Athletics

A's play close to perfect game in 17-3 domination of struggling Tigers

ascelebrate.jpg
USATSI

A's play close to perfect game in 17-3 domination of struggling Tigers

It would be nearly impossible to play a better game than the A's did Thursday afternoon in Detroit.

Oakland scored a season-high 17 runs and pounded out 16 hits, including five home runs, en route to a 17-3 shellacking of the Tigers.

Let's break down just how well the A's excelled in all three phases of the game:

Offense

After scoring a total of 18 runs in their previous six games, the A's exploded for 17 on Thursday. Oakland matched a season-high with five homers, hitting for the home run cycle -- Jurickson Profar hit a grand slam, Marcus Semien a 3-run shot, Josh Phegley and Mark Canha two-run blasts, and Matt Olson a solo homer.

Every member of the A's lineup recorded at least one hit, with Phegley going 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI. His 26 RBI rank second among major league catchers.


Defense

The A's were just as good with the gloves Thursday, making all the routine plays and a couple of great ones. Of course, Matt Chapman had the gem of the day, ranging well to his right and throwing across his body to take a sure hit away from Niko Goodrum.


Pitching

Chris Bassitt pitched the game of his life, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing just four hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts. Bassitt has allowed three runs or fewer in all five of his starts this season while striking out at least six in every game.

The 30-year-old right-hander is finally fully healthy after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016 and it has shown. Bassitt has notched 38 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings with a 1.93 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.

Detroit did get on the board with two outs in the ninth inning, but the game was long over by then. This was complete domination by the A's, or as the Tigers Twitter account put it:

https://twitter.com/tigers/status/1129116330664366080

Just the icing on the cake.

Jake Diekman's wife appreciates Bob Melvin's message to A's players

Jake Diekman's wife appreciates Bob Melvin's message to A's players

A's reliever Jake Diekman is considered a high-risk player for the 2020 MLB season, but as of now, he has no plans to opt out.

So that means his teammates need to be extra cautious regarding the coronavirus. If one of them contracts the virus, they could pass it to Diekman. That outcome could end up being very bad.

Since the age of 11, Diekman has had ulcerative colitis, a disease that affects the colon. In 2016, Diekman underwent surgery to remove his colon. A year later, he had a second procedure where doctors used his small intestines to create a "J-Pouch," a replacement colon.

No one understands the risk to Diekman more than A's manager Bob Melvin.

During a Zoom conference call with A's reporters Saturday, Melvin mentioned that he plans to address his team Sunday about taking the coronavirus precautions as seriously as possible.

“How important it is to try to stay in as much of a bubble as we possibly can,” Melvin said, according to The San Francisco Chronicle's Matt Kawahara. “It is literally like it is in real life, understanding that you’re doing this for the person next to you, too. You’re staying healthy for not only yourself and your family but your teammates and their families.”

Melvin will be sure to mention Diekman.

“His name will come up as well, that it’s very important to take this seriously,” Melvin said, according to Kawahara.

Melvin's comments made their way to Amanda Diekman, Jake's wife.

[RELATED: Diekman dominated TikTok during stoppage]

Melvin is widely loved by his players, and this is another example of why. He cares about all the guys.

The A's acquired Diekman last July from the Kansas City Royals, and re-signed him to a two-year contract this offseason. The 34-year-old is expected to be a key piece of Melvin's bullpen this season.

Cleveland Indians follow Washington, could change controversial name

Cleveland Indians follow Washington, could change controversial name

Have we seen the last game between the A's and the Cleveland Indians as they're known today? Just hours after the NFL team in Washington announced it would consider changing its racist nickname, Cleveland's MLB franchise released a statement indicating that the team was open to discussions on changing the "Indians" nickname.

The franchise has used the "Indians" moniker for over a century, switching over from the Cleveland Naps back in 1915. Broncos, Bluebirds, Lake Shores and Bustlers all also are nicknames the franchise has had in its lengthy history.

[RELATED: How Black MLB players are confined by baseball's conservative culture]

 

Cleveland's management clearly has understood how the nickname could be considered offensive, as it removed the controversial "Chief Wahoo" alternate logo from the team's uniforms and most apparel at the end of the 2018 season.

Public pressure has mounted in the wake of sweeping support across the nation for reform to fight systemic racism and police brutality in the United States. 

It won't be a surprise if we see not one, but two major American sports franchises completely rebrand with a new nickname and mascot before 2020 wraps up.

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]