Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
I’m sure you have something to be happy about, but no joy is to be had in remembering the Cleveland Guardians’ three game sweep of the A’s over the weekend. After hanging tough and staying above the .500 mark through most of April, the A’s dropped two frustratingly close games on Friday and Saturday to end the month, and then started off May by taking a pretty sound drubbing in Sunday’s snoozer to fall to a record of 10-12.
Oakland is now in fourth place in the AL West, 4.5 games behind the division-leading Angels. Nope, that isn’t a typo.
In some ways, it seemed like the things that had been going unexpectedly well for the A’s began showing signs of regressing toward expectations last weekend. First, the bullpen gave up a three run lead on Friday, squandering the A’s first big offensive day in over a week.
Then on Saturday, closer-of-late Dany Jiménez yielded his first runs of the season, unable to pitch out of trouble yet again—though it is worth noting that his 0.00 ERA still holds, since the runs were unearned. Infielder Nick Allen committed an uncharacteristic error that extended the ninth inning and allowed the Guardians to complete their rally to victory.
The A’s offense was leading the majors in runs scored just a couple of weeks ago, but has been anemic since, even with the lineup getting back toward full strength after some early injuries. Oakland’s bats were silenced for nearly all of Sunday’s game but managed a few consolation runs in the ninth. James Kaprielian, who we’d hoped would be a welcome reinforcement in the starting rotation, was positively off the mark and got lit up en route to a third inning exit.
Will the A’s claw their way back to .500 this week or fall further behind and perform as experts projected ahead of the season? Let’s take stock of a few positives:
- The A’s begin a three game home series against Tampa Bay today. The Rays are a tough opponent, but the A’s took three of four from them in St. Petersburg last month.
- A.J. Puk looked fantastic and kept the game close on Friday after Justin Grimm and Domingo Acevedo blew the A’s lead. Maybe he’s ready for high-leverage action?
- Finally, Ramon Laureano is eligible to return this Sunday!
We shall see how well the A’s can keep up the fight.
- Hall: Game #22: A’s rocked by Cleveland
- Nico: So What Have We Learned By “May Day”?
- Ashford: Game #21: Late error costs A’s in 3-1 loss
- Hall: A’s roster moves: James Kaprielian activated, Adam Oller optioned
- Hall: A’s claim Domingo Tapia off waivers from Royals
- Kawahara: A’s face complex decisions with roster reduction looming ($)
- Shea: Pine time to prime time: Giants, A’s show there’s no shame in coming off bench ($)
- Martin: Irvin’s tenacity on full display in A’s loss to Guardians
MLB News & Interest:
- The Athletic: Clayton Kershaw passes Don Sutton for Dodgers all-time strikeouts record ($)
- Polishuk: AL West Notes: Ohtani, Angels, Syndergaard, Altuve, Carpenter, Story, Giles
- The Athletic: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani exits game vs. White Sox with right groin tightness ($)
- Polishuk: Giants To Activate Alex Cobb From 10-Day Injured List
- Polishuk: Mariners Place Mitch Haniger On 10-Day Injured List
- Adams and Polishuk: Several Veterans On Minor League Deals Have Sunday Opt-Outs
- Zencka: Quick Hits: Musgrove, Alford, Kreidler, Arenado
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Mike Selleck’s latest notes:
The A’s turned four double plays yesterday, which were their most in a game since May 24, 2018 when they had five…now have 23 for the season, which is the most in the American League and tied for second most in the majors (Rockies, 29)...the A's game note highlights for May 1: pic.twitter.com/DsSG5Pl5W8— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) May 1, 2022
Sean Murphy has hit all four of his home runs with runners on base, which is tied for third most in the American League...the A's game note highlights for April 30: pic.twitter.com/Wouyhcm0W2— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) April 30, 2022
Neuse a big bright spot in a sputtering offense.
Sheldon Neuse’s BABIP (not Shooty—batting average ball in play) is .442 in 2022— Vince Cotroneo (@vincebaseball) April 30, 2022
No further setbacks please!!
Ramón Laureano hasn’t played in Triple-A Las Vegas’ last two games; Kotsay said it’s precautionary after Laureano had some soreness from sleeping wrong.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 30, 2022
Lou working his way back.
Lou Trivino will make a rehab outing for Low-A Stockton tomorrow, Mark Kotsay said. A’s will see how he recovers then decide a next step.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 30, 2022
I’m ready to peep Langeliers in green and gold without a doubt!
Shea Langeliers went deep. Again. That’s number 8 on the season. pic.twitter.com/4LzJOGrgKH— Jason Burke (@ByJasonB) May 1, 2022
A big Saturday night for the Aviators.
Catcher Shea Langeliers hit 2 HRs, LF Luis Barrera also homered, SS Vimael Machin had 3 hits, rehabbing CF Ramon Laureano went 1 for 3 with a double, 2 walks & a stolen base and LHP Jared Koenig allowed 2 ER & K'd 9 in 5.2 IP to earn the win in @AviatorsLV 10-2 victory tonight.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) May 1, 2022
Rickey broke Brock’s record on May Day in 1991.
May is #AAPIHeritageMonth
Kyle Schwarber, Met killer