Blue Jays at Athletics, June 7-9

Friday, June 07 2024 @ 03:00 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

Ready to stay up late?

This should be the Blue Jays final visit to the Oakland Coliseum, where the A's have been playing since Charles Finley brought the team here from Kansas City in 1968. The franchise is supposed to begin playing in Las Vegas in 2028 - for the three years in between, the team will play it's home games in Sutter Health Park (capacity 14,014) in Sacramento. It's normally the home of the Sacramento River Cats, San Francisco's AAA affiliate, who for the moment plan to continue playing there as well.

They won't yet be the Las Vegas A's, and they certainly won't be the Oakland A's anymore. Will that make them, temporarily, the Sacramento A's? Apparently not - the team will just be the Athletics or the A's for this interim period.

The Blue Jays have gone 18-7 against Oakland over the last four seasons, since Oakland won all seven of the meetings between the two teams in 2018. They're 105-117 at the Oakland Coliseum, and 2-0 against the A's at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. Yes, the Blue Jays have already played the Athletics in Las Vegas - it was back in 1996, when renovations to the Oakland Coliseum were not quite finished, the A's played their first six home games at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

The Athletics, of course, are one of the eight American League charter franchises. They played their first 54 seasons in Philadelphia, where Connie Mack built a great team that won championships in 1910, 1911, and 1914 before financial pressures forced him to break up that group. It took some time, but Mack built another great team, and won two more championships in 1929 and 1930. Their history in Oakland, which now spans 56 seasons, is not dissimilar. Charles Finley assembled a great team that won three championships in the early 1970s - after Finley had passed from the scene, another great Oakland team emerged to win three straight pennants and another championship in 1989. Since their last World Series appearance in 1990, the A's have had a number of very strong teams - they've had eleven teams that won at least 90 games, two of whom won more than 100 - and they've made twelve trips to the post-season. Alas for them, in all that time they've managed to win just one post-season series, the 2006 ALDS against Minnesota.

This final iteration of the Oakland A's is not one of their good teams, but it may not be quite as awful as what they've been fielding for the last two years. They've got a fighting chance to keep their 2024 Losses below 100, and they have a couple of interesting players - in particular closer Mason Miller. There aren't all that many Save Opportunities working for this team, but in Miller's 27.2 IP, he's racked up 52 Ks and allowed just 14 Hits.

Tonight's starter, Hogan Harris, made one relief appearance against Toronto last June and gave up four runs in 4.2 innings. Luis Medina made a couple of starts against the Blue Jays last season:, taking an L last June and escaping with a No Decision in September.  The Blue Jays have never faced Mitch Spence, a 26 year old rookie whom Oakland took from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft last December.

The Blue Jays haven't indicated yet how they plan to handle their pitching situation for Sunday. Yariel Rodriguez pitched on Wednesday in Buffalo, and while he appears to be Very Close, I don't know that they'll have him return as a starter, or even as a bulk reliever, on three days rest. I expect we'll have one more appearance by the Richards-Francis tag team. This does not make me giddy with anticipation. If you had told me before the season began that Francis would pitch exactly like Erik Swanson I would have been pleased indeed. But the reality has not been as pleasant.

While we're all waiting to see how the team plans to make room for Spencer Horwitz - Vogelbach DFA? Biggio optioned? Clement optioned? - we can report that Tampa Bay has DFA'd Harold Ramirez. If you need a RH singles hitter with no defensive position.


Fri 7 June - Bassitt (6-6, 4.13) vs Harris (0-0, 3.14)
Sat 8 June - Gausman (4-4, 4.60) vs Medina (0-0, 0.00)
Sun 9 June - ??? vs Spence (4-3, 3.86)