With the Wild Card game against the A’s just two days away, The Bronx Pinstripes Show was lucky to be joined by A’s beat reporter Jane Lee. Lee has covered the A’s for MLB.com since 2010.
In a conversation with co-host Scott Reinen, Lee brought her expertise on the Yankees upcoming opponent to the table. Jane discussed the A’s surprising season, why she believes the A’s will bullpen for the Wild Card Game, what Sonny Gray was like in Oakland, and more.
Notably, Lee broke down the strengths of the A’s and why they were able to make the playoffs after finishing in dead last in the AL West the past three years.
The Oakland A’s have far exceeded expectations this year.@JaneMLB joined the podcast to break down how the A’s have made it this far. Spoiler: their bullpen is damn good.
One thing that Lee noted as a significant improvement was the A’s defense. “Their defense has quietly played a huge role in this success. The past two years their defense has been one of the worst in the league and this year they’re really been one of the best,” said Lee.
But of course, Lee gave the most credit the A’s bullpen. “I don’t know that any bullpen in A’s history has compiled as many innings as this group. It really is remarkable what they’ve done – the second-half specifically they’ve pitched more innings than the starters have,” Lee added.
It’s clear how important the A’s bullpen is to the team, considering that it’s more than likely that they’ll be “Bullpenning” their way through the Wild Card Game.
Oakland’s pen ranks third in MLB in ERA (3.37), sixth in strikeouts (627), and second in innings pitched (641.1), behind only the Rays who notoriously “bullpenned” the most this year.
It was a great segment with Lee, and don’t forget that there’s a great conversation about Sonny Gray in there. But you’ll have to listen for yourself to hear what Lee said about him… you won’t want to miss it!