Ken Korach, the radio voice of the A’s for 20 seasons, was scheduled to move back behind the microphone on 95.7 The Game, the A’s flagship station for the first time Friday night for Oakland-Minnesota second-half opener.
Korach has been hobbled by pain in his left knee, which he has been rehabbing since suffering an off-season injury. He isn’t pain free, but with the A’s schedule keeping the team in the Bay Area for most of the next three weeks, he, his doctors and the A’s decided to see how it goes.
The A’s will not have Jesse Hahn back in the starting rotation anytime soon.
A’s general manager Billy Beane said Thursday the club was looking at a “somewhat extended stay’’ on the disabled list for the right-handed starter, who was skipped in his last start Saturday because of a flexor tendon problem.
A’s GM Billy Beane has about two weeks to decide if the A’s have a chance to contend this year.
The A’s finished the pre-All-Star Game portion of their schedule Sunday with a 2-0 win over Cleveland. That puts Oakland nine games under .500, 41-50, with 71 games left in the schedule.
There will be 15 days left before the trade deadline when the A’s reconvene in Oakland Friday for a workout and a game against the Minnesota Twins.
The question that will dominate conversations about the Oakland crew in that two-week stretch to July 31 is whether A’s general manager Billy Beane should more or less stand pat with the roster he has or if a white flag has to be raised over the 2015 season.
Right now, it’s too soon to tell.
Houston is in a complete freefall, having lost six straight heading into the break and, if the Angels beat the Mariners later Sunday, the Astros will have lost their grip on first place.
Sonny Gray will get the ball when the A’s come back from the A;;-Star break Friday in Oakland against Minnesota.
The A’s will go with a four-man starting rotation to begin the second half of the season.
Thanks to having a day off Monday, July 20, the A’s are set to go with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez and Kendall Graveman twice around before needing a fifth man to enter the picture.
When it does on July 25, the name you’ll see will almost certainly be that of Chris Bassitt, even though he was sent down Sunday to Triple-A Nashville. Bassitt is scheduled to pitch July 19 for Nashville and would be fully rested should the A’s call his name.
There remains a remote chance that Jesse Hahn, on the disabled list with right forearm tightness, could be ready, but Oakland isn’t counting on that. He’s in the middle of taking two weeks off from throwing to rest his right arm before moving back onto the field.
Chris Bassitt, from Toledo, was basically pitching at home in Cleveland Saturday. He didn’t get the win, but it was a good night.
The second-largest crowd of the season was in Progressive Field Saturday to watch the A’s and the Indians and some post-game fireworks.
Through it all, one voice stood out for Oakland starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. He estimated that he had 50-75 family and friends from Toledo in the crowd.
“I could hear my mom (Dawn),’’ Bassitt said. “I don’t know why. Everyone else was just noise.’’
Bassitt is making some noise of his own. He’s made three starts in the last two weeks as a fill-in for injured pitchers, subbing for Jesse Hahn Saturday night after back-to-back starts when Sonny Gray wasn’t able to pitch.
Eric O’Flaherty is pitching his best baseball of the season right now, according to A’s manager Bob Melvin.
There are indications that the left side of the A’s bullpen may be getting it together just a little.
In his last six games, Eric O’Flaherty has a 1.93 ERA. In his last six games, Fernando Abad has a 1.69 ERA. And despite the two walks and two-run single he has allowed Friday, in his last nine games, Drew Pomeranz has an ERA of 0.69.
The teams the A’s have faced on this trip, the Yankees and the Indians, are two of the teams in the American League with particular left-handed offensive depth.
Kendall Graveman has impressed A’s with his competitive nature.
Kendall Graveman doesn’t bring a 98-mph fastball to the pitching mound, but the A’s starter seems to have something just about as valuable – the desire never to back down.
That showed in the fourth inning Friday when he walked Michael Bourn, the Indians’ No. 9 hitter, rather than throw a pitch over the middle of the plate.
The next man up for Cleveland was the Tribe’s only All-Star, Jason Kipnis, but that didn’t seem to faze Graveman.
“I knew I had a base open. I’m not going to give in,’’ Graveman said. “I’d been throwing the ball well against Kipnis. “And at 3-2, if we throw something down and he doesn’t swing, so what?
Jesse Hahn will have two weeks without throwing thanks to a right forearm strain, the A’s say.
The A’s got what they hope is good news Friday when an MRI revealed that starter Jesse Hahn has a right forearm strain.
Hahn, whose turn in the rotation Saturday in Progressive Field will be taken by Chris Bassitt, will be shut down for two weeks, after which he will be evaluated.
If two weeks without throwing doesn’t sound like good news, the A’s were just happy that there is no apparent elbow damage. Hahn said the pain was originating in his elbow, and elbow problems tend to be more problematic for pitchers.
The Angels’ Mike Trout scored in the seventh inning April 30, then later made a game-saving catch, helping to pin a one-run 6-5 loss on A’s.
Coming up one-run short has happened to Oakland so often that A’s manager Bob Melvin is sounding like a broken record.
When Marcus Semien’s ninth-inning homer left the A’s one-run short in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees Wednesday night, it was the 12th time Oakland had made a late push only to falter.
“That’s what is consistent; we continue to fight back,’’ Melvin said after the game. “A lot of these one-run games are because we’re down and we come back but can’t quite get there.
“It’s a matter of getting over the hump and winning some of these games where we’re coming back and ending up a little bit short.’’
Melvin tracks it back to an April 30th game against the Angels when the A’s offense came up with three runs, loaded the bases and saw Ike Davis hit a screamer to the center field wall that Mike Trout ran down.
Scott Kazmir threw in the outfield to test his left triceps injury, and didn’t seem to have a problem.
Scott Kazmir surprised manager Bob Melvin by feeling good enough to play catch in the outfield before the game Thursday morning in Yankee Stadium.
Kazmir left Wednesday’s game after three innings due to left triceps tightness. Melvin feared he might lose his left-handed starter for a while, but even Wednesday night Kazmir said he thought he would be able to pitch if his next start was in five days, as usual.
It’s not. With the All-Star game next Tuesday in Cincinnati, the A’s will have a four-day break. For Kazmir, it will be a minimum of eight days off between starts, and it will probably be more.