On Friday night, with the A’s down five runs to the Giants in the ninth inning, Oakland reliever Lou Trivino was in the trainers’ room in the visitors’ clubhouse.
Oakland scored five runs in the ninth with Stephen Piscotty hitting a game-tying grand slam and won the game in 10 innings.
It was no surprise then, with the A’s down three runs in the ninth inning Saturday, to find Trivino occupying the same space.
“I was in the trainers’ room, exactly where I was the night before,” Trivino said before Sunday’s series finale. “I sat in the exact same spot, doing the same exact thing.”
And the A’s came back again, this time with Mark Canha hitting a three-run homer to put the A’s ahead in what would be a 7-6 win.
“I don’t want to take complete credit for it,” Trivino said with a smile in looking back at the two come-from-behind wins, “but it was mostly me and where I was sitting.”
Superstitious a little?
“Yeah, but no – it was it was awesome,” Trivino said. “Those last two games have been pretty incredible.”
Trivino has mostly been at the fringe of the A’s success in the first 21 games. He was a rising star in 2018 when his rookie season saw him go 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.135 WHIP as the top setup man out of the bullpen. He followed it up in the first quarter of the 2019 season, winning a 1.42 ERA before his season blew up and his ERA was 6.57 the rest of the way as he got shunted toward fewer significant innings.
He’s trying to get back that 2018 vibe, and there are indications that he may be succeeding. He’s one pitch – a two -run homer by the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani on Aug. 10 – from having a scoreless August. He’s had three consecutive scoreless outings, including getting three outs in both of the wins against the Giants.
“I've been feeling really good; my arm is feeling good,” Trivino said. marks and feeling good. I'm kind of getting back into the form where I know I can be like I showed in 2018 and early 2019. I’m just hoping that continues and I can do anything I can to help this team win.”
To get here, Trivino’s had to put his brain on ice, just a little.
“I’m trying not thinking as much; I’m a big thinker,” Trivino said of his turnaround. “The coaches and the guys know, I sometimes overthink things.”
Instead, he’s been working on his mechanics, and that work is producing the results he’s seen this month. It started in his first game of the month, in Seattle on Aug. 3 when he finished an 11-1 win over the Mariners. He threw 14 pitches, including 10 strikes. It was like a trip in the WayBack Machine to 2018.
Along the way, he reined in the cutter, his best pitch from 2018 but a pitch he threw to the point of what he called “overexposure.”
“Sometimes, especially last year, I overexposed my cutter,” he said. “In 2018 it was it was a good pitch; when in doubt I threw it. And it just hasn’t been as good since. But it’s still a good pitch for me. But when the cutter’s not elite, last year happens.
“Right now, I feel my changeup is really good coming out of my hand. And I can throw my curveball for the most part where I want. I feel like I have a pretty good mix there, and I feel confident.”
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
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