Happy Thursday, Athletics Nation!
Being no-hit for six innings, then coming back only to have your bullpen give away the game in the ninth stings a lot. Adding on the fact that the first meeting of the year between the Astros and A’s ended as a pretty avoidable sweep doesn’t help either. So while the team licks its wounds on an off day, let’s appreciate one of the small things that happened yesterday afternoon.
Christian Bethancourt came to the A’s on a minor league deal during the lockout last December. As Martin Gallegos profiled on mlb.com, Bethancourt has had a long journey to get to this point, going from a flashy international free agent, to a Padres backup catcher where he attempted to shift into a two-way player, to being released from the Korean Baseball Organization in 2019. But the stars aligned in Oakland this year, where he worked his way back up to the majors and has become an option at both catcher and first base for the A’s.
Bethancourt last played in the majors in 2017, and he hadn’t seen regular playing time in MLB since 2016 with the San Diego Padres. He hadn’t hit a homer since August 12, 2016, six years ago. Yesterday, on the first pitch after Elvis Andrus broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid with an RBI double, Bethancourt cracked a 409 foot dinger off of Verlander’s curveball. This was Bethancourt’s first major league home run in over 2000 days and it helped the A’s (temporarily) take the lead in a previously dour game.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/iLFSstmxZk— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 1, 2022
While it’s not fun to watch the rest of the division beat up on the A’s, at least there are exciting moments for our players that we can cheer for.
- Ashford: Game #53: 9th inning collapse costs A’s, swept by Astros
- Gallegos: First homer in 2,118 days comes off future HOFer
- Kawahara: A’s foil Justin Verlander no-hit bid, but fall 5-4 as Astros rally in ninth ($)
- Kawahara: What changes did A’s Elvis Andrus make to improve at the plate? ($)
- Britton: New York Mets are halfway to the trade deadline. Who might they add? ($) (Montas trade talk)
- DeBolt: Cat feces, cobwebs, moths: Oakland A’s complain about coliseum conditions
- Li: SeatGeek terminates deal to go public with Billy Beane’s SPAC due to market volatility
MLB News & Interest
- Feinsand: MLB to celebrate 2nd annual Lou Gehrig Day
- Castrovince: 9 brash prognostications for June
- Langs: What it means to be in 1st place entering June
- Shusterman: Women’s College World Series: Players to watch on UCLA, Texas, Oklahoma & the rest
- McDaniel: 2022 MLB Mock Draft 1.0: Kiley McDaniel projects the first round
- Bowden: MLB Draft standouts: Jim Bowden ranks the top 10 prospects in 2022 ($)
- Szymborski: Aaron Judge’s Decision To Bet on Himself Is Paying Off
- Clemens: Measuring Pitch-Arounds
- Lee: Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout mum on fantasy football dispute, undecided on being league commissioner again
- Raymer: You either know baseball is a great game, or you will never understand
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
All-timer getup for the ballpark
A’s will have Lou Gehrig Day patches on Friday
Lou Gehrig Day, for the A’s, will be observed on Friday, since they have an off day tomorrow.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) June 1, 2022
All players, managers and coaches will wear a special “Lou Gehrig Day” patch on uniforms, and red “4-ALS” wristbands will be available to be worn in-game. pic.twitter.com/hJCKyLTWMn
Big meeting regarding the end of month vote from BCDC for Howard Terminal happening today.
Next stop on the Howard Terminal Timeline: Thursday @ 9 am there's a HUGE @sfbcdc meeting that will inform their final recommendation. I hear the A's, Mayor Schaaf, The Port of Oakland will all be presenting and answering questions from the commissioners. https://t.co/KyOQr6Exvb— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 2, 2022
A fun stat from Vince Cotroneo regarding Bethancourt’s tendency to jump on the first pitch
Christian Bethancourt was a .370 lifetime hitter swinging at first pitch coming into today…it was his 4th first pitch HR in his career— Vince Cotroneo (@vincebaseball) June 1, 2022