Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
Just as the A’s seemed to be building momentum with two straight series wins, they closed out the first half of the season dropping all three of the weekend’s games at Fenway. These things can happen: the Fenway crowd can be tough, and the Red Sox came into the series with momentum of their own, having just taken five of six in winning series against the Blue Jays and Rangers.
What makes the Boston series so frustrating is that it seemed so poorly managed, with Mark Kotsay stubbornly trotting out openers every day, messing with the starting pitchers’ routines and rhythms, and even putting Luis Medina in relief of Sam Long after the latter made a bases-loaded mess of the second inning.
Yesterday’s game really took the cake, though. The Red Sox didn’t beat the A’s on Sunday. The A’s beat themselves with amateur-level execution—plus plenty of the aforementioned mismanagement as Kotsay went with the “starter-stack” strategy, putting Paul Blackburn in relief of JP Sears as we watched the A’s lead evaporate in the sixth.
In a way, the A’s plated a full stack of starters yesterday, but two of them have mostly been relegated to the bullpen.
basically our whole opening day rotation* pitched today lol pic.twitter.com/kslnO1kvNR— Depressed A’s Fan (@SadAsFan) July 9, 2023
Silver linings: Sears continues to pitch well, Shintaro Fujinami is beginning to look like he may have found a groove, and Brent Rooker is looking like an All-Star again at just the right time. Time to take a break, deconstruct the A’s draft picks, and hope for a much better second half—it’s a low bar to clear.
- Willis: 2023 MLB Draft Day 1 Tracker and Open Thread
- Toster: A’s select Jacob Wilson with 6th overall pick
- Toster: A’s select Myles Naylor with 39th overall pick
- Toster: A’s select Ryan Lasko with 42nd overall pick
- Toster: Oakland A’s 2023 Draft Preview: Who’s going 6th this time?
- Ashford: Athletics end first half with 4-3 loss to Red Sox
- Shea: Surprises, winners and losers for Giants, A’s and MLB at 2023 All-Star break ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Polishuk: Pirates Select Paul Skenes With First Pick Of 2023 Draft
- Law and Miller: MLB Draft 2023: LSU’s Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews become first pair of teammates to go 1-2 in draft ($)
- Bowden: MLB Futures Game superlatives: Bowden’s takeaways from a day filled with future stars ($)
- Jenkins: Shohei Ohtani vs. Babe Ruth debates almost always get this key detail wrong ($)
- Polishuk: Yankees Fire Hitting Coach Dillon Lawson
- Polishuk: Rangers Interested In Lance Lynn
- Polishuk: NL West Notes: Freeland, Jameson, Corbin, Ohtani, Dodgers
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
While the Oakland Athletics took SS Jacob Wilson of Grand Canyon University with the 6th pick, fans chant at Commissioner Rob Manfred,— Patrick Lyons (@PatrickDLyons) July 9, 2023
“SELL THE TEAM!” and “STAY IN OAKLAND!” pic.twitter.com/7b2yr0HZsb
A’s top pick a former classmate of fellow prospect Max Muncy.
Jacob Wilson reunites with A's prospect Max Muncy. The two were teammates at Thousand Oaks High School, coached by Jack Wilson.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 9, 2023
Jacob and his pops, Jack.
Baum picking up steam this year.
Tyler Baum recorded his 11th save for Lansing today and heads into the break with a 1.72 ERA and a 37:14 K:BB in 31 1/3 IP. The A's 2019 2nd-round pick had a really rough go from 2020-22, but has been terrific this season. Might be best story of the first half in the A's system.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) July 9, 2023
Remembering Jason’s first.