Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s 2023 season plods along: after breaking up an eight game losing streak on Friday with an exciting win in Toronto, the boys in green and gold got back to losing decisively for the remaining two games in the series against the Blue Jays. Thus, the A’s return to Oakland after a 1-5 road trip, standing at 8-14 in the month of June despite a seven game wining streak.
One bright spot in June that may console A’s fans is the resurgence of Tony Kemp after struggling through the first two months of the 2023 season. TK provided all of the A’s offense in yesterday’s 12-1 drubbing in Toronto, preventing a shutout with a home run off Yusei Kikuchi in the sixth.
Julia Kreuz at MLB.com noted that Kemp is hitting .297 this month with a .921 OPS. That improvement hasn’t yet been enough to get Tony’s batting average over .200 for the season, but it’s a start. A’s manager Mark Kotsay remarked that Kemp has set a good example for his younger teammates in methodically grinding through his slump and demonstrating that with persistence, results will eventually come.
“He definitely showed the young guys what it means to go through a struggle at this level and continue to work,” said Kotsay. “Time is his ally. He’s coming out of it and being a true pro.”
Kemp has also been making some spectacular defensive plays this month, like this falling down, over-the-shoulder gem of a catch he made in shallow center against the Guardians last week.
Let’s hope all of this presages a ripping second half for this A’s veteran. Keep it up, TK!
- Willis: A’s struggles continue with 12-1 loss to Blue Jays
- Kreuz: Kemp’s June turnaround is bright spot amid A’s offensive struggles
MLB News & Interest:
- Ardaya and The Athletic: Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman gets 2,000th career hit vs. Astros: How it impacts his legacy ($)
- Deeds: Chicago Notes: Stroman, Hendriks, Clevinger
- Kirschner: Yankees’ Josh Donaldson benched again as team determines his future role ($)
- Polishuk: AL Central Notes: Anderson, Buxton, E-Rod, Manning
- Woo and Miller: Cardinals rally past Cubs in London Series finale: How St. Louis bounced back from Saturday’s struggles ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
There was an “up” side?
Kotsay assesses Medina's up-and-down outing on the bump today pic.twitter.com/lzscSLbmQg— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 25, 2023
Smoke inducted to California Sports Hall of Fame.
The blessing continue This evening I’m being inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame!! I’m so honored to be apart of the group of people that represent California’s best! Many thanks to Christian Okoye for allowing me to be a part of this group— Dave “Smoke” Stewart (@Dsmoke34) June 25, 2023