Athletics

A's shortstop Marcus Semien shares mental health journey in HEADSTRONG

A's shortstop Marcus Semien shares mental health journey in HEADSTRONG

For Marcus Semien, his performance on the field sometimes would impact how he felt at home.

If the A's shortstop went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, he would be frustrated and it would be difficult to turn that off.

"It's very intense," he said.

As part of NBC Sports' documentary, "HEADSTRONG: Mental Health and Sports." Semien detailed the ups and downs of playing professional baseball and how he has improved over the years with dealing with the stresses and difficulties it can bring.

Semien, who committed 35 errors in 2015, enlisted the help of Ron Washington in hopes of building his confidence and improving his defensive performance.

And improve he did. Semien cut his errors down significantly, ultimately being named an AL Gold Glove Finalist in 2018.

Still, Semien knows he can't let his focus wane.

"There's been times where you're so hard on yourself over an at-bat and you bring it out to the field and you make an error on the field and you think 'Why did I just make that error?' cuz I was thinking about my at-bat," he chuckled.

But he's working on it.

[RELATED: Semien shares reaction to being named MVP finalist]

The 2019 AL MVP finalist continues to work on the mental side of the game, and knows that he and other athletes perform at their best when they're able to keep a level head.

You can watch all of the "HEADSTRONG: Mental Health and Sports" vignettes right here. The full documentary will play all month on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California.

Check our channel listings page for times and dates.

A's spoil historic nine-game winning streak with wild loss vs. Angels

A's spoil historic nine-game winning streak with wild loss vs. Angels

The A’s magical month of August finally fell back to earth on Monday night.

Riding a nine-game win streak entering the first game of Oakland’s series against the Los Angeles Angels, the A’s blew a four-run lead and lost 10-9.

A win for the A’s would have given Oakland a 10-game win streak, which when prorated over a standard 162-game season, would have been the equivalent of a 27-game win streak. The MLB record was set by the 1916 New York Giants at 26, while the 2017 Cleveland Indians own the AL’s best-ever win streak at 22 games.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

The Angels jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but Oakland roared back on the strength of two home runs by Matt Chapman, as the A’s led 9-4 after the top of the fourth inning. Chapman also cleared the bases in that inning with a triple, producing six RBI overall in the losing effort.

But two-time AL MVP Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani brought some power of their own, as a Trout homer in the fourth and an Ohtani bomb in the sixth brought the Angels even at nine.

The A’s bats went quiet down the stretch of the game after a strong start, and Trout gave the Angels the lead with a towering solo home run off Yusmeiro Petit in the bottom of the eighth.

[RELATED: Melvin pins blame for A's-Astros brawl on Houston coach]

Southpaw Sean Manaea struggled mightily against the potent Angels lineup, surrendering four runs on seven hits in just two and two-thirds of an inning before manager Bob Melvin went to the bullpen.

"I didn't think his stuff was bad, I think he's just got to fight through this right now," Melvin told reporters after the loss.

After an emotional weekend series against the rival Houston Astros, including a benches-clearing brawl Sunday that likely will be resulting in some discipline for outfielder Ramón Laureano, the A's couldn't sustain a strong start and see their winning streak end at nine games.

Oakland still leads the AL West by 4.5 games over the Astros, who've won the division in each of the past two seasons.

Mike Fiers will be on the bump Tuesday against Angels pitcher Dylan Bundy as Oakland looks to get back in the win column. 

Watch A's red-hot slugger Matt Chapman crush two home runs vs. Angels

Watch A's red-hot slugger Matt Chapman crush two home runs vs. Angels

Matt Chapman is on a tear.

After the Los Angeles Angels took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning of Monday's game against the A's, the third baseman turned on a pitch from starter Julio Teheran to put the A's on the board with a solo home run to lead off the second inning.

[RELATED: This projection nearly guarantees A's will make the playoffs]

It was Chapman's third consecutive game with a home run. But the star wasn't done there, as he absolutely crushed a pitch from Teheran in his next at-bat that flew well over center fielder Mike Trout's head.

His second blast gave the A's a 5-3 lead in the third inning.

Chapman still wasn't done. In the top of the fourth inning, he came up with the bases loaded and drove in all three runners with a triple to right-center to give the A's an 8-4 lead.

Chapman so far Monday night is 3-for-3 with two homers, a triple and six RBI.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]