Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
It was another dispiriting weekend for A’s fans, who watched the boys in green and gold get swept by the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in the first series of 2023 between the two AL West rivals. But there was a silver lining to be found: A’s pitching held the Astros to just eight runs in three games.
Unfortunately, the A’s offense managed just three runs in the series. More typically, we’ve witnessed the reverse situation where the A’s near-MLB average hitting gives the team a chance, while the team’s historically bad pitching, which has an MLB-worst ERA of 6.91, digs hole after hole and blows one save opportunity after another.
The hitting will probably get better again, and it should be noted that the Astros’ pitchers are quite formidable and capable of silencing offenses. But if A’s pitchers can sustain the improvements that have been demonstrated of late, we fans should be celebrating more wins as a result.
J.P. Sears was the A’s most noteworthy performer on the mound against the Astros. He endured a tough two-run first inning and got through another five without allowing another run. Sears struck out seven and walked just one in six innings, posting a quality start and allowing the A’s to tie the game up in the sixth.
The A’s bullpen fared respectably as well, allowing three earned runs in eight innings in the Houston series. If this level of pitching holds and the A’s offense can get back into the swing of things when Houston comes to the Coliseum this weekend, Oakland should have a pretty good chance of getting the better of the Astros in the next go-round.
- Willis: A’s offense goes quiet in 2-0 loss to Astros
- Lockard: Is Brett Harris the A’s future at third base? ‘He’s kind of bought into how good he truly is’ ($)
- Razo: Kaprielian ‘closer’ to previous form after outing vs. Astros
MLB News & Interest:
- Rosenthal and Rome: Rays have potential buyers, both local and for relocation, interested in franchise: Sources ($)
- McCaffrey: Chris Sale dominates again as Red Sox win second straight over Padres ($)
- Shea: Will Madison Bumgarner make a comeback? ‘He’s not a quitter’ ($)
- Killion: Dodgers whiff on the core concept as Pride season approaches ($)
- Polishuk: AL Notes: Whitlock, Red Sox, McCullers, Naylor, Donaldson
- Deeds: Rockies Select Matt Carasiti, DFA Fernando Abad
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
A’S RECENT MOVES: RHPs Drew Rucinski & Zach Zackson to A’s IL, RHPs James Kaprielian & Lucas Erceg to A’s, RHP Zach Neal to LV, RHP Joelvis Del Rosario off LAN IL, OF Seth Brown to STK on rehab, RHP Trevor May to LV on rehab, RHP Jorge Juan to MID…https://t.co/joKXkyUAPy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) May 21, 2023
A brawl to remember.
#OTD in 1990, the Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays continued their chippy rivalry, having the benches clear after just the first two pitches when Todd Stottlemyre threw inside to the legendary Rickey Henderson. #Athletics #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/zu7wZcFcM2— Uprooted (@uprootedoakland) May 21, 2023
I’ll probably have this on repeat for the rest of the month.
How did Ruiz avoid this tag?! pic.twitter.com/KQkDWyoIAc— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 21, 2023
No wonder Ruiz is a force of nature on the basepaths.
Esteury Ruiz has more steals (23) than three entire teams.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) May 21, 2023
Angels - 20
Twins - 16
Rockies - 14
Ruiz steals bases, Ramon steals dingers.
Most HR Robberies - Last 5 Seasons— SIS_Baseball (@sis_baseball) May 22, 2023
Ramón Laureano 6
Aaron Judge 6
Lorenzo Cain 5
Kyle Tucker 5
Josh Reddick 5 pic.twitter.com/zCdFbHPIHp