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An SB Nation blog for Oakland Athletics fans



Updated: 2017-07-22T15:29:36-07:00

 



Game 97: A's at Mets

2017-07-22T15:29:36-07:00

Sean Manaea takes the mound in the Big Apple tonight against the Mets looking for a win and maybe his first major league hit? We know we are in the dog days of summer when the biggest story of last night's game was where Yoenis Cespedes wants to finish his playing career (spoiler alert: It's back with the Green & Gold!).But even in the midst of a long and frustrating season, there is plenty to be intrigued about as the A's play the Mets tonight in New York.  Here are tonight's starting line-ups (No red-hot Rajai Davis or banged up Ryan Healy tonight) and 5 storylines to keep you interested in Game #97: Today's Lineups OAKLAND A'S NEW YORK METS Matt Joyce - RF Michael Conforto - CF Marcus Semien - SS Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B Yonder Alonso - 1B Yoenis Cespedes - LF Khris Davis - LF Wilmer Flores - 2B Jed Lowrie - 2B Jay Bruce - RF Bruce Maxwell - C T.J. Rivera - 1B Matt Chapman - 3B Jose Reyes - SS Jaycob Brugman - CF Travis d'Arnaud - C Sean Manaea - LHP Zack Wheeler - RHP 1.  Tonight's starting pitcher for the Mets has been really bad over the last 2 monthsTonight's Met's starting pitcher is Right-hander Zach Wheeler...Wheeler, a former 1st round pick of the Giants, is still on the road to recovery from his 2015 Tommy John surgery and comes into tonight's start 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA (27 earned runs/38.0 innings pitched) over his last eight starts.  Translation:  Wheeler has been really bad lately. Oakland's offense has a golden opportunity tonight to score some runs, early and often.  Will the A's 29th ranked offense be able to take advantage of Wheeler's struggles? 2.  A's Starting Pitcher, Sean Manaea, has been really good over the last 2 monthsManaea is 7-2 with a 2.92 ERA over his last 11 starts dating back to May 20…the wins are tied for the most in the American League over that span and his ERA ranks fifth. I believe Manaea's breakout season will be one of the lasting memories we take from the 2017 season and going forward he could be officially declared the team's ace and #1 starter.  On top of watching Manaea's breakout season continue tonight, we also have the intrigue of seeing if he can come up with his first major league hit...He doesn't have an at-bat this season and last season he went 0 for 2 with a strikeout in his only plate appearances.  Over the past 8 seasons of interleague play, Oakland's pitchers have gotten a total of 8 hits, averaging one hit per season! Hoping tonight the total increases to two, as Manaea gets a knock. 3.  Awkward timing award goes to the Met's promotion departmentTonight is "Noah Syndergaard as Thor" Bobblehead Night at Citi Field. Poor Mets fans have watched pitcher after pitcher go down with injury (sound familar A's Nation?!).  Syndergaard has been out since April 30th with a torn right lat muscle and only recently has begun to throw again. Nevertheless, the Met's marketing team has decided to move forward with Syndergaard Bobblehead Night tonight. No truth to the rumor the bobblehead comes without a right arm (ba-da-boom...I am here all week)...Makes me appreciate the A's promo team and the creative (and timely) promotions they come up with for OCo....For example, you can never go wrong with a G-Eazy Bobblehead Giveaway. 4.  If you aren't actively rooting for Adam Rosales, you should beIn addition to having the fastest and most unique homerun trot in baseball, Rosales is hosting free  sandlot baseball games for kids in several of the cities the A's are visiting this season.  Today he showed up at Hinton Park in Flushing, Meadows to play with a group of kids. On the bump for @SandlotNation, @arosie7! Sights and sounds from Hinton Park Baseball Fields in Flushing, NY. pic.twitter.com/JiUI5lNnkv — Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 22, 2017 In a season where we have seen several great personalities leave our beloved team (i.e. Sean Doolittle and Stephen Vogt) and several former players absolutely rake against us (see Josh Reddick), Rosales is a guy to get[...]



Elephant Rumblings: Yoenis is Longing for Oakland and Max Schrock’s Fringiness

2017-07-22T07:51:54-07:00

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A slow Saturday for A’s news means more stories from around the league.

Trades & Trade Rumors:

ICYMI:

Best of Twitter:

  • Ryon Healy thinks he’ll be good to play today after yesterday’s scare...



Athletics at Mets: Meet the Mets

2017-07-21T07:30:34-07:00

Despite dropping two out of three games against a tough Tampa Bay Rays opponent, the A’s are off to a strong start in the second half of the season. However, the games being played are not really at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, as trades, trade rumors, and free agent signings are dominating the A’s news cycle. Old friend Chris Carter has returned, albeit to the minor leagues, and relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle have left been traded to greener (or redder) pastures by getting sent out to the Washington Nationals. Over the last month, the A’s have undergone several changes, and the next few weeks ought to beget several more changes. Houston: 63-32 Seattle: 48-49 Anaheim: 47-50 Texas: 45-50 Oakland: 43-52 Thanks to a historic run from the Dodgers once the season changed to summer, the Astros no longer have the best record in all of baseball despite not really playing any better or worse than they have been playing. The Rangers are mired in a skid and currently are only two games up on the A’s for not-last-place in the division. The Mets were seemingly poised to make a long string of playoff pushes based off of what looked on paper to be a pitching staff of historic potential, considering the Nationals were the only other team in the National League East to appear to be able to put a playoff-worthy team on the field. Instead, the Mets have pitched their way to a 4.89 team-ERA, second worst in all of the National League and worse than all but one American League team, and their league average offense hasn’t been able to make up the difference. Injuries to the pitching staff have a large share of the blame for this issue, as Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and more have all had their seasons adversely affected from injury, but also plain ineffectiveness have plagued the team. It’s not just injuries that have affected the major league team either, as the organization's top two prospects have each gotten arm injuries this season, and top pitching prospect Tyler Szapucki had to receive Tommy John Surgery just the other day. The bullpen has been a stressful mess to watch, and very little relief is poised to come up from the minor leagues. While many other players are on the road to recovery, the Mets’ clearest plan is to simply hope that their best players recover quickly and fully and rebound to make the team competitive once more. Who’s Hot/Not After his slow start to the year, Jacob DeGrom is perhaps the Mets only dependable starting pitcher at the moment. The righty has stayed healthy and has made the most starts on the team, while striking out more than a batter an inning. While his ERA for the season isn’t as low as it has been in the past, at his peak, his ERA of 1.96 during the last thirty days is certainly respectable, and DeGrom is nigh-on guaranteed to keep his team in the game. On the offensive side, Curtis Granderson has found his stroke once again and has an OPS of 1.075 during his last twenty one games, and has been providing most of the power for the Mets. Meanwhile, former fan-favorite Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t been having all too great of a season, as his power numbers have plummeted. The slugging left fielder has only hit nine home runs on the year, and is just barely maintaining his rapidly dropping OPS above .800. The Matchups Friday, July 21st at 4:10 - Blackburn vs Matz Saturday, July 22nd at 4:10 - Manaea vs Wheeler Sunday, July 23rd at 10:10 - Gossett vs Montero All games are on NBCSCA and MLB.tv How the A’s Win the Series Despite general American League dominance, the A’s have played poorly against the National League East this year, to the tune of a 2-8 overall record, and the A’s have yet to win a series against an NL opponent. The A’s are also playing on the road, where the team has struggled all year, though their road woes aren’t nearly as bad as they were in April and May. Therefore, the A’s are going to need to be careful to not underrate the Mets and undue some slow and st[...]