Coming off an extra-innings win over the Mariners the night before, the A's backed that up with another 3-2 victory in Seattle on Sunday.
The A's bats were quiet until Ramón Laureano crushed a three-run home run in the top of the fifth to give Oakland a 3-1 lead. Matt Chapman also had his first hit of the series with a line-drive single to left field in the eighth.
On the mound opposing the A's was a familiar face in Kendall Graveman, whose velocity looked stellar with a four-seam fastball he worked on during quarantine.
Here’s what you might have missed during Sunday’s game:
Still depending on homers?
Just a couple days ago, Laureano told reporters that those on the outside might be worried about the team’s offensive production, but that is definitely not the case for him. His fifth-inning homer was his second of the young season.
This exit velocity on that homer actually clocked in at only 98.5 mph which is low for homers, but that’s Laureano for you.
Laureano sends it out and the A's have the lead 🙌 pic.twitter.com/uYJveNpyLp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 2, 2020
On Saturday night, Chad Pinder hit a home run to tie the game which ultimately would help the A's pull out the win, but are these homers being depended on too much?
They’re also not all base-clearing home runs … minus, of course, Matt Olson’s walk-off slam on Opening Day, but that’s the consensus around the league it appears. This season, the A’s have left 12.62 runners on base per game, which believe it or not, isn’t even the top eight worst in the league, so it could be a blanketed situation.
Perhaps this homer dependability is a thing, but it doesn’t appear the team minds at the moment.
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Bassitt puts on a show
It was smooth sailing for Chris Bassitt, who made it through to 5 2/3 innings and threw 83 pitches. He allowed just one earned run on three hits, and struck out seven batters.
His flyball percentage has dropped drastically this season and that showed Sunday. Bassitt's curveball has lacked velocity, but is massive to add to his repertoire.
Heading into the season, Bassitt could have been pitched out of the rotation or the bullpen. With the delay of Jesus Luzardo’s arrival after he tested positive for coronavirus, and the setback from A.J. Puk, Bassitt easily worked his way into the starting rotation.
Last season, however, he made a great case for himself coming out of the bullpen when Blake Treinen struggled with a back injury.
"Hey, we know you."
Graveman, the former Opening Day starter for the A's, was impressive through the first four innings. Aside from his fastball, he also had a pretty impressive slider that he threw to Marcus Semien on a 3-0 count.
Gravemen spent four seasons with the A’s from 2015-18. He missed most of the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Kendall Graveman, Wicked 94mph Sinker...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/Awkx8udHpv— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 2, 2020
The 29-year-old went 4 2/3 innings and allowed three hits and two earned runs. Graveman struck out three and walked two A's batters. Graveman was originally supposed to be a big part of the A’s rotation in 2018, but that ultimately wasn’t the case.
It's been two years since Graveman pitched in the big leagues, and after a pitstop with the Chicago Cubs, he's found a new home in Seattle. So, despite him no longer wearing green and gold, it was good to see Graveman healthy and back on the mound again.