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Elephant Rumblings: A long awaited homer for Bethancourt

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Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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.

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.

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Best of Twitter

All-timer getup for the ballpark

A’s will have Lou Gehrig Day patches on Friday

Big meeting regarding the end of month vote from BCDC for Howard Terminal happening today.

A fun stat from Vince Cotroneo regarding Bethancourt’s tendency to jump on the first pitch