By giving the ball to Liam Hendriks, the A’s are putting their faith in Bob Melvin

Presumptive AL Manager of the Year faces latest, and largest, challenge in NYC

Karl Buscheck
October 02, 2018 - 4:06 pm

Liam Hendriks, jettisoned to the wilderness of the Pacific Coast League some three months ago, is as improbable a playoff starter — or, more accurately, opener — that there can be.

But the Oakland A’s, baseball’s biggest surprise of the summer, aren’t putting their faith in the right-handed journeyman with the unorthodox move.

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They’re putting their faith in Bob Melvin — and why wouldn’t they?

Melvin, on his way to a third manager of the year award, guided the A’s to a 97-win season amid the chaos of too many torn UCLs and the game's lowest opening day payroll.

Now, Melvin has the task of getting the ball from Hendriks to AL Cy Young Award hopeful and closer extraordinare Blake Treinen.

Who knows how many trips he’ll make between the visitor’s dugout and the Yankees Stadium mound as he tabs the pitchers to tame the team with the second-highest OPS in MLB.

It’s a monster ask. And if BoMel pulls it off, it will be his most impressive feat of managerial wizardy yet.

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