A's fans love to hate Manny Machado. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Athletics Week in Review: All-Stars and Orange Birds

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Four days without an A’s game seems like an eternity. Thankfully, even the All-Star break had plenty of action for the boys in green and gold. Let’s review! There were dingers by the dozen, pies in plural and a 22-year-old who’s gotten under Oakland’s collective skin. Also, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continued to match the A’s win for win and remain just 1.5 games back.

Record for the week: 2-1
Overall Record: 61-37

The All-Star Break
On Monday night, Josh Donaldson and returning champion Yoenis Cespedes competed in the Home Run Derby together.  Over the course of four rounds and and a tiebreaker, Yoenis hit thirty Cespe-taters on his way to defending his title.

The next evening, *six* Athletics competed in the All-Star game. Jeff Samardzija did not get the chance to play, but the rest of the gang all got to to make appearances in the Midsummer Classic. Derek Norris was the only A’s batter with a hit in the game, but both Scott Kazmir and Sean Doolittle pitched well. And the American League won, so that means that the AL team will get home-field advantage for the World Series. I think it’s a pretty dumb rule, but I will not be complaining about that if the A’s manage to reap the benefit. The other notable thing from the All-Star game? The A’s cap worn during the game was absolutely awesome. I bought one.
Baltimore Orioles
Manny Machado didn’t make many friends the last time he faced Oakland. He got into a tiff with Josh Donaldson at third base, he threw a bat, subsequently got suspended and basically acted like the young kid he is. Maybe it’s just an AL East third baseman thing. Remember when Alex Rodriguez walked across Dallas Braden‘s mound? At any rate, A’s fans were out in force to let Machado know how they felt about him.
The Machado drama aside, other than yet another rough outing for Jason Hammel on Saturday evening, it was an incredibly fun weekend of baseball at the O.co Coliseum.
Friday night’s game was a blast, it played out like a movie. The Villian (Machado) hit a two-run dinger off of Jeff Samardzija in the top of the seventh to put the O’s up 4-2, and until the bottom of the ninth it looked very much like that was going to be the story of the game. But then, facing Zach Britton in the bottom of the ninth, Cespedes legs out an infield single, hit to none other than Machado himself. Brandon Moss then poked a single into right field, and Cespedes showed his speed once again going first to third.
But who needs speed, when you have the AL’s All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson? He hit the first pitch Britton threw to him over the wall in center field. The good guys won, Josh got double-pied and a Gatorade bath, justice was restored. Thanks guys.

On Saturday and Sunday, the O’s and A’s (can we call this the Plural Vowel Series?) traded blowouts. Sonny was amazing today, runs came in bunches for Oakland and were difficult to come by for Baltimore.

Stat of the Week: Manny Machado went 2/11 with a single, a homer and a walk. He struck out twice, made a fielding error. His slash line for the series was .182/.250/.455 and most importantly for me he didn’t get plunked. I feel like that showed class by the A’s organization, hitting Manny where it hurts worst: In his stats and on the scoreboard.

Tweet of the Week: Nothing is beating this. It’s perfect:

The Week Ahead: The Angels remain right on the Athletics heels. The A’s are off on Monday and play three games at home against the Astros (41-58) before heading to Arlington for a three game weekend series against the Rangers (39-59). Likely pitchers for the first series are Kaz/Chavez/Shark, and if the current rotation remains we’ll see Hammel/Sonny/Kaz against Texas. Let’s hope the Angels struggle against the Orioles and Tigers this week to give our boys some breathing room.
Have a great week all and go A’s!
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