The Oakland A’s will send Jesus Luzardo to the hill tonight to try and save their season. Down 2-0 to the Astros, the A’s now need three consecutive wins to advance to the ALCS.
Luzardo gave up 3 earned runs across 3 1/3 innings in game one of the wild card round against the White Sox. The A’s lost that game. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, manager Bob Melvin isn’t worried about how that tough outing might affect Luzardo. In fact, he’s encouraged by it, saying “I really believe when he has a tough outing, it doesn’t affect his confidence – it’s more of a learning experience for him. We think he’s going to have a good outing for us.”
Not to mention, those White Sox ended the year undefeated against left-handed starters. The Astros haven’t fared quite as well, slashing .232/.299/.403 against lefties as a team. That’s an on-base percentage 19 points worse than against right-handers, notes Slusser.
If Luzardo does get into trouble early, Melvin will likely turn to Yusmeiro Petit or J.B. Wendelken to “clean up any early mess,” per Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle. The only real certainty is that closer Liam Hendriks is going to see action. He could come in earlier than usual, but after not appearing in the first two games, the A’s won’t wait overlong to get perhaps their best reliever into the game.
Hendriks is one of a number of A’s players who will be free agents at the end of the season. Mid-season additions Mike Minor and Tommy La Stella are both heading to free agency, as are Petit, wormkiller T.J. McFarland, outfielder Robbie Grossman, Mike Fiers, Joakim Soria, and star shortstop Marcus Semien. Of that group, Hendriks and Semien are going to be the most difficult for Oakland to bring back simply from a financial demand perspective. With just about one-third of their overall roster heading to free agency, today might be this group’s last opportunity to pull out a big win.
If they do pull of the W tonight, manager Bob Melvin implied that Frankie Montas would get the start in game four, per MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos (via Twitter). On choosing between Luzardo and Montas, Melvin said, “We’re hoping they both pitch. One one day, one the other.” That said, today is a must-win, and they do have Fiers on the roster who could start game four if need be.
Being a Rangers fan, this sounds weird, but go Astros? I like watching this team come back with a vengeance, and when I look at them right now I see a WS team.
obviously no one will believe it, but unless they’re cheating in some odd way the league cant control i really feel like it might be legit this time. sucks they cant prove it and its going to have an asterisk anyway. (though its still very ironic.)
I said early in the season that I wanted this to be the season that the Dodgers win the WS because it will have a 2020 asterisk next to it anyways lol. Though I do think more credit should be given to these teams despite the shortened season and expanded playoffs. I believe that if you are a good team, you will do all that you can do despite circumstances to win games and go far.
No one will view this championship with an asterisk in 20 years, just look at 1981 and 1995, both were shortened seasons but those rings don’t mean any less
The Dodgers don’t deserve any asterisk for this season. They proved last year to be the best regular season team and everyone expected the same this year and got it. If anything they had a tougher road with the expanded playoff format which hurt them it didn’t help them. If the Marlins win it then it deserves about five asterisks.
I’m sure a WS here would be totally legit for them but I’m definitely not routing for them. I’m pulling for the Rays and A’s. Low budget franchises that are consistently competitive but haven’t been able to get over the hump and win a WS.
Jesus take the wheel
I’m dying lol. I am slightly confused why the A’s are pushing lefties out there against the Astros right now, I’d put Fiers in there and see what happens. hehe
A’s suck major a** typical billy beane team that overachieves in regular season only to get handled in first or second round. Can’t tell if astros or good or a’s are just that bad. Don’t see either astros or a’s beating yankees/tampa
Yes, teams that follow up back-to-back 97-win campaigns with a division title do tend to, how’d you put it, “suck major a**.”
Not to mention manage to do it with a low budget payroll. Some fans have no idea how hard it is to be good every year and not get to pick in the top five in the draft, not have payroll to resign key players, and not having the payroll to fill needs in free agency. You have to find value anywhere and everywhere. You have to be constantly flipping key young players with a year left on rookie deals to keep the minor league cabinet stocked. Going all in on one season is extremely risky for that kind of team the A’s tried it and it didn’t work out well. Look at what the Cardinals have done since the 2000’s. They have won a few WS titles and I don’t think they were favored in any going into the playoffs. Make it to the playoffs and you have a fighting chance and that’s just what the A’s and Rays have done. Saying the A’s suck a** is ridiculous. I do think their fan base sucks if they can’t come out and support a team that’s constantly this good they don’t deserve a team there’s lots of other cities who would love an MLB franchise. That goes for the Rays too. When fans were in attendance during the Rays playoff runs they couldn’t even fill their stadium. Time to relocate
Please let Fiers pitch today.
Change the team name to the Oakland Chokers
that name has been for the dodgers.
A’s won! Montas will get the ball tomorrow! Oakland is now in the driver’s seat…