A's fire Curt Young, name Scott Emerson new pitching coach


A's fire Curt Young, name Scott Emerson new pitching coach

The A's fired pitching coach Curt Young on Thursday afternoon, a major shakeup for a team languishing with the worst record in the American League.

Bullpen coach Scott Emerson has been named the new pitching coach, according to a team press release. Gil Patterson, who has been the team's minor league pitching coordinator, will serve as bullpen coach for this weekend's series against the Yankees, with no word on a permanent replacement for that role.

The Athletics' 4.83 team ERA ranks 13th in the American League, though their pitching staff has also been hit hard by injuries.

Young has been a fixture in the A's dugout, serving as pitching coach for the past 16-plus seasons, minus a one-year departure to serve the same role for Boston in 2011.

Emerson has coached in the A's organization since 2003, most of that time in the farm system. That makes him very familiar with not only current A's pitchers but many of those coming up through the minors as well.

How A's only left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter became key to bullpen

How A's only left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter became key to bullpen

With all the big names in the A's bullpen, it's easy to forget about Ryan Buchter. But since the beginning of August, the 31-year-old left-hander has been as reliable as anyone for Oakland.

Buchter has allowed just two earned runs in his last 22 outings, stranding 20 straight inherited runners. For the season, the veteran is 5-0 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.

“I just want to do my job and do it well,” Buchter told NBC Sports California. “It's been a lot of fun this year. The guys are great. The clubhouse is great.”

Buchter will likely be the only left-handed reliever on Oakland's postseason roster. He has been lights out against left-handed hitters this season, allowing just a .177 batting average with 26 strikeouts against six walks.

“Very (important),” said manager Bob Melvin of Buchter's impact down the stretch. “There are certain teams in the league where he gets a lot of work.”

While the Yankees' lineup is dominated by right-handed hitters, Buchter could enter the Wild Card Game for a crucial battle against shortstop Didi Gregorius, if healthy, or Brett Gardner. If the A's advance to face Boston, he would almost certainly face lefties like Andrew Benintendni, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mitch Moreland, and Rafael Devers at some point in the series.

Buchter signed a one-year, $555,000 deal with the A's this offseason after back-to-back stellar seasons, where he posted an ERA under three. The signing has proven to be a bargain for Oakland.

Buchter has allowed just 12 earned runs on 32 hits in 37 1/3 innings this season, striking out 37 and walking 13. He has been especially valuable in September, as other key members of the A's bullpen have struggled.

Lou Trivino has allowed eight earned runs in seven innings this month for an ERA of 10.29. Veteran right-hander Fernando Rodney has a 7.04 ERA in September, Shawn Kelley's is 6.00, and Jeurys Familia is at 5.23. Meanwhile, Buchter has recorded an ERA of 2.25.

While the A's certainly hope their other setup men get back on track before the postseason, they can feel comfortable trusting Buchter to retire any key lefties in opposing lineups.

A's fall out of AL West contention thanks to walk-off loss to Mariners


A's fall out of AL West contention thanks to walk-off loss to Mariners


SEATTLE -- Pinch-hitter Chris Herrmann's two-run homer in the 11th inning gave the Seattle Mariners a 10-8 win over Oakland on Tuesday night, clinching the AL West for Houston and leaving the Athletics with a wild-card matchup against the New York Yankees.

Seattle overcame an 8-5 eighth-inning deficit and dropped the A's 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees for home-field advantage in the Oct. 3 winner-take-all matchup. Oakland had been 68-0 when leading after seven innings.

Denard Span hit a two-run double off Fernando Rodney in the eighth.

Blake Treinen was one strike from closing out his 38th save in the ninth, but Nelson Cruz punched a two-out single, Ryon Healy reached when third baseman Matt Chapman bobbled his grounder for an error and Kyle Seager hit an RBI single. Treinen had allowed just one hit in his previous 13 appearances.

Ben Gamel walked with one out in the 11th against Emilio Pagan (3-1), and Herrmann batted for Andrew Romine and sent an 0-1 fastball out to deep right-center field.

Alex Colome (7-5) pitched the 11th for the victory.

A day after clinching no worse than a wild-card berth, Oakland took a 6-3 lead in the first two innings off Mike Leake. Nick Martini had a two-run triple and Matt Joyce a two-run single off Leake, and Marcus Semien added his 14th home run leading off the fifth inning. But the A's went scoreless after Matt Olson's RBI double in the sixth inning.


Edwin Diaz, the major league leader in saves, pitched the 10th for Seattle. Diaz had not pitched since Sept. 17, when he collected his 56th save.


Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the priority in the coming days will be making sure the A's regulars get a chance at some rest so they are fresh when the postseason begins. Melvin indicated getting his guys rest would take priority over trying to chase down the Yankees in an attempt to have the wild(equals)card game at home and not in New York. The A's gave Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty the night off on Tuesday.

"There is definitely a balance to this but I think the depth of our team allows us to be confident with who we give a day off to, whether it's in the lineup or in the bullpen," Melvin said. "But it is important at this point if time in the season that once we get to the postseason that guys are fresh. It's just as much of a mental grind as it is a physical grind too. One of the strengths of our team is we use all our guys."

The one guy that may not get any rest is Matt Olson, who has a chance at playing in 162 games. Melvin said he probably won't start Olson at least one game against the Angels this weekend but will do what he can to make sure Olson reaches his goal of playing in every regular season game.

As for pitching, Melvin said the staff hasn't figured out who would pitch this weekend against the Angels, let alone in a wild card game.

"We're leaving everything open," Melvin said.


Athletics: RHP Edwin Jackson (6-3) makes his 17th start since joining the A's on June 25. Jackson has a 3.18 ERA in his 16 starts, the fourth lowest in the American League during that stretch.

Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (8-13) makes what is likely his last start of the season. Hernandez will finish the year with a career-worst ERA (currently 5.46) and the 13 losses are one shy of his career-high.