The Oakland Athletics suffered another humiliating defeat on Wednesday night, losing 12-2 to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The A’s have now dropped six of their last seven games and are 10 games behind the AL West-leading Astros.
The only silver lining for the A’s was the impressive major league debut of Mason Miller, their top pitching prospect.
Miller, a 23-year-old right-hander, was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day to make his first big league start. He did not disappoint, tossing five innings of one-run ball, striking out six and walking two.
He allowed only three hits, one of them a solo homer by Jose Altuve in the third inning. He showed poise and confidence on the mound, mixing his fastball, slider and changeup effectively.
Miller was drafted by the A’s in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Waynesburg University, a Division III school in Pennsylvania. He quickly rose through the minor league ranks, dominating hitters at every level.
He started this season at Double-A Midland, where he posted a 2.25 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 12 starts. He was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas in July, where he had a 3.38 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in nine starts.
Miller is widely regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, ranked No. 24 overall by MLB Pipeline. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can touch 98 mph, a sharp slider that he uses as his main strikeout pitch, and a changeup that he has improved significantly over the past year.
He has excellent command and control of his pitches, and he is not afraid to challenge hitters.
Miller’s debut was a bright spot for the A’s, who have been struggling mightily in September. They have been outscored 54-18 in their last seven games, and their offense has been stagnant.
They have hit only .202 as a team in that span, with only six homers and 16 walks. Their pitching has been even worse, with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.
Their starters have lasted only 25 innings combined, putting more pressure on their bullpen.
The A’s are now four games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second wild card spot in the AL, with only 11 games left to play. They will need a miracle to make the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.
They will try to avoid a sweep by the Astros on Thursday night, with Frankie Montas taking the mound against Luis Garcia.
Mason Miller’s MLB debut was a rare positive moment for the A’s in an otherwise dismal stretch. He showed why he is considered a future ace for the franchise, and he gave A’s fans something to look forward to in 2022 and beyond.
Final Thoughts: Mason Miller Shines in MLB Debut, But A’s Struggle Continues
The Oakland Athletics have had a rough stretch recently, dropping six of their last seven games and falling further behind the Houston Astros in the AL West.
However, amidst this struggle, the A’s can find some solace in the impressive major league debut of their top pitching prospect, Mason Miller.
Miller’s debut was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal stretch for the A’s. The 23-year-old right-hander showed poise and confidence on the mound, mixing his pitches effectively and limiting the Astros to one run over five innings.
His impressive debut showed why he is considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, and it gives the A’s hope for the future.
Despite Miller’s impressive debut, the A’s still face an uphill battle to make the postseason. They are four games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second wild card spot in the AL with only 11 games left to play.
Their offense has been stagnant, and their pitching has been even worse, with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP in their last seven games.
Overall, while Mason Miller’s debut was a positive moment for the A’s, it highlights the team’s larger struggle this season. The A’s will need to find a way to turn things around quickly if they hope to make a playoff push, but with Miller and other top prospects waiting in the wings, there is reason to be optimistic for the future of the franchise.