I bet his A’s teammates wouldn’t even sacrifice a chicken to help him out of a slump
The Cleveland Guardians took two of three from the Oakland Athletics a mere month ago, but it won’t be easy to repeat those results.
While Cleveland mostly stayed neutral during the trade deadline, the Athletics signaled that they are looking to make a run at the 2021 postseason by acquiring outfielder Starling Marte and some catcher named Yanathan Gomes. Both have provided an immediate boost to the A’s lineup after their first handful of games. Even with Cleveland’s pitching staff slowly solidifying, don’t expect them to hold the A’s to a combined eight runs like they did in that last series.
This will be Yan Gomes’ first series in Cleveland since being traded to the Washington Nationals in December 2018. He won a World Series in his first year with the Nats, and he still owns the series-clinching ball. Apparently, the sacrifice Cleveland made to Jobu in 2016 took a couple of years to materialize.
Gomes has faced Cleveland pitching one time since the trade, when he went 0-for-4 and drew a walk in Washington. Cleveland’s pitchers that game were James Hoyt, Dan Otero, Phil Maton, Jefry Rodriguez, Hunter Wood, and Adam Plutko. They lost, 10-7.
Gomes was traded to the A’s at the deadline to back up Sean Murphy; he homered in his Oakland debut and has five hits in his 17 at-bats.
Overall, the Athletics are one of baseball’s hottest teams, having won eight of their last 10, including their last four straight. In their sweep of the Texas Rangers over the weekend, Oakland outscored their opponent by a combined score of 22-7. They’ve climbed from six games back in the AL West to just two since acquiring Starling Marte on July 28.
Cleveland is playing for pride and seeing what they have to compete with next year at this point. The division race is fading fast, if not already gone, and they are eight games back of the Athletics and Boston Red Sox in the Wild Card race. They could still make things interesting with a sweep of the A’s, of course, but with Shane Bieber’s recovery coming along slower than expected and Aaron Civale still nowhere to be seen, it’ll be a while before their rotation is at full strength and we’re now under two months until the season is over.
This series will feature three of Cleveland’s most promising starters since they’ve had to cobble together a new rotation out of nothing. Cal Quantrill has essentially locked himself into a rotation spot next season with his recent performances and Triston McKenzie tied a career-high with seven innings in his last outing against the Blue Jays.
This three-game set will be the final matchup between these two teams this season, and it will conclude Cleveland’s homestand. They hit the road to face a pair of AL Central opponents next week.
Team at a glance
- Record: 64-48 (4th in AL)
- Runs Scored: 497 (9th in AL)
- Run Differential: +61 (5th in AL)
- Last 10: 8-2
- Slash: .235/.315/.404
- wOBA: .313 (9th in AL)
- wRC+: 103 (7th in AL)
- ERA: 3.64 (3rd in AL)
- SIERA: 4.08 (8th in AL)
- K-BB%: 15.6% (6th in AL)
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 7:10 p.m. ET: LHP Sean Manaea vs. Triston McKenzie
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Frankie Montas vs. Cal Quantrill
Thursday, Aug. 12, 1:10 p.m. ET: RHP Chris Bassitt vs. Eli Morgan
CF, Starling Marte – To say Starling Marte has been worth it is an understatement. The outfielder, acquired at the deadline from the Miami Marlins, already has 17 hits and a pair of homers in nine games with the A’s. In Sunday’s win over the Rangers, he went 4-for-5, his third multi-hit game in a row and his fifth since arriving in Oakland.
1B, Matt Olson – Oakland’s new additions have performed well, but don’t forget about old reliable himself, Matt Olson. He’s second on the A’s with seven hits in the last week, including three doubles and three walks. On the year, he’s slashing .285/.377/.577 and on pace for his best offensive season ever.
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