Oakland Athletics Roundup: Friday, October 9
On Thursday, a pair of American League Division Series games showcased both former Oakland Athletics and current division rivals. Most notably, the Blue Jays and MVP front-runner Josh Donaldson took on the Texas Rangers in the first of a five game series.
The Jays suffered a scare in the fourth inning, when Donaldson slid in hard to break up a double play at second base. Texas infielder Rougned Odor tried to jump over him, but instead kneed him in the head. Although Donaldson originally stayed in the game, he was later removed to go through concussion protocol tests. Luckily for Toronto, he passed them all – because A’s fans know how much an injured Donaldson can affect the outcome of a playoff game.
The Blue Jays found out how much losing JD hurts, too, as they fell 5-3 to the Rangers despite having David Price on the mound.
Meanwhile, the Astros took on Oakland’s nemesis: Yordano Ventura and the Kansas City Royals. A rain delay forced Ned Yost to remove Ventura after just two innings of work, but not before he gave up four hits and a walk en route to three Houston runs.
Astros’ starter Colin McHugh wasn’t even mildly discomforted by the break in the action, as he returned from the delay to finish his quality start. Over six innings, McHugh allowed just two runs on four hits and a walk of his own. Naturally, Luke Gregerson picked up the save, and the Astros started the series with a 5-2 victory.
In Case You Missed It:
Team Chemistry Will Be Key Focus In 2016 – Earlier this week, Billy Beane and new GM David Forst announced that there would be some changes in terms of clubhouse chemistry over the off-season. Why is that important? Samantha Riley talks about what to expect for next season.
A’s Bullpen Should Be Completely Overhauled – The A’s bullpen was very, very bad. So bad, in fact, that the team is almost certain to have another losing season if changes aren’t made. But how big do those changes need to be?
On a much more somber note, the Oakland Athletics released an official statement via Twitter, after 2014 draft pick Michael Nolan passed away on Thursday. Nolan was critically injured in a September drive-by shooting. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this time.
Around the Web:
Minor League Ball: Breakout Candidates for 2016: SB Nation’s Minor League Ball predicts who will be the Oakland Athletics’ breakout candidates next season.