Seeing the Oakland A’s win is awesome. Seeing them beat the Astros is more awesome. Seeing them take the four-game set — with still another game to play tomorrow — is downright super-mega-ultra-awesome.
Crunch Time is upon us, and the A’s are fighting tooth and nail to claw up to that tantalizing Wild Card pedestal, dancing just half a game from their fingertips. A win from the A’s today and a loss from Tampa Bay would mean a slot all to themselves. A win would mean defeating the Astros. Taking another full game on the division leader? That would just be icing on the cake.
Speaking of victories, Thursday’s victory was pretty special!
We won our 9000th game as a franchise last night, so that means tonight's win.... pic.twitter.com/30z4VigdCV— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 17, 2019
I couldn’t have said it any better myself!!
The A’s have had a pepper of moves this week, here’s a rundown. Second baseman, Corban Joseph, was called up from the depths of the minors, Beau Taylor was DFA’d. Josh Phegley has been welcomed back from the IL, and thus Dustin Garneau has also been DFA’d. RHP Matt Harvey was signed to a minor league contract, and Sean Manaea is... well, on another brink of return to action.
While Dustin Garneau certainly made himself right at home here, having Phegs back is a sigh of relief. While Phegley’s power has slipped a little since his Mega Hot May, his strike out rate has inched down and he’s still hitting a totally fair .247. On the mental side of the coin, having Phegley back behind the plate for our race to the postseason is crucial. Heck, Phegley was most of who our staff threw to while Herrmann was working his way back from injury. Welcome back, PTBNL!
Another piece that needed mending was second base. The team gave Profar — and Barreto — a fair chance, and then some, to mend the issues he was having at the beginning of the season. Watching Profar was like trying to use a TV remote with dying batteries. It just barely worked, but you keep clicking just in case you won’t have to get up and find replacement ones. Unfortunately, as it turned out, Barreto 2019 was about the equivalent of trying to use a TV remote with no batteries in it. So, before A’s fans became grouchy enough to drag Stomper out of the stands and put him in at 2B, Corban Joseph showed up.
Joseph, a 30-year-old veteran of the minors, made his Oakland debut in Wednesday’s game against the Giants. He has seen exactly 24 major league at bats in his 11-year career. In Friday’s 7-6 defeat of the Astros, Joseph smacked his first Major League dinger. On top of that, he’s picked up four hits and a pair of RBI. Welcome up, Joseph!
The A’s called up a new player, so you know what time it is! It’s dog report time. Corban Joseph has two cute dogs, which look a lot like each other. This is very cute. I only have one dog, but if I put him next to a mirror, sometimes he thinks there’s another dog and he looks confused and threatened. So, if you look at it that way, I have two dogs that look a lot like each other.
Anyway, here’s Jet!
The only issue with Joseph so far is that I keep writing Corban Joseph’s name “Joseph Corban”. This is not a real problem and matters to exactly no one except my delete key, which I have to mash every time I type his name in the wrong order.
In the midst of Friday night’s 13-inning defeat of the Astros, something happened that I haven’t gotten to write about in a while. The Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen train combined for six K’s, including three innings of work from Lou, which earned him the W.
The tandem is not anywhere near what it was last season, so any peek of that feels like a victory. If this is a look of things to come, bring it on.
Today, Brett Anderson takes the helm as the A’s attempt to sail away with a four-game sweep of the Astros. A rest day is on the horizon, so it’s time to pull out all the stops, though if we can win it before the 13th inning, I’m sure our bullpen would appreciate it.
Today I learned about a man named Jerry Lumpe. His name is pronounced “lum-pee” and his head kind of looked like a Lumpe. He was an infielder for the KC A’s 60 years ago. I would love to say we could have him play 2B if Joseph doesn’t work out, but Lumpe died five years ago at age 81, so it wouldn’t be feasible at this time.