Athletics

Bullpen confidence spills over to rest of A's in crucial win

Athletics

The Athletics won their third in a row, beating the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 at Angel Stadium on Friday night.

The team notched their 80th win of the season and their bullpen looked exactly how the A’s hope it would when the season started.

The relievers combined to give up just three hits and didn't allow any runs in three combined innings.

“I thought it was great,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after the game. “I mean, similar to the way we’ve been doing it a lot of the season, this year. You know guys came with a lot of confidence, [Jake Diekman] kind of had to face the middle of the order or at least have to go through [Shohei] Ohtani, you know and Lou [Trivino] is back to pitching again like we saw him for a better part of the season and you know, today, [Sergio] Romo the guy that had the experience, closing -- did a great job with that. We get more games like this, our bullpen contributes like that, the more confidence we’re going to have as a team.”

The A’s bullpen has seen better days up until Friday. Recently, the team had nine blown saves in 21 games. Diekman, Trivino and Romo all had smooth, crisp outings which is exactly what the team needed in the battle one of the two AL Wild Card spots.

A’s third baseman Matt Chapman noticed it too, and he knows when the pen is on point, the confidence flows over to the rest of the team.

 

“Those are, you know, right when I saw the first pitch come out of those guys’ hands, it looked like the guys we’re accustomed to seeing from all of them," Chapman said. "And I think that throughout the course of this season, there’s going to be ups and downs and it just so happened that they’re all pitching lights out for so long that, you know, there’s always going to be a rough patch.”

RELATED: Ready for Sho-time? Ohtani to start against A's on Sunday

While the bullpen appeared to figure things out Friday, the A's starter for Saturday's game against the Angels is in flux.

The A’s informed reporters shortly following the game, via Melvin, that James Kaprielian will get the start on Sunday. Originally, Daulton Jefferies was scheduled to start with Kaprielian coming out of the bullpen.

The reasoning behind the switch from Jefferies to Kaprielian will be answered on Saturday, but for now, the A's bullpen can rest easy knowing it preserved a much-needed win for the team.