With the series this week in New York, we were all able to watch both the major league first and last place teams go head to head. But I don’t want to harp on what just went down. I want to talk about the Oakland A’s starters.
Frankie Montas had it but had no run support.
Let’s start with the consistent pitching from Frankie Montas. This makes the sweep sting a little bit more. In his start on Tuesday, he went 6 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 4 hits, while reaching 7 SOs. After a dominant pitching performance, he even got good bullpen support – a rarity for the A’s recently.
But Oakland’s offense was practically silent. And that seems to be the trend based on his previous start too. A 2-1 game with no runs allowed in 8 innings against Seattle. Coming into July, Montas appears to have his footing and shows signs as a leader of the clubhouse. However, Tuesday’s game was another red “L” in the win-loss column.
Paul Blackburn still solid but was let down by the bullpen.
The day before that, Paul Blackburn had a similarly solid start, going 5 innings with 3 runs on 5 hits. He also hit 7 SOs. Offense wasn’t the problem but a pitching implosion from the Oakland A’s bullpen, allowing the Yankees to answer with a resounding 6 more runs.
While Blackburn’s last start against Seattle wasn’t ideal, the rest of his starts have been consistent. And he’s given the team a chance to win. I even bet he gets to the All-Star game, especially in light of overall team performance.
If this series showed us anything, it is not just that the Yankees are bulldozing over the rest of the MLB. Blackburn and Montas gave Oakland a chance to win but somehow both the offense and bullpen stopped the momentum in its tracks.
What to do with these starters?
I understand the trade appeal. But is nothing sacred? Enough with giving away good players for little return! Sorry, that was a rare moment of frustrated emotion.
In all seriousness, why not try to build a team around the solid starters that just held off the best team in baseball for at least 6 full innings? For the love of baseball, please keep these two around. Not sure if the fans can handle any more heartbreak.
Until that inevitably happens, please stay sane Green & Gold loyal.