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06/12/2018 a las 07:51:48
Jason O. Watson/Getty ImagesThe Oakland Athletics snuck up on us [url=][/url ] , the same way Matt Chapman sneaks up on a speedster who thinks he can drop a bunt down the third-base line and come up with a hit. Sorry, Dee Gordon, Jarrod Dyson or anyone else whom Chapman has robbed this year.The A's are pounding their way into our consciousness, the way their young third baseman has singled and doubled and homered his way into the national baseball conversation.If you're not paying attention to Chapman and the A's, well, you should be. If you're not making plans to check out their series this week against the Los Angeles Dodgers, or next week's playoff-race showdowns with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros, well, go ahead and change your plans.As hot as the Boston Red Sox have been since the middle of June, the A's have been just a tiny bit hotter. That's not to say the A's are as good a team as the Sox, who seem on their way to one of those historic seasons. But by the middle of June, we already knew the Red Sox were good.In the middle of June, the A's were a sub-.500 team you almost felt sorry for because the lack of commitment by ownership was showing in their on-field performance. No team in the major leagues had a lower Opening Day payroll than the A's, whose $62 million total was less than a third of the Red Sox's $206 million, according to USA Today.Then the A's started winning. And kept winning.They've won 33 of their last 43, the best record in baseball over that span (the Red Sox are just behind at 31-11). They've gone from 11 games out of a playoff spot to holding the American League's second wild-card spot. They're just 2.5 games behind the New York Yankees for the right to host the AL Wild Card Game and just four games behind the Astros in the AL West.You can't credit Chapman for all that, because he was on the disabled list for two weeks with a thumb contusion when the run began. But he's important enough that one person who works for the A's described him as "captain material," even though he's just 25 and in his first full big league season.Chapman is already a defensive star at third base.Jason O. Watson/Getty ImagesHis numbers are good enough that you wonder why he wasn't on the All-Star team [url=]Jason Castro Jersey[/url] , except that the AL had two really good third basemen in Jose Ramirez and Alex Bregman, and Chapman's numbers were behind theirs when the team was picked.But look at him now: A 1.214 OPS in 16 games since the All-Star break, second in the AL among players with at least 60 plate appearances (Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers is first). A triple and two home runs over the weekend as the A's swept the Detroit Tigers to continue their run.Then there are the defensive numbers. Defensive stats aren't the most reliable indicators, but in Chapman's case, he's so far ahead of everyone else the numbers don't need to be exact. Check out this tweet from Sports Info Solutions:Sports Info Solutions SportsInfo_SISMost Defensive Runs Saved - 3rd BaseMatt Chapman25Matt Carpenter 8Travis Shaw 8 RAldh1XnD4Even if you don't trust defensive numbers, in Chapman's case, the eye test tells you the same thing."A Gold Glove guy at third base," one American League scout said Monday. "A smart player and a great athlete with a plus-plus arm. One of the best, for sure."Or listen to this testimonial from Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, who has been considered the best defensive third baseman in the game."He was my backup shortstop [in high school]," Arenado told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's funny, he's probably better than me now."Nolan Arenado was two years ahead of Chapman at El Toro High School. Now they may be the two best defensive third basemen in baseball.Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesSo yeah, the two guys who might be the best defensive third basemen in the game played together at El Toro High School in Orange County, California. It's kind of like how Didi Gregorius rarely played shortstop growing up because he and Andrelton Simmons were on the same teams back to Little League.For the record, Chapman told Slusser he still rates Arenado as better."I want to do what he's done," Chapman said.Arenado has won the National League Gold Glove at third base in each of his first five big league seasons. Chapman didn't debut until June in 2017, when Evan Longoria won the AL Gold Glove at third. Longoria isn't even in the league anymore after a December trade to the San Francisco Giants, and it's hard to see anyone denying Chapman this year.The competition to make the AL All-Star team at third base will be tough with Ramirez and Bregman [url=][/url ] , but it's easy to see Chapman joining that conversation in the years to come, too."He has a Robin Ventura-type mentality," another AL scout said. "Plays the game the way it was meant to be played. I think the offensive numbers will go up. He's an All-Star in the making, for sure."He's the kind of player you make plans to watch, just as his A's are right now the type of team you should make plans to see. Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball. MILWAUKEE (AP) — The first pitch Eric Thames swung at made him look foolish — a looping curveball that bounced at the plate.“I was like, ‘OK, see the ball and trust whatever happens, happens,'” Thames said.Thames found what he was looking for, hitting a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth off embattled Rockies closer Wade Davis, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat Colorado 5-3 on Friday night.“I got a pitch to hit and I didn’t miss it,” said Thames, who hit the second walk-off homer of his career. “That was awesome. Seeing it, feeling it with the sweet spot off the bat and then seeing the team’s reaction and the crowd’s, that was an awesome moment.”Not for Davis. It was his sixth blown save of the season and his second in as many days after losing in St. Louis on Thursday.Davis (1-5) struck out Mike Moustakas to start the inning before allowing a pair of one-out walks. After Jonathan Schoop popped out, Thames hit a 1-1 fastball deep into the right-field bleachers to end it.“I was definitely trying to go about 10 to 12 inches higher,” Davis said. “We had thrown a couple curveballs in a row. I was going to go back to it. I just wanted to get one up and in.”Miller Park continues to be a house of horrors for Davis, who also allowed a walk-off homer to Travis Shaw in his last appearance at Milwaukee with the Cubs on Sept. 23 [url=]Jose Berrios Jersey[/url] , 2017. It wasn’t forgotten in the dugout.“Our guys were talking about last year when Shaw hit the walk-off against Chicago off Davis: ‘You remember that? Let’s go, let’s get him again,'” Thames said. “We did.”Padres manager Bud Black said he’ll talk with Davis, who has blown his last three save opportunities against the Brewers, but had no plans to replace him.“This happens in baseball. You hate to see it. Wade has been such a great closer throughout his career. He’s been through this,” Black said. “He will respond.”SWEET DREAMSThames’ late heroics turned around what had been a pitchers’ duel in which the Rockies’ German Marquez got the better of Junior Guerra.Marquez allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out nine and retired 15 in a row at one point.Guerra went eight innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six.Guerra had been sent home earlier in Milwaukee’s seven-game road trip to get a good night’s rest because of a late start in the series finale in Los Angeles. The rest of the Brewers straggled home at 6 a.m. local time Friday following a 21-5 loss to the Dodgers that set a franchise record for runs allowed.“I got a good sleep,” Guerra said.STAT LINESCorbin Burnes (2-0) came in with a runner on first in the ninth and retired the side for the win.Christian Yelich homered for Milwaukee, while Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez went deep for the Rockies.MINOR HOLLIDAYOF Matt Holliday went 2 for 4 with a walk in his first appearance for Triple-A Albuquerque since signing a minor-league contract with the Rockies on Monday. The 38-year-old Holliday hit .231 with 19 homers and 64 RBIs last year with the Yankees.TRAINER’S ROOMRockies: The training staff checked LF Gerardo Parra’s left hand after he appeared to jam it when he was caught stealing in the second. He remained in the game. Marquez also received attention from the training staff after being hit by Moustakas’ liner in the sixth, but came back throwing in the upper 90s.Brewers: RHP Matt Albers (right shoulder) has struggled since coming off the disabled list on July 28, giving up eight runs and recording just two outs over three appearances.UP NEXTRockies left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.69 ERA) is holding hitters to a .144 average over his last six starts but has been plagued with a lack of run support. Milwaukee rookie Freddy Peralta (4-2, 3.61) faces the Rockies for the second time in his career. His first appearance against them was electric. The right-hander struck out 13 over 5 2/3 innings, taking a no-hitter into the sixth in his MLB debut in Colorado.
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