It’s Saturday folks, and you know what that means. It’s Fuji Day!
It’s also one of the best baseball days of the year: Jackie Robinson Day, which means every player and coach is rocking the iconic #42 worn by the Hall of Famer and barrier breaker. It’s an annual day of celebration for one of the most inspiring players to have ever stepped on a baseball field.
It’s been an interesting first two starts for the right-handed Japanese pitcher. Each of his first two starts have gone well early only for him to fall apart after a couple frames. In his first start he pitched two clean innings and then got absolutely blown up in the third, giving up 8 runs in the third inning to the Angels. Then his second start saw him throw three shutout innings before giving up 5 runs in the 4th and 5th innings combined. Fujinami will be hoping to help Oakland get their fourth win after they’ve lost 8 of their past 9 heading into today, and hopefully pitch five full innings.
Fujinami will be opposed by righty Carlos Carrasco. We all remember him from his days with Cleveland but he’s had a much harder go of things over the past three seasons in Queens. This year he’s 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA in a pair of starts. He’ll probably be the easiest starting pitcher they’ll see in this series with ace Max Scherzer set to start tomorrow in the series finale.
With the bullpen pitching a lot more than Mark Kotsay probably hoped for this early in the season, this afternoon would be a good day for Fujinami to get deeper into today’s game. He’ll have another tough task as the loaded Mets lineup is chock full of star power, from Pete Alonso to Francisco Lindor to former Athletic Starling Marte.
On the positive side the bats have finally woken up. Brent Rooker hit his fourth homer last night, swatting all of them in the past three games. Capel, Diaz, Langeliers, and Ruiz all had a pair of hits last night, with Diaz and Langeliers hitting a home run each in yesterday’s game. It’s a marked turnaround from earlier in the season when it felt the team couldn’t buy a hit. Now it’s just time to time the hitting at the same time as the pitching.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 15, 1:07 p.m. PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
Radio: A’s Cast, KIQI 1010, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2