Oakland was all business on Saturday, getting up early and riding Edwin Jackson to a 7–0 win.
Jackson, who allowed three hits and three walks, got an out in the eighth before Bob Melvin called on Ryan Buchter, who promptly struck out the first and only two batters he faced. Emilio Pagan secured the shutout after loading the bases with no outs in the ninth.
Oakland wasn’t a big underdog on Saturday but it was plus-money, nonetheless. A win won’t pay quite as well on Sunday but, given the way the A’s are playing in all phases of the game, they’re still a bargain.
Oakland’s offense reminds me quite a bit of Kansas City’s during its run in 2014 and 2015 in the sense that there isn’t one guy who is going to kill you, but rather a steady line of guys who grind out at-bats and turn the lineup over.
That said, the new “Krush” Davis is six home runs away from his third consecutive season with at least forty home runs. Going back to his final season with Milwaukee in 2015, Davis is slugging .500 for the fourth straight year and will get serious MVP consideration, especially if voters can’t decide between Mookie Betts and JD Martinez and go in a different direction all together. Davis really is a joy to watch because of how genuinely hard he hits the ball in all directions; his home run last night was a line shot over the tall right-field fence in Angel Stadium.
The defense is fantastic. I love the way Matt Olson handles first base so effortlessly. Position flexibility allows Melvin to keep all of his guys fresh, no small reason why the A’s play such great team defense. Ramon Laureano made the play of the year last night, running a ball down in left-center and firing a perfect moonshot 321 feet back to first baseman Mark Canha, who was in center the night before, to double off the runner at first base. If you haven’t seen the play, stop and watch it now.
Back in an Oakland uniform, Trevor Cahill looks like the guy who finished ninth in the American League Cy Young voting back in 2010. He disappeared for a few seasons as he made his rounds through the National League but he’s back with the A’s and pitching to a 3.12. ERA with a strikeout per inning. Oakland’s bullpen had yet another easy game on Saturday so anyone and everyone is ready for the call if and when Cahill gets into trouble. And again, no Mike Trout for the Halos.
They aren’t plus-money, but -115 isn’t so bad for a team that has looked as good as any in baseball for nearly two months now. I don’t quite get it, but I’m not going to ask questions either.
Play: Oakland -115