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Fatrolf’s Sunday Sketches: Homer Bailey Gets a Baptism of Fire Edition

And, Khrush comes up clutch, but not with a crusher!

One does not simply ask the Baseball Muses for momentum to swing their way, or ask for luck really nice. It’s a grueling season of grit and sweat, believing in yourself even when outside forces laugh you off. It’s creating a masterpiece out of nothing, a portrait of success that will hang in the halls of baseball history. This year, the A’s are doing exactly that.

Since the All Star Break, the A’s have gone 7-2, outscoring their opponents 59-29. Not even a stinky end to their winning streak on Thursday could burst the A’s bubble as they bore down and bounced back the next day.

Before we talk more about bursting bubbles, we’re going to talk about Homer Bailey.

In Wednesday’s home game against Seattle, Bailey was given a baptism of fire with more pressure on his shoulders than viewers outside of A’s World were likely to see. Picked up by a new team, a new league, taking the mound against Seattle with a five-game winning streak on the line, Bailey was poised on the precipice of sending the team off on a tough road swing in either high spirits or the road blues. The game started shaky, with the score knotted at 2 through three and a half innings, but Bailey found his groove and the A’s bats found Tommy Milone. The A’s won 10-2 and Bailey picked up his first win for the Green and Gold.

We’ve had some amazing games, but Saturday night’s win sums up perfectly how the A’s season has been heading. Down by one heading into the ninth, Khris Davis came up big, not with a dinger, but with a two-run single to shove the A’s into their first lead on the day.

With one out and two on, Liam Hendriks intentionally walked Eddie Rosario to load the bases. One misstep, and the Twins would win the game. Instead, a collective sigh of relief could be felt through televisions across the Bay as Mitch Garver grounded into a double play, Semien to Profar to Olson. In a game of inches, what other infield could you ask to be backing you up?

Unfortunately, the A’s did suffer the loss of Brett Anderson during the game. He was pulled from the game with a fingernail issue, after giving up a homer to Miguel Sano in the bottom of the 7th. There has been no statement yet about the status of his next start, though he is optimistic.

The A’s almost pulled off another dramatic comeback win in the series finale on Sunday, but the Twins got the last laugh with a re-comeback in the 9th to top the A’s original go-ahead comeback from the 8th. Still, a split on the road against a first-place team isn’t bad!

Looking forward, Sean Manaea is making strides on his way back to the bigs. After a couple shaky performances in the deep recesses of the minors, he bounced back with 3⅔ scoreless innings with four K’s and a mean fastball that hovered near 90. Melvin says Manaea’s next step will be a Vegas start on Tuesday.