he unknowingly took the substance — Ostarine — however he accepted the suspension without an appeal.
The facts are these: 1) Montas picked up nine wins for us 2) Montas will be out for 80 games and the post season 3) He will be back for only five games 4) There is no solid plan for a singular Montas replacement as of yet. Everything between is speculation.
Some chocolates do not taste very good. Is it … strawberry? Banana creme? Why is it so grainy? Best to get rid of that one and move on to another.
Mike Fiers is the Rice Krispies filled one. He’s not always smooth, sometimes a bit crumbly, but he has been a solid performer for the A’s since they acquired him from the Tigers at the end of last season. In a situation where Montas is gone and everyone else is pitching with an injury or performance question mark, it feels even better to have him around.
Yesterday’s win was a perfect example of how Fiers outings have gone this season. Three walks, three hit batters, just two K’s, and yet he managed to throw six frames and give up only a single run. Crunchy!
The Blake Treinen truffle accidentally fell behind the couch when you tore into the box, and you’ll have to wait until you find it to know if it’s good, or if you stepped on it and now it has melted and become one with your carpet. Treinen has been placed on the IL with a shoulder strain. While his performance has not been where it was last season, hopefully this trip to the IL will fix what needs to be fixed and Treinen will be back to full strength. He had a brief scare with his elbow back in May.
Just when you thought the box of chocolates was a bust, you found the mint creme! That’s why you bought this box! You’re right, that chocolate was Sean Manaea, who reportedly might throw off a real baseball mound to real baseball players that aren’t his teammates on Tuesday, after completing 60 pitches of a simulated game last Thursday in Arizona. It’s possible he still might throw one more simulation, but Melvin thinks there’s a “good chance” that his outing on Tuesday will come in a real minor league rehab game.
Oh, yum! A cherry cordial?! That’s the good stuff! That’s Matt Chapman’s walk-off homer on Thursday night!
First, let’s rewind to Wednesday. We attended the San Rafael Pacifics — of the Pacific Association — game against the Salina Stockade, which ended in a walk-off homer by Axel Johnson! Gatorade shower for everyone! Little did we know how much more exciting things would get 24 hours later…
Until the ninth inning, the 1-1 A’s tie with the Rays looked like it would plug on forever. As the remaining fans debated if they dared stay for extras or try to get out of the parking lot before it happened, the Rays stung Blake Treinen for 3 runs in the top of the ninth. Fans emptied before Trienen was escorted off the mound and, for those of us left, it looked as if we’d have to call the game another “What a great night for baseball, who cares what the score was”!?
Baseball is not always so predictable.
Two outs and two men on in the bottom of the ninth, Matt Chapman stepped to the plate. Although he hadn’t hit a homer since June 2nd, there was still that “what if” hanging in the cool air. A hope, warm in the chilly night. Rays reliever Diego Castillo set and dealt, and Chapman grabbed the chance, crushing a 423ft dinger to win the game. Woo! Gatorade bath from Matt Olson!
Not only that, but on Saturday, he broke the 1-1 tie against Tampa in the third with another home run. When the Rays knotted the score again at two in the seventh, Chapman smashed an RBI double to push the A’s ahead for the second time, and this time it stuck in a 4-2 win.
What is our destiny? Right now, our destiny is Brett Anderson taking the mound against Tampa to secure our win in the series. Next week holds some interesting stuff in our future. Seeing who will return to us, healthy and ready to perform, seeing who will step up. As always, it’s an exciting time for A’s baseball, and your destiny is what you make of it.