Cook crumbles, A's drop Game 1 to Giants


Cook crumbles, A's drop Game 1 to Giants


OAKLAND -- The Giants haven't won a game at the Oakland Coliseum since June 24, 2009. It didn't appear Friday would be their night either -- until they plated four runs in the ninth inning. The Giants snapped a six-game losing streak at the Oakland Coliseum, winning the first game of the second leg of the Battle of the Bay 5 to 4.Bullpen ReportRyan Cook was clearly too worked up in the ninth inning. He walked Buster Posey on four pitches, and then walked Pablo Sandoval. The right-hander then gave up a game-tying two-run double to Brandon Belt. On that play, Collin Cowgill just missed catching the ball in left field as he laid out for the ball, but missed, letting it roll to the wall. Cook gave up a hit to Christian, leaving the game with runners on the corners and no outs. Cowgill was replaced in left by Jonny Gomes. His final line was zero innings, two hits, four runs, all earned. Sean Doolittle came in next, but gave up the go-ahead RBI-single to Sanchez, making it 4-0. After sacrifice bunt by Joaquin Arias moved the runners to second and third, Blanco singled home Christian to make it 5-3. Both the runs were charged to Cook who has allowed a run in only two of his 31 appearances. Jerry Blevins entered the game with a runner on and no outs in the seventh inning. He hit Belt on the hand on a 2-2 count, putting the trying runner on first. The next batter was pinch-hitter Justin Christian who popped up a bunt to Kurt Suzuki. That lead to the aforementioned play Inge made detailed in the fielding section. Grant Balfour finished the inning for Blevins getting another pinch hitter Joaquin Arias to fly out to right field. He then pitched a flawless eighth. Balfour hasn't allowed a run over his last eight appearances. At the PlateOne of the heroes of the 1989 World Series, Rickey Henderson, spent the last few days at the Oakland Coliseum. He missed the ultimate homage courtesy of Coco Crisp. He leadoff the game with a single, stole second, and then got the biggest jump I have ever seen, stealing third. Crisp was halfway to third base before Lincecum even started his delivery. Let's call it a "Coco run." After Crisp reached third, Jemile Weeks drove him in with a single, making it 1-0.Lincecum didn't do himself any favors early on. He gave up a single to Josh Reddick -- which snapped an 0 for 19 skid -- then walked Yoenis Cespedes on four pitches. Brandon Belt didn't do Lincecum any favors either when Seth Smith grounded to first, he threw home without touching the bag. Both Smith, and Weeks who charged home on the play were safe -- making it 2-0. With the bases loaded and no outs, Brandon Inge drew a bases loaded walk, making it 3-0. Lincecum then struck out Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki, and Cliff Pennington swinging. After the A's scored their third run in the first inning, Lincecum got locked in. He ended up retiring 17 of the next 19 A's batters while striking out eight.The A's wouldn't score again until the bottom of the ninth. Reddick launched a solo homer to right center off Santiago Casilla. It was Reddick's 16th home run this season. Entering the game Cespedes was hot and Reddick was in a funk. Friday, Reddick went 2 for 4 with a homer, and Cespedes went 0-4 with three strikeouts. His first three strikeout performance in his career. Starting Pitching ReportJarrod Parker went six innings allowing four hits, striking out four and walking two batters. He only allowed one run. Parker lost his command in the third inning. After giving up a single to Hector Sanchez, a wild pitch moved him to second. Sanchez was then able to score on a single by Blanco that first baseman Brandon Moss couldn't get to. It made the score 3-1. Parker made heads up play in the sixth inning catching Gregor Blanco stealing third. The next batter Melky Cabrera laced what would have been a costly single to center field. In the FieldIn the third inning the A's had a few costly miscues. With Hector Sanchez on first, Gregor Blanco grounded the ball the Moss at first. He ranged far to his right and missed the ball on a slide, deflecting the ball away from Weeks who was there to at least stop the ball from going into the outfield. The play scored Sanchez, who singled his way on and advances on a Parker wild pitch. Later in the inning Blanco stole second and Weeks couldn't hang onto Suzuki's throw. He laid on the ground and watched the ball dribble away for a moment, as Blanco broke for third safely. Weeks was charged with an error on the play. With two on in the seventh inning, Sanchez hit a ball toward the third baseline, Inge made a reaching stop as he ranged to his right ran to the bag for a force out. He almost got a second out when he gunned the ball to first after touching the bag. Inge's glove work saved the A's at least one run. AttendanceThe A's announced a sellout attendance of 35,067. Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race. It fell behind but a late surge lead to victory. Up NextMadison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.92 ERA) takes on Tyson Ross (2-6, 6.11 ERA).Bumgarner, 22 is becoming one of the games toughest left-handed pitchers. The A's have never faced him before. Coincidentally Bumgarner was born in 1989, the year the A's and Giants met in the World Series. Ross, 25, was three during that World Series. He grew up on 66th Street in Oakland, and is familiar with the A's and Giants rivalry. He has been ping-ponging back and forth between the Major Leagues and Triple-A this season. He faced the Giants in SF on May 19. He lost the game but threw six innings, and allowed two runs. The A's didn't score in that game.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach


A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

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Ryon Healy trade has domino effect


Ryon Healy trade has domino effect

The A’s wasted no time making their first major move of the offseason, and it has a domino effect on how their 2018 lineup will take shape.

The trade of young slugger Ryon Healy to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday paves the way for left fielder Khris Davis to start getting heavy at-bats as the designated hitter, the spot left vacant by Healy.

It also points to another move the A’s want to pull off — acquiring a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who presumably can eat up those defensive innings that Davis spends as the DH.

It’s a series of moves that isn’t all that surprising given the A’s roster makeup right now. Healy, who hit .282 with 38 homers in 221 games over his first two big league seasons, is capable of playing either first or third base. But Matt Olson and Matt Chapman secured those spots, respectively, with their solid showings as rookies last season.

“We’ve obviously talked a lot since the end of the season about adding to the bullpen,” A’s general manager David Forst said on a conference call Wednesday night. “At the same time, with the emergence of Matt and Matt, on the corners, maybe Ryon needed to be somebody we might have to move ...”

It makes sense for Oakland to find a way to shift Davis from being the everyday left fielder while still keeping his 40-homer bat in the lineup. Opponents have routinely taken extra bases the past two seasons on Davis’ throwing arm, and whether they add a newcomer to play left or shift Joyce or someone else there, chances are they can benefit from better defense in left.

The A’s also feel they got an important chip back from Seattle to help bolster a bullpen that ranked 13th in the American League last season with a 4.57 ERA. They received right-hander Emilio Pagan (along with minor league shortstop Alexander Campos), and figure that the 26-year-old Pagan is someone the A’s have pegged to be an immediate contributor in their ‘pen.

A 10th round draft pick in 2013, Pagan made his big league debut in 2017 and posted a 3.22 ERA over 34 games spread over four stints with Seattle. He endured a rocky first couple of outings but, after being called up for good in the second half, eventually worked his way into a late-inning setup role. Pagan struck out 56 and walked just eight in 50 1/3 innings, numbers that surely popped out to Oakland’s front office.

He’ll likely be called upon in middle relief to help set the table for Chris Hatcher and closer Blake Treinen, as the bullpen currently looks.

Campos, just 17, spent this past season in the Dominican Summer League, and Forst said the A’s were eyeing Campos last summer when they eventually traded Yonder Alonso to the Mariners. Oakland wound up getting center fielder Boog Powell back in that deal.

Did the A’s rake in enough for Healy? As with all trades, it will take time to judge. But it’s fair to say that Healy’s departure will be felt in a clubhouse that is characterized by the emergence of many young position players, and he was a part of that group. In fact, when Healy was called up in July 2016 — knocking Danny Valencia out as the regular third baseman — he became the first of several promising position-player prospects to establish himself in Oakland’s lineup.

He rented a house in the East Bay and eventually took in Chapman, Olson and Chad Pinder as roommates. There’s a fiery side to Healy’s on-field personality that was a positive for the A’s, and watching him play Oakland as a member of an AL West rival will make for entertaining theatre.

Another storyline is how Davis takes to being a regular DH. Forst praised Davis’ approach to his game and doesn’t anticipate any problems, adding that the A’s still want to get Davis some time in the outfield.