Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s have been surprisingly delightful through the first seven games of the season, standing at 4-3 after a near-sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays this week. With so many star players having departed during the offseason, winning necessitates contributions from newcomers like Dany Jiménez and Cristian Pache, both of whom delivered in the clutch in St. Petersburg. Jimenez got his first MLB save yesterday, while Pache ... well, if you don’t know, you’re definitely not paying attention.
Heralded primarily for his defense in center field, Pache made big contributions on the offensive end in St. Petersburg, thanks in no small part to his blazing speed on the basepaths. He capitalized on a Randy Arozarena error to turn a would-be single into a Little League homer in yesterday’s win, and beat out a throw to first later in the game for an infield single.
Pache has lived up to expectations on the defensive end as well. Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle described his play in center field this week as displaying “a strong arm and good range.”
Top all of that off with the endearing, almost Confucianist words of wisdom that seem to come out of Pache every time he speaks with a reporter or tweets, and it’s easy to understand why the 23-year-old prospect is fast becoming a fan favorite. I look forward to his coffee table book of eloquently simple truisms someday.
Another newcomer who came through big for the A’s yesterday was reliever Dany Jiménez, a minor-league offseason acquisition who came in to close for the A’s on Thursday and got his first save in the process, holding the Rays scoreless in the ninth to seal Oakland’s 6-3 victory. Jiménez told Kawahara afterward how surprised he was to get the call and that it was “just a very emotional moment” for him to get the save in his fifth major-league appearance. He’s off to a promising start this year, having pitched three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
Fingers crossed that the A’s keep the magic alive in Toronto this weekend against Matt Chapman and the Blue Jays! Wow; that felt weird to type. A’s starter Daulton Jefferies will seek his second win of the season against Ross Stripling for the Jays in today’s series opener, starting at 4:07pm PT.
- Hall: Game #7: A’s outplay Rays in 6-3 victory
- Hall: Three-run homers are better than solo homers
- Kawahara: Dave Stewart hashes out A’s jersey retirement confusion with Dave Kaval ($)
- Kawahara: A’s reliever Dany Jiménez notches ‘very emotional’ first save ($)
- Kawahara: Newcomer Cristian Pache puts speed on display as A’s take series from Rays ($)
- Gallegos: Check out Kotsay’s adorable interaction with young fan
MLB News & Interest:
- Meisel: Planes, trades and automobiles: How the José Ramírez contract extension unfolded amid a day of chaos ($)
- Franco: Padres To Promote MacKenzie Gore, Place Blake Snell On 10-Day IL
- Franco: John Means Leaves Start For “Precautionary” Reasons With Forearm Tightness
- Ardaya: Now in his new ‘home,’ Freddie Freeman embraces his fresh start with Dodgers ($)
- Torres: Manager Brian Snitker takes center stage during Braves’ Championship Week ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
First butts, and now big ol’ donkeys. Murph is getting quite the colorful treatment lately!
Kevin Kiermaier on Sean Murphy: "He's got stupid power. He was locked in, and boy he can backspin the ball very well and hit the ball very hard. I like my chances more times than not, but big ol' donkeys like him, man, I tip my hat. I wish I had that power."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 14, 2022
Gotta love a fast lens.
And I am ... not!
Cristian Pache, through an interpreter, asked if he was tired crossing the plate on his Little League-style homer: "No, I'm still young."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 14, 2022
Allen called ‘em for Dany’s first save.
A’S WIN— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 14, 2022
Dany Jiménez slams the door for his first career save pic.twitter.com/r7gFIxCOXW
May your Cinderella story have many pages left to be written, Dany!
From not making the team as a Rule 5 pick to securing a road series win against a potential World Series contenting club in little more than a year's time — impressive work from Dany Jiménez and a terrific series for the A's.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) April 14, 2022
A fitting end for an historic memento. Shame about those unis (sorry, it had to be said).
Philly fans are crazy (not all, just most) https://t.co/lJ6kPEuLRT— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 14, 2022
Yes, yes, HELL YES!
20 more games until we get Pache & Laureano in the same lineup pic.twitter.com/LxLIip9gbK— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) April 14, 2022
Good luck today in Stockton, Kap! Fun fact: I was born there.
James Kaprielian will pitch tomorrow for the Stockton Ports as he continues to progress in his rehab.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 14, 2022
This was the MLB leaderboard entering today for highest exit velocities of the 2022 season. This afternoon Sean Murphy hit one 114.0 mph (16 degree angle, 405 feet, RBI double). That's a career-high EV for Cakes. pic.twitter.com/3BqaasZhtW— Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) April 14, 2022
Clarifications on Postseason tiebreakers.