The A’s finished Sunday’s game with their best home record since 2013. It just so happens they dropped the home finale in a flub to the Rangers, but with so much other hooplah going on, no one will remember.
In the 2013 season, the A’s record was enough to win the AL West Pennant. This year, it’s currently enough for a first place spot in the Wild Card.
Liam Hendriks roared into 2019 like a dog after a new jar of peanut butter. He exceeded all expectations and earned his first ASG appearance. A couple months later, Hendriks broke Rollie Fingers’ 1975 single-season strikeout record, which sat sturdy at 115 for 44 years. Hendriks has been nominated for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award, as he was back in 2017 as well.
Also on Friday, it was Mike Fiers bobblehead day at the Coliseum, and Fiers’ return from injury. He was not sporting a cat tail on his face, but his arm looked better than it did prior to injury. Never one to miss a chance at making a statement, Mike Fiers blasted the Rangers with a lights-out eight-inning performance, solidified by a 2-K ninth from Chris Bassitt. The two combined to face the minimum number of batters on the night.
Sometimes we must remind ourselves that pro athletes are regular people, just like us, outside of their cool jobs. How many times have you burned your fingers on the stove or pulled your back taking out the trash and thought, “How do professional athletes never end up on the IL with these things?” It’s rare to hear of an athlete succumbing to the daily hazards of life, but Lou Trivino was not so lucky. He was out with a mysteriously bruised oblique and ribs, and on Friday he came forth and revealed the injuries were not from the wear-and-tear of the baseball season, but from a slippery shower.
According to Bob Melvin, Trivino is out for the rest of the regular season, as is Blake Treinen.
Treinen’s 2019 did not pan out the way he envisioned it, unless he was picturing poor performance spattered with stints on the IL and a persistent back injury. Treinen did not fall in the shower, but his back has now officially removed him from the rest of the regular season and postseason.
While a perfectly healthy Treinen will be sorely missed, an off-and-on Treinen will finally not leave a wound in the bullpen. The A’s rotation overfloweth with quality pitching, and with Frankie Montas slated to return today, the A’s have time to experiment with testing the relief waters. Finding who works best in what role will be a key aspect of keeping the A’s low-budget misfit toys alive when the time comes to fight the big fish.
Ramon Laureano didn’t play on his own bobblehead night on Sunday, but he did this on Saturday instead!
Just a subtle reminder that Ramon does not care about the laws of physics.
Marcus Semien has finally been enjoying the breakout season he deserves. There are reasons Bob Melvin has been pushing for Semien’s name in the MVP candidacy. In the meantime, he finally got some hardware for his hard work. On Sunday, Semien was honored with the 2019 Jim “Catfish” Hunter award! Woo-hoo!
Congrats to Marcus on winning the 2019 Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award!— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 22, 2019
The award is annually given to an A's player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the competitive, inspirational, and courageous spirit of Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter! pic.twitter.com/1VekmoHirt
Speaking of Hometown Heroes ... You’ve heard of “The Called Shot”, now get ready for, “The Called Shirt”! Mark Canha — a San Jose native and Cal Berkeley grad — was featured on the A’s “Hometown Hero” giveaway shirt on September 18th. In the bottom of the 11th against the Royals, with fans waving his shirt in the air, Canha hit a walk-off double to seal the 1-0 win for the A’s. Talk about hero!
Last Sunday, in Arlington, Matt Chapman smacked a dinger in the 6-1 win over the Rangers. That 244th home run broke the A’s single-season dinger record, set back in 1996.
The A’s have lucked out this year, welcoming up a crazy amount of talented rookies from the minors. If the future of the franchise was already looking bright to you, it’s time to get some shades. The Arizona Fall League is poppin with A’s prospects, and on Saturday the Mesa Solar Sox brought the heat, with some help from future A’s. In the Sox 7-6 walk off victory over Glendale, A’s prospects combined for five hits and six runs. The winning run itself came in the form of a double from A’s 25th-ranked prospect, Alfonso Rivas.
After yesterday’s bloop against the Angels, the A’s still maintain a half game lead on Tampa, and a full game on Cleveland. Tampa takes on the Yankees again today and Cleveland is still facing the 68-88 White Sox.
I feel vile even typing this, but go Yankees! (ew)
Frankie Montas has been reinstated as the A’s starter today. In reality, he’s a place-holder to get the other guys some more rest. He can’t play in the postseason and is only eligible for the final five games of the regular season, and a potential tie-breaker.
For a more positive note, it is imperative that I bring your attention to this.
The Mike Fiers Cat Tail Beard may have breathed its last breath, but Sean Manaea keeps the looks train rolling, weaving the newest strands in his long and luscious hairstory with the A’s.