All things must come to an end. Winning streaks, healthy Brett Andersons and the box of Oreo cookies on top of your fridge. This week felt like the total opposite of where we were poised at this time last week.
Brett Anderson was pulled at the beginning of the sixth from Saturday night’s 5-1 loss to Houston. The official word is he left with Oblique Discomfort, and Anderson hopes to use the extra day off today to his advantage so he can rest and be ready for his scheduled start on Friday. Anderson, who has had a history of health issues, has left two previous games this season due to minor injuries — a neck strain on May 20th and an ankle sprain on April 21st.
Jharel Cotton followed suit with a hammy injury, shutting down his road to recovery. He was slated to return, but in a bullpen capacity instead to aid in his return. Baseball giveth and baseball taketh away, taketh away more, taketh away more and more and...
Baseball did finally giveth back our Khris Davis, who returned to the lineup on Saturday without stopping for a rehab game. Since Khrush was placed on IL on May 22nd, the A’s chopped 18 homers in eight games. Despite the obvious signs that the A’s bats stepped up in the slugger’s absence, he was certainly still missed. Khrush wasn’t able to produce any homers in his first two games back, but drew a hit and a walk in Sunday’s series cap against Houston, while Profar, Laureano, Chapman and Grossman continued to go yard in his honor.
This was a week of things just not being on the right side of the line for us. On Tuesday against the Angels, Joakim Soria — 13 for his last 15 appearances at that time — took the mound to close out the night. With his arm and the team both hot, spirits were high and adrenaline pumped as the A’s hoped to continue their impressive win streak. However, a missed call on a 1-2 curveball to Ohtani proved to be the pebble that started the landslide.
A tricky call, but umps have the jobs they do for a reason — and better do it well, if they want to make a case for not being replaced by robo-umps in Future World Baseball. Thing is, if the pitch had been called a strike, Ohtani would have been retired. Instead, two pitches later, Ohtani drove in the two runs that turned out to be the difference in the game.
Soria argued, Soria tossed, A’s streak dead.
The next line issue turned up Sunday against Houston, when Marcus Semien smashed a ball down the right field foul line, right by a flying Josh Reddick. The umpire called it foul, sending Semien trudging back to home. Turns out on the replay, the ball hit the chalk and should have been called fair. No “insufficient evidence” there, right?! However, the video was sent back to New York who, presumably viewing the video on a flip phone, upheld the original call on the field which was probably made while the ump was sneezing or trying to see what the insides of his eyelids look like.
Now, there’s no way to know for certain how things would have played out, had the ball been initially called fair, but you don’t need to be a baseball guru — I am not one of these — to know that Semien running on a ball squirting into the right field corner equals Good Stuffs For A’s.
Semien argued, and was tossed. For the first time in his entire baseball life.
Yesterday, Piscotty was called out on a borderline 3-2 pitch, he and Melivin argued, he and Melvin ejected. Same ump, same story. It was also Piscotty’s first ejection ever in his life.
It’s easier to groan and shrug off the end of a winning streak or tough losses when you can chalk it up to your team’s lack of effort or the other team’s dominance, but when you’re screwed over again and again, it feels personal and we get cranky. Who likes being cranky? No one. So that’s why we’re going to talk about Josh Phegley and JB Wendelken’s Meat Tent.
Have you noticed Phegs flashing a triangle sign over his head when he mashes a dinger or drives in a run? Is it the 2019 version of the Yonder Alonso hip shake? Is it an A? A rocket? No, whatever you said in your head, that’s not it.
According to Susan Slusser, when Phegley and Wendelken were bored during a rain delay in Nashville years ago, they came across a picture of a life-size tent made out of meat. They thought it was funny. The triangle is “meat tent.” Truth is always stranger than fiction.
I was going to post a photo of it, but it’s honestly vile. I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. I’m not going to hurt you. However, if you want to hurt yourself, please Google “life size meat tent” and you’ll find what Phegs and JB did.
The A’s officially released Fernando Rodney on May 28th as Nick Martini was reinstated from the IL (and subsequently optioned to Las Vegas). Martini is hitting .323 in 17 games for Vegas, with 15 RBI, 13 walks, and 12 strikeouts.
The A’s hope to leave their woes on the road, opening their three-game set against LAA with fiery Frankie Montas (6-2, 2.81 ERA) on the mound. The A’s have their work set out for them, but if they’re going to surge back, this is the time. With ten road games in nine days, they’ll need their A game to come out on top. Or, perhaps just showing the opposing team a picture of Meat Tent will do the trick!