Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The 2020 MLB postseason begins in a few hours! The Oakland A’s are matched up against the Chicago White Sox in the best-of-three first round, and Game 1 is at noon on ESPN.
Rosters will be announced shortly, and the A’s already got one player back from injury at the last minute when super-sub Chad Pinder returned from a strained hamstring on the final day of the regular season — and even chipped in an RBI single.
Now Oakland will welcome back another name that had been questionable, as reliever J.B. Wendelken will be activated in time to participate in the Wild Card Round series, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. The right-hander went on the IL on Thursday for undisclosed reasons, leading to speculation that the issue involved coronavirus in some way. However, all systems appear to be go for him to return to action.
That’s good news for the A’s, as Wendelken is a strong piece of their deep, MLB-best bullpen. He’s not part of the late-inning setup crew, but he can handle high-leverage innings and can also comfortably go multiple frames in a game. In 21 appearances this summer, he has a brilliant 1.80 ERA in 25 innings, with 31 strikeouts, 11 walks, and a 3.07 FIP. He’s been put in two hold situations and converted both of them successfully.
If the 27-year-old gets the chance to pitch in this series, he’ll do so against one of his former teams. He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2012 but traded to the White Sox the next year (alongside Frankie Montas, for Jake Peavy), and then Chicago sent him to Oakland after 2015 for Brett Lawrie.
- Frijoles: The dream and the nightmare of A’s playoff baseball
- Gallegos and Merkin: White Sox-A’s Game 1 FAQ (ESPN, 3 ET)
- Hickey: Homework Hassles: Why Are Athletics Using a Lefty, Luzardo, Against the White Sox?
- Hickey: Baseball Could Have Done Better Than a Schedule That Favors Second-Place Teams
- Slusser podcast: Previewing Wild Card Round
- Slusser: Reliever J.B. Wendelken to come off the injured list to join A’s playoff roster ($)
- Slusser: A’s executive Billy Beane on playoffs: ‘It becomes mano-a-mano. It’s Fight Island’ ($)
- Kawahara: A’s, Alameda County to convert Coliseum and Arena into voting site for election ($)
- Kawahara: How did A’s Tommy La Stella become the majors’ toughest hitter to strike out? ($)
- Kroichick: A’s shun script, rely on rookie catchers Murphy and Heim heading into playoffs ($)
- News: Jesús Luzardo will start Game 1, Chris Bassitt in Game 2
- News: Chris Bassitt named AL Pitcher of the Month
MLB News & Interest
- I’m sure something probably happened, but how can you focus on anything but the A’s today??
- Today in Baseball History
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
The calm before the storm. Playoffs start today!
Best of Twitter
Melvin on noon starts: "I don't like it." Says there's not much the A's can do about it.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 28, 2020
... Meanwhile, the No. 4/5 Indians/Yankees (both second-place teams) get to play during primetime, in the Central Time Zone
Bob Melvin says having a noon start (PT) Tuesday and Wednesday vs. #WhiteSox means that COVID-19 testing begins at 6:30 a.m. and batting practice goes at 9 a.m. "which we don't even do in spring training" #Athletics— John Hickey (@JHickey3) September 28, 2020
The Washington Nationals took a risk when they selected Lucas Giolito (2012) and Jesús Luzardo (2016) when both were dealing with elbow injuries (Giolito's surgery came post draft; Luzardo's before). Now both will be starting Game 1 of a postseason series, but not for the Nats.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) September 28, 2020
You can finally visit the Coliseum ... in November
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum will serve as a voting site for the 2020 general election this November! In addition to in-person voting, the Coliseum site will offer Will Call voting, curbside voting, and drive-thru drop stops. https://t.co/nAW7ubsoY8 pic.twitter.com/U5347cY0ri— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 28, 2020