Life after an 80 game suspension for the star of your rotation is not a scenario you plan for. Why would you? It sounds bleak and gray and kinda ugly. Having to catch your balance after that kind of stumble is expected. No one would scold you. However, to pull out all your stops and go on a fantastic tear ... yeah, not so expected.
Since Montas’ suspension, the A’s have won 12 of their last 17 games, outscoring opposition 98-61. Once more, bad luck tried to get in the way of the A’s, and they fought back tooth and nail. We lost Frankie Montas and got better.
Even with Khrush injured here and there, we still have a guy in the home run chase. Matt Chapman, who just smashed his 21st dinger in the demolition of the Angels yesterday, is now within three dingers of tying American League leader, Edwin Encarnación. Chappy is also eight behind Christian Yelich, who leads all of baseball with 29. Boom!
Marcus Semien has proved what a splendid infielder he has become — not to be lost in the glow of Gold Gloves surrounding him on each corner of the A’s infield. However, his offensive production has never been quite so intimidating as it is shaping up to be this season.
A leap in homers — 11 so far this year, compared to just 15 in 159 games last season — is the not the only thing he has brought to the table. Semien has pushed his OBP up to a solid .353, the highest it has ever been. He draws walks (43), knocks in RBI (42) and steals bases (5). Semien is becoming a well-rounded threat, that coveted five-tool player teams dream of. And with Semien’s name mixed in with talks of contract extensions, the young San Francisco native could be all ours for years to come.
In the not-so-great news, not only did Tanner Anderson get smashed for seven runs on Thursday, but we lost Khrush to a Luis Garcia fastball to the hand. He is still not feeling 100%, so all we can do in the meantime is send good juju his way.
It’s a left hand contusion for Khris Davis. Still not feeling comfortable gripping the bat. Melvin said he remains day-to-day. Hopeful for tomorrow but sounds like a return after Monday’s off day is more likely.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) June 30, 2019
Stephen Piscotty exited yesterday’s 4-0 win over the Angels after an awkward slide into second in an attempt to avoid a tag. He was on the ground in pain for several minutes, surrounded by teammates and medical staff before being helped off the field. Right knee sprain is the current word, but we have to wait for an MRI for a sure answer.
Blake Treinen, on the other hand, is on schedule to return Wednesday, avoiding any setbacks. While he hasn’t been as Mr. Automatic as last season, Treinen has still saved 16 of 18 opportunities while fighting off trips to the IL.
Joakim Soria celebrated something a little different this week, becoming the first Mexican-born pitcher to reach 674 career appearances. Last Tuesday, he passed Dennys Reyes to collect the unique title. He even got a party and a cake from Melvin and the team! Happy 674th, Joakim! Lookin good for your age!
Turns out Soria is not the only player setting cultural records. It’s time to enter ... Wang’s World! Party time! Excellent!
Wei-Chung Wang has gone from cast-off to bullpen stud, compiling 10 K’s over 15 innings of work in the past month, giving up only three runs, eight hits and two walks. Can you say ... Schwing!!
How do you follow up such an amazing road trip? Take a day off, then come home for a few days and take down the Twins, of course! Daniel Mengden (2-1, 4.03) takes the mound tomorrow at 7:07 against Jake Odorizzi (10-3, 2.73). No better way to use your momentum than to take on the AL Central leaders in your own home. The A’s are only 1.5 games behind Texas for a Wild Card, so a positive homestand could really swing our luck before heading back out on the road again.
Time to see what our repaired pitching staff can pull off. And perhaps another Chappy dinger, or four?
Which piece to the starting pitching puzzle are you most excited by?
This poll is closed
Daniel Mengden (version 12)
Those incubating prospects
Come back, Sean Manaea!!
Just put Josh Phegley back on the mound, that worked fine!