The Oakland A’s began this series 0-4 against Seattle this season, before finishing the series with a sweep. Back-to-back series sweeps have helped the A’s (28-25) push their season-best win streak to nine.
The A’s had come off a Cleveland sweep which brought them to .500, before climbing to second in the AL West after Sunday. Before the series, Bob Melvin spoke about being a .500 team:
“Once you get to .500, when you are seven or eight games below or whatever it is, it makes you feel better about going forward so to do that quickly you have to win a lot of games in a row and we did that, so we are feeling better about how we play and at the end of the day.”
Well, it shows. The A’s are are now second in the AL West, 6-1/2 games back of the Houston Astros. The Mariners and A’s have been swapping places for most of the season, with Seattle now lurking six games behind the second-place A’s.
The Mariners have now been swept twice in their last two series. Before their series in Oakland, Seattle had been swept by the Texas Rangers, which pushed the Rangers to second place. But after Sunday, Texas stands one game back of the A’s.
The A’s came into this series knowing the next fifteen consecutive games would all be against AL West teams. Most people would think these games are pretty important and defining moments for the division, though Bob Melvin said he doesn’t want to pay too much attention to it:
“We are just trying to feel good about how we play no matter who we play at this point.”
All-Star Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is out of their starting lineup right now after a hamstring injury, and Aledmys Diaz is liked headed to the 10-Day injury report, according to ESPN. The Astros lost today 4-1 Sunday to the Boston Red Sox and will host the Chicago Cubs for a series starting Memorial Day afternoon.
“I’m just trying to be Khris Davis right now, and this is my best version of it…. I really like it. I like not having to run out there on the field. It is nice to just kind of hang out in the dugout and wait for my at-bat to happen. I am enjoying my time as a designated hitter so far.”
Canha has been hitting bombs and continues to do his job. Davis was removed in the third inning on Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians and didn’t return Wednesday. A left hip contusion has been an issue since the first week of May when the A’s played the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
Bob Melvin said on the history of Davis’s injury:
“It is still a bruise in there (left hip) it is the oblique that kinda attaches to the bone and he was exactly right. Khris felt what he was feeling and the more he played it just wouldn’t get healthy so we will shut him down for at least five days I think we are talking about from swinging and then we will see how he feels after that.”
Apparently his injury never got better, but it never got worse either. When the A’s had an off day, Davis said he felt fine while taking batting practice, but when he played in a game situation, it was an issue. Davis was officially placed on the 10-day injury list.
Melvin just wants to shut him down for a little bit and get him back to his full potential. He believes Canha is the right guy for the job:
“Basically Canha did what KD does for us, hit five home runs on the road trip so it kinda felt like having KD there, even though obviously were going to miss him. We have seen Mark Canha do this in the past, where he gets an opportunity and he produces and you get him consistent at bats and he hits home runs. So if ever there was a guy where we feel really comfortable about replacing KD for a period of time, it would be Mark.”
The A’s have recalled Skye Bolt from Triple-A. Bolt can play all three outfield positions and will help the team on both sides, Melvin said:
“He gives us options in all three outfield positions and he is a switch hitter so if i need to give Ramon a day off in center he’s played center field, another left handed bat that we have on the bench and right now being a switch hitter, he was playing well in Triple-A.”
With Matt Olson back, Melvin believes that may be the difference in the A’s success this time around against the Mariners. He explained the whole team feels different on both sides. The A’s had a tough beginning to the season but now, with a couple of sweeps under their belt, the team is playing how he expects them to play.