Up all night at Mad Oak: A timeline of A's season-opening watch party


Up all night at Mad Oak: A timeline of A's season-opening watch party

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Major League Baseball is officially back.

The A's and Mariners opened the regular season Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately, that translated to 2:30 a.m. in California, but it didn't stop dozens of A's fans of all ages from cheering on their team at the official watch party at Mad Oak Bar 'n' Yard in Oakland.

I decided if I couldn't be in Japan for the game, then this was the next best thing. Here's my timeline of a wild night/morning.

2:00 a.m. 

It's probably my first time ever walking into a bar at two in the morning, rather than leaving. Despite the rain outside, there's already a pretty good crowd on hand -- probably about 30 people.

I chat with Will MacNeil (A.K.A. Right Field Will), asking if he had to convince his A's crew to stay up all night for this game. He looks at me like I'm crazy.

"No convincing at all. We're Oakland A's fans. We love our team. It's the start of the season. We've got to do it."

2:14 a.m.

The right field drums arrive at the bar. Now close to 40 people here. The bar isn't allowed to serve alcohol, but they are serving food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Some fans have stayed up all night. Others tried to catch some sleep before the game. One kid has to go to school right after the game!

Jean Richardson has to work but got permission to go in late. "I asked my boss and he looked at me like I was insane," she laughs. "He's like, 'You're going to watch a baseball game at 2:30 in the morning?' Just to be here with all the other A's fans, it's exciting. It's fabulous." 

2:36 a.m.

First pitch is just moments away and we get our first “Let's go Oakland” chant, accompanied by drums. Am I at the Coliseum?

2:48 a.m.

Stephen Piscotty provides the first run of the MLB season with a blast to dead center field and the Mad Oak crowd erupts. Pandemonium. I've seriously got to start sitting in the bleachers.

3:14 a.m.

It's been a rough start for new A's catcher Nick Hundley. He's surrendered a pair of wild pitches and grounded into a double play in the first two innings. After allowing a stolen base in the third, a fan yells, “Bring back Jonathan Lucroy!”

Awkward ...

3:24 a.m.

After breezing through the first two innings, Mike Fiers surrenders a grand slam to Domingo Santana and suddenly it's 5-2 Mariners. I've never heard a bar this silent.

3:37 a.m.

Khris Davis wakes us up with a two-run shot, his first (and definitely not last) home run of the season. Mad Oak is alive once again.

4:12 a.m.

Ryan Dull throws a pitch 140 miles per hour. Wait, that doesn't sound right. That would be a record, wouldn't it? Oh right, kilometers per hour. It's late. Or is it early? I'm tired.

4:20 a.m.

Tim Beckham absolutely destroys a baseball to left field for a two-run homer. Even more impressive is his bat flip. The fans at Mad Oak are okay with it. Respect.

4:30 a.m.

I reach the realization that it's been two hours and the game is only halfway over...

4:31 a.m.

I cave and order a basket of fries. Delicious.

4:47 a.m.

Yawns are spreading around the bar. I still don't understand how yawns are contagious, but they are.

5:05 a.m.

The rain picks up outside and the TV signal cuts out momentarily. The bar boos. The game comes back on. Cheers. Ramon Laureano strikes out. Boos.

5:07 a.m.

Matt Chapman picks up right where he left off last year with a three-run homer to right and the A's cut the lead to 9-7. Mad Oak gets its third wind.

5:21 a.m.

Josh Phegley is now in the game at catcher and throws out Beckham attempting to steal. A fan shouts, “Play Phegley more!”

5:48 a.m.

The television broadcast shows a replay of Santana's grand slam with the Japanese play-by-play. The Mad Oak fans are not amused. “BORING!”

5:50 a.m.

Lou Trivino strikes out the side in the top of the ninth. Man, he is still absolutely filthy.

5:53 a.m.

Former Giant Hunter Strickland comes in to try and close it out for the Mariners. A's fans cheer when they realize who it is, expecting a rally.

6:00 a.m.

Strickland gets the last laugh, striking out Chapman to end the game. Am I delirious or do the Seattle Mariners have the best record in baseball?

Oh well. Let's do it 161 more times. Happy baseball season, everyone!

A's considering removing struggling Lou Trivino from late-inning role

A's considering removing struggling Lou Trivino from late-inning role

OAKLAND -- To call this a rough stretch for Lou Trivino would be an understatement.

Since May 29, the A's reliever has been pinned with five losses, the most recent coming Sunday afternoon against the lowly Seattle Mariners. Trivino allowed four runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks in just a third of an inning, suffering his fourth blown save of the season.

"It's frustrating," Trivino said. "Cutter wasn't there today, fastball wasn't there, curveball wasn't there. It just wasn't a good day."

In his last nine outings, Trivino has gone 0-5 with a 12.46 ERA, allowing 16 runs (12 earned) in 8 2/3 innings. During that period, the right-hander's season ERA has ballooned from 2.42 to 4.93.

"I think right now with Lou, it's more location than anything else," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "His stuff is still good. He's still throwing 98. He's still throwing 93 mile-an-hour cutters. He's getting behind in the count. He's walking guys. He's just coming out a little bit early and having a tough time finding the strike zone. I think that's just the issue with him right now. It certainly isn't stuff."

Trivino agreed with that assessment, explaining that it's a mechanical issue with his delivery.

"I think I'm just drifting a little bit, getting out ahead of myself," he said. "I'm not behind the ball. ... I'm not quite filling up the zone, and when I am, it's just not in the areas that I want."

While Melvin quickly dismissed any notion of sending Trivino to Triple-A, he did not rule out a potential role change for Oakland's primary setup man.

"We'll take a look at it," Melvin said. "This guy is really good. He’s just going through a tough stretch right now. Whether or not we need to give him a little bit of a break from that role, maybe that part of the lineup, we’ll discuss it internally. But he’s got good stuff.”

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This has certainly been a far cry from the Lou Trivino we saw last season. As a rookie, he went 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA, looking flat-out dominant for extended stretches. But the 27-year-old appears to have fallen victim to the dreaded sophomore slump, at least so far.

"It's frustrating when I'm not commanding my pitches the way I want," Trivino said. "We played really well today. We pitched our butts off. I thought we played really, really well and I come in and blow the lead for what seems like the 10th time this year. So it's very frustrating. Lord willing, I can fight through this and come up for us."

A's vs. Mariners lineups: Tanner Anderson makes second career MLB start


A's vs. Mariners lineups: Tanner Anderson makes second career MLB start

A's pitcher Tanner Anderson will make his Oakland Coliseum debut Sunday against the Seattle Mariners in his second MLB start. 

The righty acquitted himself in his first big league start on June 10. He allowed just two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out five in the loss. The 26-year-old can deliver a series win, and pick up his first MLB win as a starting pitcher. 

Anderson will square off against right-handed pitcher Mike Leake, who has struggled a bit after a hot start to the season. Leake won each of his first two starts, but is 3-6 since and has posted a 4.48 ERA during that time. 

Josh Phegley and Chad Pinder won't face Leake, as both players were given the day off after starting Saturday. The remainder of the A's lineup is unchanged from Saturday's 11-2 win

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Mariners game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 1:07.

Oakland A's (36-35)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Khris Davis, DH
Mark Canha, RF
Robbie Grossman, LF
Ramón Laureano, CF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Beau Taylor, C

Tanner Anderson,  RHP (0-1, 3.18 ERA)

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Seattle Mariners (30-44)
Mallex Smith, CF
J.P. Crawford, SS
Domingo Santana, RF
Daniel Vogelbach, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Tom Murphy, C
Dee Gordon, 2B
Mac Williamson, LF
Austin Nola, 1B

Mike Leake, RHP (5-6, 4.26 ERA)