Blackley to start Saturday in New York
DETROIT — The A’s have altered their rotation for their upcoming weekend series with the Yankees in New York, deciding to start lefty Travis Blackley on Saturday in place of the right-handed Dan Straily.
Straily, it appears, will now go Monday in Texas in the stead of injured lefty Brett Anderson, should Anderson miss his scheduled start against the Rangers as anticipated, after he suffered a right oblique strain in Wednesday’s loss.
A’s manager Bob Melvin cited matchup reasons for the switch, and Blackley, who has already bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen multiple times this year, is on board with the new plan. It will mark not only his first career appearance at Yankee Stadium but first against the Yankees.
“Obviously, when you grew up, that’s who you pictured yourself pitching against, the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium, so it’s going to be one of those dreams coming true again, and I’m looking forward to it,” Blackley said.
The southpaw isn’t too worried about such anticipation hindering his performance, though, even while also understanding the game’s significance from a team standpoint, as it will come in the middle of the A’s crucial 10-game road trip that could decide their postseason fate.
“If you’re looking at it like that, you’re going to psych yourself out,” he said. “I’m just thinking about keeping the team in the game as long as possible.
“It’s good to know that they can trust you to take the reins when they need it. I’m trying to treat it like any other game, not think too much about it and go out there and get outs.”
Blackley has excelled in every role with the A’s this year, posting a 4-3 record and 3.97 ERA for them in 12 starts, along with a 2.86 ERA spanning 13 relief appearances.
Straily, meanwhile, is coming off a poor outing against the Orioles, having allowed them four runs on five hits, including two home runs, and five walks with one strikeout in 4 2/3 innings on Sunday. The rookie has never faced the Rangers.