Tony Kemp of the Oakland A’s did everything he could to help his squad fight for a playoff berth down the stretch. Kemp is 14-for-29 in his last 8 games including a 4-for-5 performance on Saturday in a blowout loss to Dusty Baker’s NL West-winning Houston Astros.
Two-time All-Star Josh Harrison wasted no time making an impact when he joined the Oakland Athletics in August.
The Athletics are fighting for a Wild Card spot and they acquired the multi-faceted Harrison to help them make that push.
Harrison has been in the league for a while and has established himself as a well-respected veteran.
My fellow brother Malik Wright had the opportunity to chop it up with Harrison about joining the Athletics and helping the team fight for a playoff spot.
One thing Harrison does not have a lot of is playoff experience.
During his career he’s only made three appearances in the postseason and his last appearance came in 2015 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Harrison has a .286 batting average in the playoffs with only two hits in seven at bats.
If the Athletics do make the postseason, Harrison will have an opportunity to make some noise unlike other seasons.
But the good thing is that Harrison has been impressive at the plate for the Athletics and this is the right time to do so.
Our MLBbro knows how to get the job done at the plate and in the field, he’ll just have to continue to do that, especially if the boys from Oakland make the postseason.
The 34-year-old can play any position in the field and he can play it well. Just know that whatever you need him to do, he’s most likely up to the task.
Through 29 games with the Athletics, Harrison is batting .291 with two home runs, eight RBI, and four stolen bases.
On the season, he has a .293 batting average with a .430 slugging percentage.
He’s a team guy all the way, which gives him high locker room value.
Josh Harrison and the A's aren't happy after Alek Manoah hits two straight batters
Starling Marte stayed in the game after this scary moment pic.twitter.com/OZy5Ncx16H
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) September 4, 2021
When Harrison joined the Athletics, he knew he would be in a position to help this team make a playoff push.
Harrison has put together some key at bats in August and going into September. The utility man is on a three-game hitting streak and is looking to build off that as the season nears an end.
He’s had a lot of production at the leadoff spot for the Athletics and has put the team in multiple positions to win games.
“Well, part of it is the team’s looking for you to be a spark,” Harrison told Yahoo Sports. “Whether that’s get on base, having a good at-bat, you get a chance to get things started.”
As a leadoff hitter, the team expects you to do whatever you have to do to get in scoring position during the game.
You set the tone as a leadoff hitter and when you’re having success at the top of the lineup, good things will happen.
“At the end of the day, as long as we’re having good at-bats, one through nine and, as you mentioned, being the leadoff man, top of the order, getting things started, Oly came through a nice clutch double, Marte hit a home run,” Harrison said. “More than anything, it’s going to take one through nine, if we can jump out early and set with hitters up front, I think — I don’t want to say it makes the job easier — you still got to play 27 outs, it’s all about getting to that pitcher and getting to that bullpen.”
Every game is important for the Athletics and there’s no doubt that Harrison will continue to put the Athletics in a position to get into the postseason.
In his 11th season, Harrison still has the skillset to play at high level. There’s a reason why he’s still a hot commodity and why the Athletics sought out to acquire him.
It’s going to be a battle for the final two American League Wild Card spots and the Athletics are going to look for players like Harrison to help them emerge victorious.
Black Ace Vida Blue was the truth and he still holds records for his elite pitching as an integral member of the Oakland Athletics dynasty that won three consecutive World Series championships between 1972 and 1974.
In 1992 Blue became eligible for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame and got jerked. He was automatically removed from the ballot in 1995 because of his low vote totals.
Mark Gray makes the case for Vida Blue’s long overdue Baseball Hall of Fame Induction.
The American League Wild Card race is packed with MLBbros looking to make a big impact on this year’s playoffs.
We’ve already told you about the Bros from the Bronx leading the Yankees surge to the top of the Wild Card standings, and they currently hold a one-game lead over the field.
The Boston Red Sox and Yankees are pulling away from the pack and headed on a collision course for a one-game Wild Card playoff. But with at least 25 more games remaining for all teams involved, the final spot is still up for grabs.
The recent marriage of Josh Harrison and the Oakland A’s is an example of a player whose swagger is perfect for the City he represents. Harrison, who was acquired at the deadline, has been “Mr. Do It All” for the A’s.
Harrison has taken the majority of his reps at second base, but he also plays third, shortstop, and left field for Oakland. He’s also efficient at the plate.
Over his last seven games, Harrison has racked up 12 hits, is batting .375 and slugging .469. His latest contributions have been particularly important to the A’s because they’ve come from the leadoff spot.
Harrison has hit leadoff before, and his approach to the process gives you a look into his mindset as a ballplayer.
“I take pride in being leadoff,” Harrison said when asked about his new role with his team.
“More than anything, it’s going to take one through nine, if we can jump out early and set with hitters up front, I think — I don’t want to say makes the job easier — you still got to play 27 outs, it’s all about getting to that pitcher and getting to that bullpen.”
Harrison and the offense will be key to any run the Athletics are able to make, as their pitching staff has certainly done their part.
J.P Crawford and the Seattle Mariners have overcome offensive inconsistencies to end up in the thick of things as we wind down, but one of the major boosts they were expecting for the playoff push, may not be arriving at all. Seattle sits 4.5 games out of the Wild Card slot with 27 games left.
With a healthy 2020 NL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis, the Mariner’s had a puncher’s chance. Unfortunately, Lewis, who has been recovering from in-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, suffered a setback in his rehab putting his return this season in doubt.
“He’s not feeling that great,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said when asked about Lewis’ rehab. “He’s had a little setback here the last few days. He really picked up his activity level there, trying to get to the point where he could go out in a rehab.”
What a tough break for a guy who was a popular preseason pick for American League MVP. If he doesn’t return, Lewis would finish this season with a disappointing 130 at-bats. He had 206 at-bats in 2020 in an MLB season shortened to 60 games by COVID-19.
The setback to Lewis puts more pressure on Crawford and the remaining Mariners as they battle for the final playoff spot. The Gold Glover Crawford is slashing .276/.364/.310 over the past seven games but will need to take it to another level if Seattle really stands a chance.
Toronto Blue Jays
Marcus Semien’s Blue Jays were extremely active at the deadline, but they’re still just treading water in the Wild Card race. Despite going 6-4 in their last 10 games, Toronto remains 5 games out of the final playoff spot.
If it’s any small consolation, Semien got a bit of revenge on his former squad with his walk-off 3-run bomb on Saturday, but that stands as one of the lone bright spots for the Toronto second basemen of late.
Hopefully, the return of fellow MLBbro George Springer can provide a spark for Semien and the Blue Jays. An ignited Blue Jays offense would provide the fireworks we want to see heading into this fantastic finish. Playing in the toughest division in the American League doesn’t help either.
October is right around the corner, and the playoff picture is slowly but surely becoming clearer. As we wind down the year, let’s keep an eye on these MLBbros as they make the final push for playoff glory.
Dave Stewart is one of just 15 MLBbro pitchers in history to win 20 or more games and he did it a remarkable four times (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990).