Athletics get second crack at Shohei Ohtani in series finale

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 01: Matt Chapman
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 01: Matt Chapman /

The Oakland Athletics will get their second crack of the season at rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani on Sunday, with the young right-hander on the mound for the Angels.

Ohtani got the win in his Major League debut against the Athletics last Sunday, allowing three hits, three runs and striking out six over six innings of work.

A fastball in the high 90’s and an effective splitter tore apart the A’s in the last meeting, but Oakland will come better prepared this time around, at least somewhat having of an idea as to what Ohtani throws.

The red-hot Matt Chapman, who enters today’s game on a nine-game hitting streak, blasted a three-run homer off Ohtani last time up.

Chapman has reached base in every single game this season, but with Ohtani on the mound it won’t be an easy task to do so again today.

RHP Kendall Graveman will be on the mound for the Athletics. In two starts this season, Graveman is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA and just two strikeouts. In his last outing against the Angels, an opening day no-decision, Graveman hurled five innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (3 HR).

The Angels jumped all over him on opening day, but luckily the bullpen was able to steady the ship on that occasion, setting up a Marcus Semien walk-off.

Oakland’s offense is rolling:

The Athletics have scored 25 runs over their last four games, including 16 runs in the past two outings against the Angels. They managed to knock the Angels’ starters out of the game early in the last two games, making their bullpen work overtime and generally giving them an advantage overall.

If Graveman and the bullpen can hold things down for the A’s, they’ll be in a good spot for success with the way the offense has been rolling of late.

Next: Matt Chapman stays hot as Athletics top Angels

Thompson excited to join the A’s:

Outfielder Trayce Thompson is excited to get things going with the Athletics, speaking positively about the team and discussing his aspirations moving forward on Saturday.

You can watch the video HERE, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Thompson is expected to start against the Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday, with two left-handers scheduled to start for Los Angeles.