Milwaukee Brewers

Why Nationals' NL wild-card win should remind A's how thin margins are

Why Nationals' NL wild-card win should remind A's how thin margins are

The A's should know all too well how high the stakes are in Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game. They were, after all, boat-raced by the New York Yankees in last year's winner-take-all contest. 

Tuesday's NL Wild Card Game served as yet another reminder. 

The Washington Nationals advanced to the NLDS with a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park, thanks to a fielding error from Milwaukee outfielder Trent Grisham. Grisham misplayed Soto's single to right field with the bases loaded, and all three Nationals scored to turn Washington's 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. 

There's postseason heartbreak, and then there's this. 

Tuesday's wild outcome -- pun intended -- shows how quickly things can change in a do-or-die scenario. So, too, does the Colorado Rockies' 13th-inning win over the Chicago Cubs in the same game last season, the Giants' Conor Gillaspie-led win in 2016 and even the A's own loss to the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 AL Wild Card Game. 

[RELATED: A's lefty Manaea to start AL Wild Card Game vs. Rays]

Baseball is random enough over 162 games. With two teams' seasons coming down to a single game, sudden shifts aren't just possible. 

They're to be expected, as Tuesday night proved. 

Giants call up infield prospect Mauricio Dubon after midseason trade

Giants call up infield prospect Mauricio Dubon after midseason trade

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy gets asked about Jaylin Davis just about every day, but behind closed doors, the team has been just as excited about another young player at Triple-A. 

Mauricio Dubon made a lot of fans throughout the organization after getting traded over from the Milwaukee Brewers, and he'll now get his first crack at the big leagues. Dubon is getting called up to the big leagues, the Giants announced Tuesday afternoon. Robert Murray of The Athletic was first to report the news

By getting called up to the Giants, Dubon fulfilled a promise he made 10 years ago.

Dubon, 25, is a middle infielder the Giants picked up when they dealt Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black to the Brewers an hour before the trade deadline. He has 20 homers this season and four in 25 games for the River Cats. Dubon was hitting .323 in Sacramento with a .391 on-base percentage. 

The Giants consider Dubon an option to handle either short or second base in the future, with the latter far more likely given Joe Panik's departure. At the very least, they believe he'll be a super-utility player at the big league level, and that might be his role early on.

[RELATED: Cueto set for one more Triple-A start before Giants return]

With Crawford at short and Donovan Solano seeing increased time at second, the Giants released Scooter Gennett and optioned Abital Avelino to Triple-A.

Ray Black reveals how trade from Giants to Brewers led to brutal travel

Ray Black reveals how trade from Giants to Brewers led to brutal travel

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Andrew Suarez headed for Philadelphia late last month, he exchanged texts with River Cats teammate Ray Black, who was in Richmond, Virginia. Black was headed to his old Double-A ballpark for what he thought would be a one-game stop before a potential post-deadline call-up. 

Instead, Black soon found himself in a different organization, and in the middle of a hellacious travel stretch. 

The Giants' Triple-A affiliate was on the road in San Antonio for the trade deadline and team officials put four pitchers on the taxi squad to be prepared, knowing they would subtract from the big league bullpen. Black and left-hander Sam Selman left San Antonio a day before Suarez and Jandel Gustave, with the first two players going to Richmond to wait it out. 

But Black ended up being thrown into a deal with Drew Pomeranz, and while Pomeranz joined Milwaukee's bullpen right away, Black was sent back to Triple-A. The Brewers' affiliate is based in -- you guessed it -- San Antonio. Black was sent right back where he had just been, this time by the Brewers. 

"I was racking up the frequent flyer miles that week," Black told reporters in Milwaukee after he got called up Wednesday. "I wasn't expecting a trade. A lot of the talk around the deadline had been around some of our more veteran leaders going."

Black has been through it all in the minors and actually nearly retired a couple years ago. He had a good sense of humor about everything as he told the story to Brewers reporters, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel captured: 

[RELATED: Recapping Giants' additions, subtractions at trade deadline]

The trip was a bit easier for the other three taxi squad pitchers. Suarez and Gustave ended up getting to the ballpark in the fourth inning on deadline day and are still with the big club. Selman was activated, too, but he's back in Sacramento.

That brings us to the real hero of this story, by the way. Black's wife, Parras, had been traveling with him and recently documented on her Instagram page how she went all the way back to Sacramento to pack up their apartment. It all worked out for the two. Ray pitched a perfect inning Wednesday in his Brewers debut.