The good news is Ken Waldichuk is making significant progress, pitching his best outing of the year. The bad news is the A’s still lost and are on the brink of ruining their winning September record.
After working his way to a solid 4.60 ERA in August, along with 30 strikeouts and 13 walks in 29 1⁄3 innings, the rookie upped his game and pitched six strong innings of shutout ball. The last time he hit that milestone was in his last start of the 2022 season when he throw seven shutout innings and made A’s fans believe they had a burgeoning ace. This year has been a step back for the young pitcher but tonight showed his career and potential aren’t written in stone yet. Over the past couple months, as he’s been allowed back into the rotation, Waldichuk’s performed at an acceptable level with flashes, like tonight, of what the A’s hoped they when they traded Frankie Montas to the New York Yankees 13 months ago.
Unfortunately, the A’s weren’t able to capitalize on his six-inning gem as he was one-upped by Chris Bassitt, a former Oakland rotation anchor whose career Waldichuk might hope to emulate. The 2021 All-Star may have allowed one run more than the youngster but he went a full eight innings, a semi-rare feat in today’s game. The A’s lineup got seven hits off the righty but they weren’t able to string any together until later in the game, allowing Bassitt a long fairly stress-free outing.
By the time the A’s scored their first run, they were already staring down a 6-0 deficit. It was a nice two-out rally to finally get on the board though, with Seth Brown hitting a double and the hot-hitting Jordan Diaz knocking him in with an RBI single to right-center. Coming into the game, the rookie infielder was hitting .409/.458/.636 over his past seven games. Just like Waldichuk, Diaz is hoping to relay his recent performance into a prominent role on next year’s squad.
The Blue Jays came back the next inning with a run to bring it back to a six-run lead with a final score of 7-1. Tomorrow, the series will close with the JP Sears hoping to prevent the sweep and keep their winning September record afloat.