Sep 15, 2020
MLB and MLBPA agree to form a postseason bubble
This news has been received from: fansided.com
All trademarks, copyrights, videos, photos and logos are owned by respective news sources. News stories, videos and live streams are from trusted sources.
MLB postseason to be played in California and Texas bubbles
Consider a scenario where the Cubs and White Sox meet in the World Series, but the games are played more than 800 miles from Chicago. It could happen in this, the most unique baseball season on record.
Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed on Tuesday to play the postseason in two bubbles, in Southern California and Texas, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.An official announcement is expected later in the day.
Under this plan, the National League playoffs will be played at two stadiums in Texas: Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, and Minute Maid Park in Houston. The American League, meanwhile, will play at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Petco Park in San Diego. The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field beginning Oct. 20. The best-of-three first round, though, will still be held at home ballparks.
To avoid a lengthy intake process and the possibility of a player bringing COVID-19 into the bubbles, all players on potential playoff teams will have to quarantine in a hotel for the last seven days of the regular season, even while at home. They will also be subject to daily testing. Family members will be allowed, but only if they isolate for seven days in a different hotel than the players.
The idea behind splitting up the leagues is to avoid giving a club an unfair home-field advantage during the postseason. The Dodgers and Padres, for instance, will likely be in the playoffs in the NL, but they’ll have to leave California and play in Texas.
A bubble can be popped, but conducting the postseason in this manner reduces the risk of MLB repeating a situation like what happened with the Marlins and Cardinals in the regular season. The NHL and NBA are playing their playoffs in bubbles which, so far, have gone smoothly.
MLB learned a lesson from what those leagues have done about how to play sports during a global pandemic: bubbles work. The league and union paid attention and did the only thing that will ensure the World Series trophy is handed out on time in 2020.Next: Trent Grisham pimps homer off Clayton Kershaw
News Source: fansided.com
Oakland As clinch postseason spot with win over Giants, Mariners loss
OAKLAND — There would be no popped bottles of champagne, no beer showers or boozy celebrations upon the Oakland A’s clinching their third consecutive postseason berth Friday night with a 6-0 win over the San Francisco Giants — officially sealed with the Seattle Mariners’ loss to the San Diego Padres.
The A’s magic number to clinch the American League West is down to 2, which can be achieved with a Houston Astros loss and A’s win as soon as Saturday.
“We talked at the beginning of the year about the division, that’s still what we’re looking to do,” manager Bob Melvin said after the game.
The A’s past two postseason clinch nights were spent in the visitor’s clubhouse in Seattle. Finally able to clinch one at home, the A’s had no raucous fans to share it with — save for the cardboard cutouts that have held the same expression all season long.
There wasn’t much of a celebration after the game save for a round of applause from the Oakland Coliseum grounds crew when the Padres officially beat the Mariners — as shown on the park’s big board a few minutes after the A’s won the game. No t-shirts, no big cheers from the home clubhouse. For now, the final steps toward loftier goals are just coming into focus.
“I think we have a lot bigger goals,” Chris Bassitt said. “Playoffs is huge, but I think this team is extremely hungry for a lot bigger things than the playoffs. It’s awesome, but we acted like we won a game and that’s it.”
It was only appropriate that Bassitt was on the hill for the A’s clincher. He went from possible swingman back in June to the team’s quasi-ace. With a talented rotation in constant flux — with injuries and slower progress amplified by a short season — Bassitt has been the only constant. Not only that, he’s been an anchor.
With a 6 2/3 scoreless outing Friday, Bassitt whittled his ERA down to 2.57, which ranks as the fifth-lowest in the American League behind Cleveland’s Shane Bieber (1.74), Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel (2.19), Texas’ Lance Lynn (2.40) and Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda (2.52).
His ERA at the Coliseum dwindled down to an eye-popping .89 with 25 strikeouts in five starts this year.
“He’s a guy who got off to the latest start in spring training, but deserves everything he’s getting,” Melvin said. “He had to work hard to get here, so feels good he’s being rewarded right now as good as he’s pitching.”
Bassitt this year has been consistent with his fastball command in nearly every start, and his curveball is both stunning and whiff-able. Bassitt’s been hard on himself at times — his low points came when he was caught up, unprepared in the stop-and-start nature of the season. But, through it all, he deflected praise to his catcher.
“I’ve been blessed this year and every year with catchers that know me physically and mentally,” Bassitt said. “Murph (Sean Murphy) and I are on the same page. I don’t like to think on the mound. I owe a lot of my success on Murphy. I don’t like to go out there thinking about how many fastball, curveballs, cutters I’m throwing.
“He does his homework better than anyone I’ve ever played with. I think Murphy is just unbelievable out there in keeping guys off balance.”
Murphy’s dominance behind the plate is becoming clearer as his reps build up, and not just as a studied game caller advanced beyond his 25 years. A study on Murphy’s defensive catching skills concludes that of Murphy’s five defensive runs saved this season, three are due to his impeccable pitch framing abilities. In other words, he’s getting strike calls that have a low percentage for being called a strike.
The A’s lack of a veteran catching option hasn’t been a problem with rookie Jonah Heim demonstrating strong skills behind the dish, too.
Back to Bassitt. Three of his seven strikeouts came swinging at his looping curveball, the other three on fastballs, mostly up out of the zone. He walked three — two in the seventh inning — with three hits, but held the Giants to one hit through five innings. Related Articles
- After surgery, A.J. Puk on pace to pitch in spring training 2021
- Can Jake Lamb be revived with the Oakland A’s?
- A’s whittle down magic number to clinch division with win over Rockies
- Oakland A’s happy to be (almost) through with treacherous road trip
- After hectic week, A’s have nothing left for Rockies
The new guys provided a good chunk of the offense — with Matt Olson’s big swing setting the tone.
Olson hit a three-run home run, his 14th homer of the year, in the third inning that created all the separation the A’s would need off Giants right handed starter Logan Webb. Tommy La Stella also contributed an RBI — a single with a pair of runners on in the fourth. Marcus Semien added the A’s sixth run with another RBI.
Jake Lamb provided his third RBI in four games with Oakland, knocking an RBI single at 107 mph off his bat. Hard contact is a good indication of some offensive success, and he’s had plenty in his short time.
He now has six hits in four games with three RBI, including a home run. Lamb says the A’s hitting coaches have given him a couple tips, and he’s already seeing results. But, most of all, he’s felt some extra motivation from a frustrating year.
“The DFA, just how this year went for me is some of the most motivation I’ve ever had,” Lamb said. “To join these guys, and pushing for a World Series, that’s all the motivation you need.”
His teammates are happy to see him produce right away.
“I don’t know how we got him honestly,” Bassitt said. “He’s truly incredible. I’ve heard other guys play with him, play against him, and say if he’s healthy he’s an All-Star. And dang does he look healthy.”