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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Articles tagged: Oakland A’s

A’s continue ugly streak in postseason elimination games

The Oakland Athletics’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday was the latest in a string of disappointing performances in playoff elimination games by the club.

The A’s entered this year’s American League Wild Card Game with the home field advantage. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Rays came away with a 5-1 victory and a date with the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

For Oakland, it was their ninth consecutive loss in postseason winner-take-all games — a streak that goes back to 2000. The A’s have also loss 15 of their past 16 potential clinching games.

Oakland won 97 games for the second consecutive season this year, which is their highest total since winning 103 in 2002. However, the sour taste of extending an unfortunate streak will be cause for questions that need answering during the offseason.

Team executive Billy Beane has long described the playoffs as a craps shoot because they are prone to small sample size results and flukes. But after losing nine straight elimination games, Beane might have to wonder whether his team has just been unlucky, or whether something more is going on.

Homer Bailey traded from Royals to A’s

The Oakland A’s are squarely in the playoff hunt after quietly putting together an impressive first half of the season, and they added a nice value piece to their starting rotation on Sunday.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the A’s have acquired starting pitcher Homer Bailey in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bailey is 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA on the season, but the 33-year-old has a 3.49 ERA in his last seven starts. The A’s are six games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West and currently hold the second wild card spot, so they’re hoping Bailey will help solidify the back of their rotation down the stretch.

8 MLB teams potentially poised to break out in the second half

Kris Bryant

The All-Star break is a good time to step back and assess where the 30 teams across Major League Baseball stand. Some teams comfortably occupy first place, some are facing a second half of playing out a string of meaningless games, and then there is the group caught in the middle.

In the past, second half runs have been a big part of baseball. Teams that hadn’t really made an impression by mid-July can catch fire and change the scope of the division and playoff picture in a hurry in the second half. After all, there’s a long way to go, and there’s no guarantee that the first place teams now will win the division.

Here are eight teams that had decent first halves, but have the capability to make some real noise in the second half of the MLB season.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks

There’s a lot to like about the Diamondbacks, which rank in the top six in the NL in both OPS and ERA. In other words, they’re a well-balanced team that can both hit and pitch rather effectively. Despite their 46-45 record, they’ve scored 64 more runs than they’ve allowed, indicating a team that should be performing significantly better. They have two good power hitters in Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, an ace in Zack Grienke, and solid pieces in the bullpen. Don’t be surprised to see them play to a higher level after the All-Star break.

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Oakland A’s reportedly run into travel complications with team plane

The Oakland A’s dealt with some complications relating to their team plane after Sunday’s win over the Texas Rangers, according to a report.

The SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported Sunday evening that the Athletics’ team plane was damaged after the mobile stairs were blown into the wing during a thunderstorm.

As a result, the A’s had to stick around at Globe Life Park in Arlington for several hours until a backup plane arrived to take them to their next road stop, which was Tampa for a series with the Rays.

Oakland beat Texas 9-8 on Sunday to split the four-game series. They begin a 3-game series with the Rays on Monday.

Athletics’ batting practice was cancelled because of bees

Now we know why the Oakland Athletics are known as the A’s for short and not the B’s.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the A’s scheduled batting practice before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels was cancelled due to a swarm of bees at Angel Stadium. Oakland manager Bob Melvin noted that he’d never had a batting practice scrapped by bees before.

The A’s did not appear to be affected by the cancelled BP. They plated six runs in the early going of Thursday’s contest and chased Angels starter Tyler Skaggs from the game by the fifth inning.

Interestingly enough though, Oakland is not the only MLB team that has been affected by an unwelcome swarm of bees in the last month.

10 MLB teams off to surprising starts in 2019

Alex Cora

Preseason predictions were meant to be defied. That’s true in every sport, but baseball can particularly throw you off, given the length of the seasons and how teams can be prone to lengthy hot or cold streaks. A bad month may be masked over a full season, and a bad team may have a good month that goes unnoticed, but both are harder to miss — and potentially more impactful — when they happen early on in the regular season.

Here are ten teams that have surprised onlookers so far in 2019 — either in a good or bad way.

10. Atlanta Braves

The Braves were expected to take a step forward this season after breaking into the playoffs last year, but they’ve instead loitered around .500 through the first month or so of the season. A big part of this is down to an unreliable bullpen and a pitching staff that, in general, has really struggled to settle into a groove. They have plenty of time to turn it around, especially with no one seizing the initiative in the NL East.

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Athletics troll Warriors with ad touting Khris Davis extension

The Oakland Athletics took the opportunity to troll their neighbors after locking down a key player.

The Athletics locked down outfielder Khris Davis on a two-year contract extension this week. It’s big news for an organization that has, at times, struggled to retain their key players.

It also gave them the opportunity to troll the Golden State Warriors, which they did in a full-page ad in Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

The joke, of course, is that Warriors star Kevin Durant’s future is very much not settled. It’s not often that the Athletics can claim a move like this, especially with the joke being at Golden State’s expense. They might as well take the opportunity to engage in some friendly prodding.