Yesterday’s well-rounded win got the road trip started on the right foot for the club. Now the A’s will look to make it two straight against a Texas Rangers club in free fall and still trying to secure their playoff spot.
Texas has gone just 4-16 since August 16th, falling from first place in the heated AL West race to third, behind the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Heck, if the season ended today, they’d be heading home for a long offseason since they don’t even have a wild-card spot. This isn’t how the Rangers saw their second half going after trading for major reinforcements at the trade deadline.
Meanwhile the Athletics are playing much better (and more entertaining) baseball since going full youth movement after the All-Star break. They’re on a 6-4 run over their last 10 games including the two straight games they’ve won. They’ll look to make it three straight today.
Texas is looking for a strong start from right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and hoping he can help right the ship. Eovaldi has easily been the Rangers’ best starting pitcher this year with a sub-3 season ERA. He’s been a bit more hittable recently as he only has a 3.99 ERA over his past seven starts so he might be starting to run out of gas here in the stretch run. That bodes well for the Athletics.
The offense has been swinging the bats well as of late, averaging 5.4 runs/game over the past week. It hasn’t been just one player for the A’s either as multiple guys have stepped up in different games to collect the big hit. That being said, Zack Gelof and Esteury Ruiz have arguably been the most important important parts of the offense recently: Gelof is slashing .381/.435/.476 over his last seven games, and Ruiz is batting over .300 while continuing to cause havoc on the base paths with 4 steals. Heck, he even has a home run to boot. These two should be cornerstones for a long time and it’s good to see them helping lead the charge in a lost season like 2023.
The Athletics waited until just before this post to announce who would be starting for them in today’s contest. Well we have an answer now and it’s one of the new guys: Sean Newcomb. The 30-year old left-hander has been exclusively used a reliever this year, making five relief appearances for the Athletics. The club claimed him from the cross-bay rival Giants after he thrived in Triple-A this year. In his five relief appearances here in ‘23 Newcomb has only given up one earned run in 8 innings of work. He’s maxed out at 2 1⁄3 innings so it’s probably fair to call today a bullpen game for the A’s. Don’t expect Newcomb to pitch deep into today’s contest.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, September 9, 4:05 p.m. PDT
Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2