The A’s had a nice little thing going over the weekend in sweeping a four-game series against the Yankees. In all, they entered their series against Toronto having won five straight games by exactly one run.
Needless to say, they weren’t content with such efforts against the Blue Jays.
After beating Toronto 7-2 on Tuesday, the A’s handed the franchise its biggest shutout loss in team history Wednesday, winning 16-0.
The A’s busted out for eight runs in the second inning to knock Ricky Romero from the game. They ended up scoring in every inning except the fourth and seventh.
Included in the outburst was Coco Crisp’s third career multi-homer game. Every starter scored at least one run, and everyone except Jemile Weeks drove in a run.
The Jays were forced to turn to catcher Jeff Mathis to pitch the ninth. He gave up two runs and three hits, including Derek Norris’ first career double in his 69th at-bat.
The Jays’ loss eclipsed a 15-0 defeat at the hands of Balitmore in 2006 as the biggest shutout loss in franchise history. Romero gave up eight runs in 1 1/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career. Of the five career outings in which he’s allowed eight or more runs, three have come in the last month.
The A’s scored 16 runs for the first time since beating the Twins 16-1 on July 22, 2009. It was their first shutout win with as many as 16 runs scored since June 26, 2005 against the Giants.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”