A’s closer Sean Doolittle is on a roll that should land him in the All-Star Game.
At his current rate of production, there doesn’t seem much that A’s closer Sean Doolittle can’t do.
If you’d like to do something Doolittle can’t or won’t do, just dwell on his statistics for a bit.
–He’s 11-for-12 in save opportunities.
–He has not allowed a run in his last 23 games, a total of 25.1 innings. It’s the longest active streak in the American League and fourth-best streak in A’s history.
–He’s walked 1 and struck out 53. No pitcher since 1900 had struck out 45 before issuing a second walk.
–He’s faced 64 batters since May 60 and has retired 60 of them, allowing three hits and one walk.
Josh Reddick’s defensive contributions continue to mount.
Periodically A’s watchers will wonder out loud why Josh Reddick is in the Oakland lineup when he’s healthy, almost without exception.
It usually happens when Reddick is the middle of a cold offensive spell. That’s not the case right now, because he’s played just two games in the last three weeks after coming off the disabled list. There hasn’t been enough time to be hot or cold.
Wednesday night was a case in point of why he plays so much. Reddick’s arm, always a weapon, saved at least one run and kept Oakland starter Brad Mills in control of the game. More than that, Reddick made a couple of stellar catches.
He opened the third inning making manager Bob Melvin’s heart race a little by going into the stands in foul territory to make a highlight-reel scoop behind a fan. Melvin saw Reddick’s 2013 season impacted by a play against the wall in Houston, and he just got the right fielder off the disabled list Tuesday. He’d like to keep him around for a while.
Derek Norris may need a day or two off after getting winged by a foul tip Friday, but X-rays revealed no break.
Friday evening produced a win for the A’s, but they also seem to have dodged a bullet regarding catcher Derek Norris.
He’s been hit repeatedly by bats on backswings this month and has been able to soldier through.
He was winged by a foul tip in the sixth inning. Manager Bob Melvin and the training staff checked him out, but Norris convinced them he was good to go. However when the seventh inning began, Norris had been replaced by Stephen Vogt.
“I didn’t want to come out; I never want to come out,’’ Norris said. “But when I came back to the dugout, it really tightened up on me. And it got to the point where I didn’t want to risk me messing up.
#A’s Jed Lowrie is just waiting for his luck to turn.
Jed Lowrie drove in the A’s only run Tuesday with a sacrifice fly.
Beyond that, the Oakland shortstop went hitless in four at-bats and is now hitless in his last 20 at-bats.
Josh Donaldson went hitless in all six of his plate trips Tuesday for the A’s and is now hitless in his last 21 at-bats.
There is a difference, though.
Lowrie seems to be hitting in tough luck. Donaldson is in one of those hitless streaks that batters get into from time to time when it seems as if they might never emerge.
Angels’ closer Ernesto Frieri had a few choice words for the A’s Sunday, calling them “lucky’’ and saying the Angels were going to beat them this week in a three-game series in Anaheim.
Well, Frieri got off to a good start Monday with a 4-1 Angels’ win in which he struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save.
After that he sounded contrite when talking about Oakland.
“It was a misunderstanding,’’ Frieri said. “I’m sorry if I offended anybody. I respect the Oakland A’s, they’ve been playing really good baseball. But at the same time, I have confidence in my team. I knew we were going to play better baseball.
Josh Donaldson’s good glove work was in evidence in Baltimore again Sunday.
Donaldson was all smiles after Sunday’s game in Camden Yards, and you might think that a bit odd given that the A’s third baseman went 0-for-5, including grounding out twice with the bases loaded.
In all, Donaldson came up with eight men on base in the first five innings and drove exactly none of them in.
It wasn’t like Saturday, when he struck out in every one of his four at-bats, a new career worst, but it wasn’t a day you write home about.
“It’s just two games,’’ Donaldson said. “It’s a long season. It’s no big deal. Things are fine.’’
Josh Donaldson said he thought he’d just made a normal tag, but Manny Machado of Orioles disagreed.
No one was more surprised than Josh Donaldson when Manny Machado jumped up, got in his face and started yelling.
Donaldson had just tagged out Machado for the final out of the third inning. The A’s third baseman had the option to throw to first base, of course, but Machado was right there.
When Donaldson reached out for him, Machado tried to jump out of the way, lost his balance and fell. As he was falling, Machado took off his batting helmet and threw it.
“All I know is I just tried to tag the guy,’’ Donaldson said. “I was actually walking over to pick up his helmet for him and he jumps up and starts yelling. I have nothing against the kid. I don’t understand where it came from.’’
Setup man Ryan Cook should be activated for Tuesday’s game in New York.
As May turned to June, the A’s found themselves closer to the roster they thought they might have in April.
Sunday’s recall of catcher Stephen Vogt gives the club three catchers, meaning manager Bob Melvin can play two of them on any given day (one of them as the designated hitter) and still have the ability to pinch-run.
That’s the way things worked for much of the middle of the 2013 season before injuries got in the way.
More than that, having a three-catcher ensemble means Melvin doesn’t have to fret about the scenario of having to either give up the designated hitter or have third baseman Josh Donaldson, a former catcher, get back behind the plate.
They are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the A’s 1974 World Series championship team this weekend, and there is one exceptionally strong link between that team and the current one.
Sal Bando, the third baseman in Oakland when the A’s won three consecutive World Series title, was the general manager in Milwaukee when he hired a young catcher whose career as a player was over to scout.
The scout’s name was Bob Melvin, the man at the helm of the A’s now.
“As a general manager you are always looking for quality baseball people,’’ Bando said in looking back to that 1996 hiring. “He was definitely that. It was to our advantage to bring someone like that aboard.
There were suggestions that this weekend’s series in the Coliseum between the A’s and the Angels was crucial.
With two-thirds of the season left and the A’s only up in the American League West by 1½-games, that didn’t fly with the Angels.
Second baseman Howie Kendrick just pointed to the calendar.
“It’s May, man. I think every game is important,’’ he said. “It’s important to try to win every game. They’re playing well, we’re playing well, but at end of the day, it comes down to winning games, whether it’s the A’s, Seattle, Houston, anybody, you can’t take any team lightly. We’ve got to win games.’’
A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson said pretty much the same thing.