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MLB UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week Commencing 8 August 2022

Let’s not talk about the Bay Bridge Series. Instead, let’s focus on the week ahead and a bunch of games against AL West division rivals.

We start with three games at home against the LA Angels, with Wednesday’s game being an early start and available out-of-market for free on MLB.com.

109 games into the regular season and the LA Angels, unfortunately for them, have gone all “Angelsy” again. They are 46-63, so just five games better off than us despite spending $140m more on their payroll (which would be even funnier were it not for the obvious joy John Fisher will take from this fact). After the A’s went a scarcely believable 5-21 in June, the Angels cratered almost as badly in July by going 6-18.

All of which is to say that this is probably not a series that will be grabbing the attention of any neutrals, although I guess a Shohei Ohtani start (scheduled to pitch on Tuesday) is always an event of some kind. The probable starting pitching match-ups are as follows:

  • Gm1. Cole Irvin – José Suarez
  • Gm2. James Kaprielian – Shohei Ohtani
  • Gm3. Paul Blackburn – Patrick Sandoval.

After that, it’s off to Texas for games against the Astros and then the Rangers.

Somehow we have managed to split the 12 games we’ve played so far against the Astros, so you know they will be desperate to put that right; however the A’s have had their number of late and maybe we can keep that run going a little bit longer.

Probable pitchers are as follows:

  • Gm1. Adam Oller – Lance McCullers Jr.
  • Gm2. Adrián Martínez – Luis Garcia
  • Gm3. Cole Irvin – Cristian Javier

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MLB UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week Commencing 25 July 2022

The Oakland A’s once again let slip the chance to win their first series sweep of the season yesterday, although they showed plenty of fight in the process.

I’ll be honest, once the A’s went down 11-1 to the Texas Rangers in the top of the sixth inning, I decided to call it a night and headed to bed.

That meant I missed the A’s offense finally coming alive, scoring seven runs on four homers including back-to-back-to-back jacks.

In another season I would reluctantly concede this late flurry as being of little consequence. When you are fighting for a play-off place, offensive outbursts when the game is already gone don’t count for anything. A loss is a loss whether it was a close game or not.

However, in a rebuilding year such as this there are always things you can take from every game, no matter the result.

It’s easy for a team to show character and spirit when things are going well. In a long tough season, finding a way to keep your heads up is a difficult task however professional the players are. You have to be impressed by the way a group of players who could have accepted yet another loss decided they were going to fight to the end come what may.

We’ll need those same battling qualities this week with another series against the Houston Astros and then three games in Chicago against the White Sox.

Houston (H)

The Astros come into this week with a 64-32 record after sweeping a series in Seattle. They lead the Mariners by 13 games at the top of the AL West and are already a full 30 games ahead of the A’s, so the form book would suggest that the Astros should take at least two of the three games at the Coliseum.

The form book said the same thing just before the All-Star Break when the A’s went to Minute Maid Park and took two of three, so maybe Mark Kotay’s men can repeat that feat and sign off on what has been an encouraging home-stand so far. The probable pitching match-ups are as follows:

Game 1: Adam Oller – Jake Odorizzi
Game 2: Frankie Montas – Luis Garcia
Game 3: Cole Irvin – Cristian Javier

Much as I don’t want to think about it, the obvious thing to point out is Game Two on Tuesday and the strong likelihood that this will be Frankie’s final start in the Green and Gold at the Coliseum.

It seems all but certain that only a recurrence of his recent shoulder injury will prevent Montas from being dealt before the trade deadline on Tuesday August 2nd. If Frankie makes the start tomorrow as planned then his next scheduled start would not be until deadline day, as we have an off-day on Thursday and then on the Monday, so hopefully he can sign off in style with a great performance and a win.

Chicago White Sox (A)

The team will then head on to Chicago for our first meeting with the White Sox this season.

Tony La Russa’s team are currently an underwhelming 48-48 bearing in mind the talent on their roster and the expectations for them coming into the season. They have had some injuries to key players, with Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal returning recently from a spell on the sidelines, and Luis Robert has just joined that list due to illness. That still doesn’t explain how they are not over .500 having played nearly 100 games of the regular season.

So long as the White Sox sit in third place in the AL Central, the surprising decision by owner Jerry Reinsdorf to bring La Russa out of retirement to manage this young team ahead of the 2021 season will continue to be called into question. The one thing they have in their favour is that they only sit four games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins, so if they can get their act together over the next 64 games they still have a good chance of making the play-offs.

The probable pitching match-ups for the series are as follows:

Game 1: James Kaprielian – Lance Lynn
Game 2: Paul Blackburn – Johnny Cueto
Game 3: Adam Oller – Dylan Cease

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UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week Commencing 18 July 2022

The All-Star Break has coincided with a heatwave here in the UK and through much of Europe.

It’s been a struggle to stay cool, something that can’t be said for the A’s during the first half of the season!

We have picked up a bit of late, including the confidence-boosting 2-1 series win in Houston last weekend, so let’s hope our reputation as being a second-half team comes true again this year.

Mark Kotsay and his team will aim to do that by starting off with a home-stand at the Coliseum.

Firstly, we have a rare traditional double-header on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. Game One is set for 12.37pm local time, so 20:37 for us in the UK, and then Game Two will follow after a short break.

The A’s have announced that Zach Logue will pitch in the opener, with Frankie Montas making his return in the second game. I’m slightly surprised by that decision as I would think it would be better for Frankie, coming off his shoulder injury, to know exactly what time he’d be starting as part of his pre-game warm-up schedule, but maybe it makes little difference to him?

The Texas Rangers then come to town for a three-game series. There’s a small change to the usual schedule in that the Saturday game is not being played in the afternoon, as is typical in Oakland, but instead is being played at night. That means one less game being played at a convenient time for us to watch live in the UK, but you do occasionally see A’s fans on Twitter asking for some Saturday games to be played at night so we’ll see if it’s popular.

The good news is that MLB has made all of the games over the next four days available to watch for free online, other than those that are part of US national deals (ESPN, Apple etc). The A’s are not being featured in any of the national games – they rarely show the A’s even when we’re good, so that’s no surprise – and that means all of the A’s games are available to watch for free.

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UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 11 July 2022

The first half of the 2022 season has felt like a long haul, even with the regular schedule getting underway later than planned following the off-season lock-out.

There’s no denying that a lacklustre rebuilding season such as the A’s are going through can make it difficult to keep the enthusiasm up, especially for those of us battling the time difference.

The All-Star Break will therefore come as a welcome chance to reset and to find a second wind for the second half, for A’s fans and players alike. We can at least find some joy in Paul Blackburn being named to the American League All-Star team as a wonderful story for a pitcher who has worked incredibly hard to prove himself at the Major League level.

The final week before the festivities sees the A’s on a road-trip to Texas, starting against the Rangers at Globe Life Field before heading to Minute Maid Park to renew hostilities with the Houston Astros.

Texas Rangers (A)

It’s been an up-and-down first half for the Rangers after their off-season spending splurge.

An awful 7-14 April was followed by a magnificent 17-10 May, only to then lead to a below-par 15-20 June and early July.

Texas has won 5 of 7 against the A’s so far this season with our batting line-up managing to score only 19 runs combined across those games (not quite 3 per game), so there’s plenty of room for improvement on our end. The scheduled starting pitchers are as follows:

Game 1: Adrián Martínez – Spencer Howard
Game 2: James Kaprielian – Glenn Otto
Game 3: Paul Blackburn – Jon Gray

Houston Astros (A)

Avoiding being swept by the Astros at the Coliseum over the weekend just gone counts as an achievement for Mark Kotsay’s team in a year of appropriately low expectations.

Repeating the feat on the road will be another small feather in the cap bearing in mind we’re scheduled to face Jose Urquidy and Jake Odorizzi again, both of whom pitched very well against us, and the ever foreboding presence of Justin Verlander too.

The one crumb of comfort is that the A’s are optimistic that Frankie Montas will be ready to return from his spell on the sidelines. The Front Office must have held their heads in their hands as Frankie’s shoulder started bothering him a month before the trade deadline, but it looks like the cortisone shot has done the trick in bringing down the inflammation.

Game 1: Frankie Montas – Justin Verlander
Game 2: Cole Irvin – José Urquidy
Game 3: Adrián Martínez – Jake Odorizzi

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UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 4 July 2022

The A’s are heading back home after a tough 10-game road-trip, which would sound like a good development but the Coliseum hasn’t exactly been Home Sweet Home this season either.

Add to that the quality of the two teams we’re facing this week and it could be a case of enjoying the 4th of July Fireworks tonight, praying for the best with Frankie Montas’s shoulder injury, and anything else being a bonus.

Toronto (H)

The Blue Jays come into the week on a 44-36 win-loss record and have just slipped behind the Boston Red Sox into third place in the AL East after losing three in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Toronto have been a team of two halves over the past 30 days. Whilst their batting line-up has been excellent, leading the Majors with 171 runs scored during that span, their pitching has been hit by injuries and some ineffectiveness.

Their pitching staff’s combined ERA over the past 30 days of 4.70 ERA is the eighth worst across the Majors and, although they’ve not been terrible throughout that stretch, it’s the part of their game that they need to improve in the second-half of the season if they want to be true play-off contenders.

Probable pitching match-ups are as follows:

Game 1: Alek Manoah – Cole Irvin
Game 2: Yusei Kikuchi – Adrian Martinez
Game 3: José Berríos – James Kaprielian

Houston (H)

It’s always a treat to welcome the Astros to the Coliseum, of course, and this series will be no exception.

The Astros have won 14 of their past 17 games, including six on the spin heading into this week. Their 51-27 win-loss record is second only to the New York Yankees (58-22) and they already have a 13.5 game lead over second place in the AL West, so there’s no doubting they are the class of the division by quite a margin.

They’ve got a four-game series at home against the Kansas City Royals Monday to Thursday before heading out west to face us over the weekend, so we can probably forget the idea that their confidence might take a dent before we face them.

Perhaps they may just get bored of winning and we can take a couple from them! Probable pitching match-ups for the series are as follows:

Game 1: José Urquidy – Paul Blackburn
Game 2: Framber Valdez – TBD
Game 3: Jake Odorizzi – Cole Irvin

Our nemesis Justin Verlander is currently on schedule to start on Thursday against the Royals, so we should miss him this time around. That potential good news gets balanced out by the potential bad news associated with our scheduled starter for Saturday.

We should hear more about Frankie Montas’s injury status later today after he lasted just one inning on Sunday against the Mariners. The initial reaction from Frankie was that he and the team were erring on the side of caution, but the MRI scans today will tell the tale. Even the best case scenario makes it likely that he’ll skip a turn in the rotation to ensure he can get a couple of performances in before the trade deadline is reached at the end of July.

It’s sad to write that maintaining Frankie’s trade value is the most important thing for the A’s right now; however it’s sadly true.

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UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 20 June 2022

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.

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MLB UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 13 June 2022

This time last week I was pondering if heading out onto the road would help the A’s after a dismal home-stand?

The answer to that was ‘no’, although it was a question posed in desperation rather than any expectation. We did at least get one win, snapping our latest long losing streak at 10 games, and in fairness it was an exciting win too.

Saturday’s success against Cleveland was a good example of finding the bright spots wherever you can in a season such as this. I celebrated Seth Brown’s go-ahead Grand Slam with gleeful abandon, paying no thought to the context of a season heading nowhere other than an entry on the ‘years to forget’ list.

As Stephen Vogt, Christian Bethancourt and Sean Murphy all got in on the home-run act, it felt like a light relief from the daily drudgery. You have to enjoy games like that, like a squirrel burying some nuts to help sustain it through a long harsh winter.

Of course, the wisdom of this approach was immediately proved on Sunday when an early 1-0 lead swiftly dissolved into a regulation 6-3 loss. Back-to-back jacks in the eighth inning by Bethancourt – a strong early contender for the ‘surprise of the season’ award – and Brown gave us something to shout about, but even a Chad Pinder double in the ninth inning didn’t really knock Cleveland’s closer Emmanuel Clase out of his stride.

A guide to where we are

It’s hard to be annoyed, let alone upset, about a 1-3 series defeat like that. Watching the Guardians for four games showed the undoubted star quality they possess in the likes of Jose Ramirez but, perhaps most significantly, also the steady, ‘do the basics right’ assuredness that most good teams have and that we so clearly lack.

Things tend to snowball on a team like ours; an error leads to someone else trying to do too much on a fielding play and then before you know it three runs have crossed the plate and you’re in a hole again. A few bad days at the plate can swell to a bad couple of weeks, two or three losses can extend to eight or nine, so the confidence drops and a sense of ‘here we go again’ creeps in that is hard to shake.

The harsh truth is that a good proportion of our experienced players don’t have the quality to play their way out of the situation, either because they are not quite at that level or no longer are now that they are at the tail-end of their careers. The younger players on our roster don’t have the experience to climb out of a hole before it gets too deep and when the veterans can’t drag them along you end up with a stretch of games like we’re currently going through.

We’ve not played as badly over the last 16 games as our 2-14 record suggests, it’s just that we lack the vital ingredients that might otherwise turn such a stretch into a 6-10 record that at least keeps the confidence from dipping too low. That’s the difference between a team that finishes 74-88 and one that flirts with racking up triple figure losses.

Managers Union

Among the struggles, it was nice to read that Guardian’s manager Terry Francona made a point to chat to Mark Kotsay during the series. Like everyone else, he knows the hand that Kotsay has been dealt in his debut season, but more importantly he knows what it takes to keep the ship sailing through the stormy waters.

Francona got his Big League managerial break in 1997 with a Philadelphia Phillies team that had plenty of issues, barring ace pitcher Curt Schilling and Rookie of the Year Scott Rolen. Francona’s Phillies went 285-363 (.440) during his four years in charge before he was sacked, but the lessons he learned during those tough times served him well in his next managerial job. After spending 2003 with the A’s as Ken Macha’s bench coach, he took the helm at the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and took them to their first World Series in 86 years at the first time of asking.

Francona managed Kotsay with the Red Sox in 2008 and 2009 so he knows the fire and determination that everyone talks about when Kotsay’s name gets mentioned. It’s not something Kotsay can put to one side just because it’s a rebuilding year and neither would you want him to. Francona was able to share some of his wisdom in keeping things competitive without getting too high or too low.

Up Next

Those lessons may come in handy for Kotsay straight away as the team heads to Fenway Park for a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. Alex Cora’s team swept a three-game series at the Coliseum only a week ago as part of run of winning nine of their last eleven games.

Let’s set our expectations at avoiding another sweep before heading back home to host the Kansas City Royals over the weekend.

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UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 6 June 2022

You don’t need to be a baseball expert to understand that losing nine of ten games does not make for a very encouraging home-stand.

The good news is, the A’s aren’t playing at home this week.

The bad news is, that doesn’t magically mean we will start playing any better than we have done over the past 10 games.

What’s coming up?

Mercifully we get Monday off, but the A’s then head to Truist Park to take on the reigning World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, for a short two-game series. The team then heads on to Cleveland for a four-game series that concludes with a ludicrously early start on Sunday.

One of many great ideas the geniuses in the MLB Commissioner’s Office have dreamed up for this season is to split out random games to different streaming partners in the U.S. In the name of making each one ‘special’ in some way, the games being shown on Peacock are early on a Sunday. That means A’s fans in the Bay Area will see the game starting at 8.35am, whilst we will have the very odd sensation of a game starting at just gone half-past-four in the afternoon (*).

Fingers crossed the A’s will put in a good performance – maybe, dare I suggest, even get a win – to make it all worthwhile.

Koenig gets the call

Whilst laughing at our own misfortune makes dealing with the pain slightly easier, we all knew what we were in store for this season and that we would have to look for whatever bright spots we could find.

One will come on Wednesday in the form of Jared Koenig making his Big League debut.

Koenig has taken a circuitous route to reach the Majors, including four off-seasons spent playing in the Australian Baseball League. The A’s signed him to a Minor League contract in 2019 and he has worked his way steadily through the ranks.

He has been excellent for our Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators team this season so he has more than earned this call-up. Whatever happens in the game, it will be a great story to see the 28-year-old finally taking the mound at a Big League ballpark on Wednesday.

(*) Note: the Peacock broadcast doesn’t affect us in the UK and the game will be available as usual on MLB.TV.

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MLB UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 30 May 2022

The A’s managed to grab a walk-off win on Sunday to avoid being swept in a four-game series by the Texas Rangers.

Marcus Semien hit his first home run of the season and, of course, it was a grand slam just to really drive the point home. We all knew it was going to come against us, but thankfully there are always new heroes to cheer for as well as, occasionally, one or two who have stuck around.

Jed Lowrie singled home Cristian Pache to give the A’s a 6-5 win yesterday and that means they can go into this week with a bit of confidence.

Getting the better of the Astros and the Red Sox requires a lot more than a spring in the step so we’re going to need the bullpen to get over their recent blip and the A’s batters to brush aside their RSIPin’ woes of yesterday (the A’s went 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position).

The good news is that four of the six games coming up this week are day-time affairs at the Coliseum, so we get to watch them live at a convenient time. And if that’s not enough, Monday and Wednesday’s games are both being broadcast on UK TV via BT Sport.

A look back at the Rangers series, and a look ahead to the Astros one, is now up on our YouTube channel too:

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UK Schedule

A’s Schedule: Week beginning 25 May 2022

The games keep on coming thick and fast. After the three-game series in Anaheim, the A’s have travelled north to Seattle for three games against a spluttering Mariners squad.

Seattle did more than most to scupper our 2021 plans by winning 15 of the 19 games we played against them last season. However, the hopes of Mariners fans that the team would kick-on in 2022 have not been realised in the early going. The Mariners come into the week on a 17-25 record, just half-a-game better than the rebuilding A’s 17-26 mark.

Check out our latest video on the YouTube channel for a full review of the Angels series and a preview of the upcoming series in Seattle.