Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s kept their season rolling for at least one more day. Facing not just elimination but a potential ALDS sweep on Wednesday, they mounted a thrilling comeback to win Game 3. They immediately announced they would hand the ball to Frankie Montas to start Game 4.
However, the Houston Astros were less certain about who would pitch for them on Thursday, waiting until the morning to decide. They finally chose Zack Greinke.
The 36-year-old is the Astros ace, but he struggled in his final few starts of the regular season. This week he visited a doctor due to arm soreness, but there was no structural damage, reports John Shea of the S.F. Chronicle.
The A’s have faced Greinke three times this year, and Oakland won two of the games. Once he was excellent but the A’s beat Houston’s bullpen; once he was mediocre but won a short doubleheader game; and once (most recently, in September) he allowed four runs and was out-dueled by none other than Montas.
Greinke, vs. OAK: 3.71 ERA, 17 ip, 17 Ks, 2 BB, 3 HR, 18 hits, .327 xwOBA
The three homers were hit by Ramon Laureano, Matt Chapman, and Khris Davis, two of whom will be in the lineup Thursday.
On one hand, Greinke’s 6.53 ERA in his last four regular season starts could be a concern for the Astros. On the other hand, he still only allowed two total walks in those games, with a great .289 xwOBA. He started Game 1 of the Wild Card Series against the Twins and only went four innings, with one run allowed but three walks and a high .375 xwOBA.
Houston also expects to use Cristian Javier out of the bullpen, reports Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. The rookie right-hander spent most of the year as a starter, and was beaten by the A’s both times he faced them. He also threw an inning of mop-up relief in Game 1.
Meanwhile, the A’s are also getting back a player after an injury concern. Second baseman Tommy La Stella exited Game 3 after being hit by a pitch in the elbow, but he only has a contusion and he is back in the lineup for Game 4. Manager Bob Melvin was surprised to see him ready to go and noted La Stella’s toughness, per Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
As for the rest of the playoffs on Wednesday, the Rays beat the Yankees again, and both NL favorites (Dodgers and Braves) won again to run their series to 2-0. Here’s the schedule for Thursday, all times Pacific (series standings in parentheses):
- 11:08 a.m.: Marlins @ Braves (0-2)
- 12:35 p.m.: A’s @ Astros (1-2)
- 4:10 p.m.: Rays @ Yankees (2-1)
- 6:08 p.m.: Padres @ Dodgers (0-2)
Let’s go A’s and Rays!
- Gallegos and McTaggart: OAK-HOU Gm. 4 lineups, FAQ (TBS, 3:30 ET)
- Coffey: Liam Hendriks silences the Astros, while Grant Balfour cheers him on ($$$)
- AN: It ain’t over till it’s over: 8 teams have come back from down 0-2 in the Division Series
- AN: Chad Pinder hit Dodger Stadium’s longest homer of 2020
- AN: Khris Davis breaking long slump at perfect moment
- News: Frankie Montas will start Game 4 of ALDS
- News: Tommy La Stella leaves ALDS Game 3 after hit by pitch in arm (he’s back in the lineup today)
- ALDS Game 3: Oakland A’s stay alive! Chad Pinder leads 9-7 comeback win over Astros
MLB News & Interest
- Berry: Hat thrown, kiss blown: SD-LA gets heated
- Stephen: Cody Bellinger robs Fernando Tatis Jr. of a go-ahead home run with a sublime catch
- Today in Baseball History
Game 2 Highlights
Win! Chad Pinder saves the A’s season.
You can always count on Chad #RepTheTown x @BankofAmerica pic.twitter.com/LZgc8rq62p— Oakland A's (@Athletics) October 8, 2020
With some help from Hercu-Liam Hendriks
Liam is PUMPED!...... Reddick not so much pic.twitter.com/erBGQ2Loge— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) October 7, 2020
Best of Twitter
Today marks the 2nd time in Athetics history the A's won a postseason game when trailing by at least three runs after 6 innings...the other time was in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series when they trailed the Cubs 8-0 entering the bottom of the 7th and scored 10 times to win 10-8.— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) October 7, 2020
All 5 dingers
Hella Power #RepTheTown pic.twitter.com/jxRSqnNqnr— Oakland A's (@Athletics) October 8, 2020
Welcome to October!
Jose Urquidy had given up one home run to a lefthanded hitter all season. The A's two lefties in their lineup today have both gone yard against him.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 7, 2020
First time in MLB history!
#Athletics Matt Olson, Tommy La Stella, Chad Pinder, and Marcus Semien are the first full infield in MLB history to each hit a home run during a single #postseason game.— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) October 7, 2020
Pinder’s was the 5th of the day, tying the franchise record
ATHLETICS MOST HOME RUNS, POSTSEASON GAME— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) October 7, 2020
5 -- 1989 WS Game 3
4* -- 2020 ALDS Game 3
4 -- 2002 ALDS Game 3
4 -- 1988 ALCS Game 3
4 -- 1973 ALCS Game 2
*thru 5th inning
The 10th homer (by Pinder) wasn’t solo, fortunately
The A's 8 solo homers (out of 9 total) are already tied with the 2002 Angels for the most solo shots in a League Division Series.— Matt Kelly (@mattkellyMLB) October 7, 2020
Yes, the '02 Angels went all the way, but it doesn't look like the ideal way to hold back the Astros.
Semien also quietly hot
ATHLETICS MOST CONSECUTIVE MULTIPLE HIT GAMES, POSTSEASON— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) October 7, 2020
4 Marcus Semien, 2020
4 Harold Baines, 1992
4 Carney Lansford, 1989-90
4 Frank Baker, 1911-13
Hendriks with some history too
OK, so it wasn't a save but Hendriks became the third pitcher in A's postseason history to close out a game with at least 3 scoreless innings and get the win (Fingers, 1972 ALCS G#1; Walberg, 1929 WS G#5).— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) October 7, 2020
Who you tryna get crazy with, ese? Don’t you know I’m loco?
#Athletics Liam Hendriks objects if you call him a little crazy because he's Australian. "I feel like I'm a lot crazy."— John Hickey (@JHickey3) October 7, 2020
Notable for a couple A’s free agents
Sources: the qualifying offer for MLB players in 2020 is $18.9 million. Last year’s was $17.8.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) October 8, 2020