Was last week a small turning point in the Oakland A’s fortunes?
It’s not great to consider winning two of six games as being especially positive, but it was one more win than we managed the previous week so it’s progress of sorts!
More seriously, there’s something to be said for the A’s salvaging a win at the end of the series against the Red Sox and then doing so against the Royals. I’m sure I’m far from the only A’s fan who tuned in to the series finale of both expecting that we would go down with a whimper and be swept 3-0.
It must be really hard coming to the ballpark every day when things are going badly. There have been times when our performances have had a ‘here we go again’ feel about them; however last week there was a determination from the team to not get swept and that’s at least a starting point for some better form to emerge.
Seattle Mariners (H): 3-game series
The Mariners have lost seven of their last nine games, including their last three at the hands of the LA Angels. We were able to win two of three games at T-Mobile Park at the end of May, so we should go into this home series against them with a bit of confidence. The probable pitching match-ups for the series are as follows:
- Game 1: James Kaprielian – Marco Gonzales
- Game 2: Paul Blackburn – George Kirby
- Game 3: Frankie Montas – Robbie Ray
The series was going to produce a reunion at the Coliseum with Sergio Romo, who became a firm fan favourite last season with the A’s. Unfortunately, the Mariners designated him for assignment today so he will be missing.
There’s always at least one former Oakland A though and in this case it’s veteran lefty Tommy Milone. I suspect like me you didn’t realise he was still playing, but he got called up from the Minors on Saturday and you have to respect his desire to keep working hard to get as much out of his career as he can.
Kansas City Royals (A): 3-game series
The team then heads out on a road-trip to renew hostilities with the Royals.
The A’s returning to Kansas City doesn’t appear to have the same nostalgia attached to it as the team returning to their first home of Philadelphia. That’s to be expected given that the A’s were only there for a short period (1955-1967) and had a poor time on the field during that spell, failing to finish above .500 in a single season.
The probable pitching match-ups for the series are as follows:
- Game 1: Cole Irvin – Zack Greinke
- Game 2: Jared Koenig – Brad Keller
- Game 3: James Kaprielian – Brady Singer
The following week …
After the Royals series the team will fly off to New York to start a three-game series on Monday 27th against the Yankees. That’s particularly exciting for us as Dom and I will be out there taking in some live A’s baseball for the first time in several years.
The ideal scenario is for the A’s to start warming up with a 3-3 week before really hitting our stride at Yankee Stadium. Given that the Yankees are an MLB-best 49-17 at time of writing, we’re going to need to really pick things up – or get some big slices of luck – if we’re going to get anything from the series.
Whilst simply watching A’s baseball again will be a treat in itself, hopefully the baseball gods will oblige us with a win or two to enjoy while we are out there.