Pratt's Instant Replay: Yankees 6, A's 3


Pratt's Instant Replay: Yankees 6, A's 3


OAKLAND -- May 25 A's vs. Yankees 209,792,900 vs. 52,873,000 Ok, that's my re-creation of the open to the Moneyball Movie. It still applies, though. And the big spenders paid the bills again on Friday, in a 6-3 win. The Yankees have now won 11 of their last 12 games in Oakland. Starting Pitching ReportIt is easy to say Tyson Ross' night might have turned out differently if it wasn't for a two-out error in center field. The error preceded a three-run Mark Teixeira homer. Without the defensive miscue, Ross would have gotten out of the third inning unscathed. Ross would allow two more homers before the night was over though. Both in the fifth inning -- the first a solo shot off the bat of Robinson Cano, and the next a two-run blast hit by Nick Swisher, making the score 6-1. Ross wasn't charged with any of the runs in the third inning, so his line is a little misleading. He ended up with four and a third innings pitched, six runs, three of which were earned, and three strikeouts. At The PlateThe A's offense managed to scored three runs on seven hits. In the fourth inning, Josh Reddick launched his 12th homer of the season, making it a 3-1 game. Reddick now ranks sixth in the American League in home runs. Kurt Suzuki made it 6-2 with a sacrifice fly to center field, but the ball he hit could have easily done more damage. Suzuki hit the ball to the deepest part of the park and Curtis Granderson made a tremendous grab at the wall to rob Suzuki of extra bases. Kila Ka'aihue added a run in the seventh inning, hitting a solo homer to right field, making the game 6-3. Bullpen ReportJerry Blevins spelled relief for the A's bullpen. Pitching 2 23 scoreless innings, and striking out three. His only blemish was a walk to Russell Martin. Jim Miller followed with a scoreless eighth inning, in which he struck Derek Jeter out swinging. He came back out and pitched the ninth as well, striking out Teixeira. In the FieldWith two outs, Robinson Cano lined a Ross offering to right-center field. Coco Crisp got to the ball, fully extending his arm and reaching out as the ball ricocheted off the side of his glove. The next batter, Mark Teixeira crushed a three-run homer to right field making it a 3-0 game. The best defensive play in the game came with runners on the corners and two outs in the first. Mark Teixeira popped a ball deep into foul territory, and Josh Donaldson tracked it the whole way. He ended up going into a full extension Superman-style leaping dive, making the catch to end the inning. Donaldson is starting to look like a big-league third basemen. AttendanceThe announced attendance of 33,559 looked accurate. The place was packed even though there were some splashes of blue in the crowd. Up NextBartolo Colon vs. C.C. Sabathia. Easily the most intriguing matchup at the Coliseum this weekend. The heavyweight bout featuring two former Cy Young Award winners takes place on Saturday and it will be a sight to behold. Colon weighs in at 267 pounds and has 165 career wins; Sabathia tips the scales at 290 pounds with 181 career wins. Sabathia is a Vallejo native and is still active in the Bay Area community.

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.