Dallas Braden went seven strong innings giving up only two runs but the A’s offense couldn’t come through for their starting pitcher, losing a pitchers duel to the San Diego Padres, 4-1.

You can say the bullpen didn’t help out either, as Craig Breslow and Russ Springer each gave up a run in relief. Springer served up a two-run home run to Kevin Kouzmanoff that basically closed the door on any chance of a comeback for the Athletics.

Ryan Sweeney drove in the lone run for the A’s on a double to left that scored Jack Cust.

Next up are the Bay Area rival orange and black. The A’s will have a tough chance scoring any runs off their pitching staff if they can’t hit today’s opposing pitcher, ex-Giant, Kevin Correia.

Go A’s!

Post info: By KFinkas on June 21st, 2009
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Offense check, Pitching check.

That’s what we all expected coming into this season, three-run homers, and good pitching. The A’s took the first game of the series versus the Baltimore Orioles 9-1, backed by a solid pitching performance by Dallas Braden.

Braden was the lucky recipient of a bunch of runs, all nine in the first five innings and Braden didn’t look back. Braden evened his record on the year (5-5) and struck out a career high seven in seven innings of work. He gave up one run on just five hits, a solo shot to right off the bat of Baltimore outfielder Luke Scott, who is extremely hot right now. Has anyone noticed Braden’s tattooed-right index finger? Rollie Fingers esk. and he uses it extremely well I might add.

Braden was a little unhappy when Bob Geren removed him after the seventh inning with only 102 pitches. Braden began showing up Geren by doing pull-ups in the dug-out. Gotta love it!

The offensive onslaught began with six first-inning runs. Jack Cust hit a three-run home run to center (must of been the new haircut), Aaron Cunningham drove in two with a single up the middle, scoring Suzuki and Giambi. The final run of the inning came from the least likely Athletic, Rajai Davis, his first of the season on a line-drive-single to right. The final blow came in the fifth, a enormous three-run home run to center. To trade or not to trade, that is the question.

Geren must be loving these wins, heck, he probably thinks he has a lot to do with it. Four straight is nice, but Geren, it wasn’t you man, in fact your still very much on the hot-seat.

Go Green and Gold!

Post info: By KFinkas on June 5th, 2009
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I have to let my frustration out on someone, who better.

Maybe the whole closer controversy has come back to bite Manager Bob Geren in the rump. Instead of putting in so-called closer Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning with a two-run lead, Geren elects to keep Andrew Bailey in for his second straight inning of work, and he serves up a two-run home run. The winning run was credited to Ziegler, who finally came in with the game tied. Rajai Davis had a play at the plate but fumbled the ball and the Rays walked away with the win, 6-5.

More on Davis later.

Starting pitcher Dallas Braden, coming off his worst outing of the season in Detroit, rebounded nicely today, However; a few mistake pitches cost him a victory. Four of the six hits by Rays batters off of Braden came on  0-2 counts, including Bartlett’s go-ahead solo home run in the six. Braden (3-5) allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings of work. He struck out four and walked two.

For anyone who watched the game, is it incorrect to say that Rajai Davis should be fired? He will be buying Adam Kennedy dinner after his base running mistake almost cost the game. With men on first and second and one out, Jason Giambi hits a towering fly ball to center that looked like it could be gone, but Rajai Davis runs to third and then prematurely  goes back (in the meantime Holliday almost laps him) to tag before the center fielder plays the ball, which wasn’t caught. Result? the most inefficient single in A’s history.

This might have been worse than the Seattle loss.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 21st, 2009
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Another wooping, another poor offensive performance, and the A’s are barely treading water as they fell to 7 1/2 games out of first place to 13-20 with their second consecutive loss to the Tigers 9-1.

Dallas Braden was lit-up by the Tigers for six earned runs in five innings.The offense did nothing tonight, four hits and a run.

I’ll leave it to you guys to give me your input on what, if anything, should-or can- be done. I’ll comment further as I gather my thoughts as to why this team is playing so poorly.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 16th, 2009
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After Thursday’s 9-4 win over the Rangers, and all of the bad baseball we have seen as of late, the A’s still are only four back in the division. With Seattle coming back down to earth as all of us A’s fans knew would, and the Angels and Rangers not doing enough to distance themselves, can they A’s finally pull it together?

If the A’s can pull it together offensively, and get some more good starts out of Josh Outman, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, and Dallas Braden, can they gain some ground quick? Does anyone believe the team is in the early stages of breaking out?

I’ll give my personal opinion and everyone else can either break it down or come up with their own.

I’ll keep it short.

The pitching is coming around, I see Trevor Cahill’s last start more of what we will see the remainder of the year (excluding an off day here or there, everyone gets one), and Dallas Braden will continue to be very solid and keep the A’s in the game. Brett Anderson seems to be on the cusp of turning in some good starts as long as his blister doesn’t linger. Josh Outman throws hard and he was very encouraging in Seattle last time out, I don’t see him consistently getting too deep in the game though. That leaves the five spot, I’m not sure who’s going to be there past this weekend in Sean Gallagher, so I’ll leave that one out.

If the offense can string together some offensive performances in the five to six-run territory, I could see the A’s taking charge in the division. They will need Suzuki, especially Giambi, and the role players to stay hot, like Bobby Crosby. I’ve heard Crosby’s just trying to play his way out of Oakland, we’ll take it.

I’m not really worried about the bullpen as long as they are not over-worked, or as Bob Geren likes to do it, under-worked. Had to throw that in there. He should still be packing his bags!

The Angels, Rangers, and Mariners haven’t had many difficult teams to face early in the season, but all that changes in the next two weeks. The Angels and Mariners will be beating each other up severely, like Pacquiao did Hatton, as they face each other seven times in the next 19 games. Then the A’s host the Mariners, and after their beat-down by the Halos, the A’s will take it to them, which will be the turning point, it has to be.

And Holliday, keep hitting Insane, beef-eating home runs.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 8th, 2009
Comments: 2 Comments »

With two on, two out in the bottom of the eight inning, the A’s leading three to one, Ian Kinsler drives a pitch from Russ Springer to deep center field and Ryan Sweeney robbed Kinlser of what would of been a game- changing home run.Then in the top half of the ninth, Matt-oh I wish I could hit a home run-Holliday comes up and drives his first long-ball of the season to center field.

The A’s defeated the Rangers 4-2 Thursday.

Backed by some great situational pitching by Dallas Braden (3-2) and Andrew Bailey, the A’s held onto the win, setting their record at 8-11.

Braden’s pitch count forced his outing short, but he was effective once again, going five innings giving up zero runs, five hits, four walks while striking out six.

Check SportsCenter tonight because there will be plenty of “web gems” from the A’s defense including a nice throw from Holliday in left to get (greedy) Michael Young out at third with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

The offense had 11 hits, with Sweeney, Cabrera, Suzuki, and Crosby each tallying two. RBI’s from Cust (8), Holliday (12), Suzuki (8), and Powell (3).

Yeah boy!

Post info: By KFinkas on April 30th, 2009
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The A’s Saturday, defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2, preventing what would have been their six straight loss.

Dallas Braden was mostly effective in 52/3 innings,  limiting the Rays to one run on four hits, with two strike outs and three walks.

The offense, although not great, came through in timely fashion, with Nomar Garciaparra driving in three with a three-run double in the fourth, an inning after Travis Buck striking gold with a solo home-run. Also Jason Giambi finally came through, with an insurance run in the seventh, hitting his first dinger, since rejoining the Athletics.

Look for Buck to break out in the upcoming few games, I’m calling it. He just needs the at bats.

Anyone else have a break out prediction?

Post info: By KFinkas on April 25th, 2009
Comments: 1 Comment »

The A’s fell to the Angels 0-3 on opening night in Anaheim California. Starter Dallas Braden, I would have to say, did his job, surrendering three runs on eight hits, while walking one and striking out three. It was the offense that failed to get anything started, mustering a whole three hits (two off opposing starter Joe Saunders) while striking out twice.

New-comer, Matt Holiday and Orlando Cabrera, each went one for four while Jason Giambi and surprise starter Nomar Garciaparra failed to get hits.

The story was Angels Starters Joe Saunders, going sixth and two-thirds, yielding two hits, walking two and striking out two.

The side story for me was Nomar starting at first.

Oakland manager shifted the lineup from what was expected to showcase Travis Buck in right but instead elected to have Garciaparra in the lineup, forcing Buck to the bench.

This move proved costly as Garciaparra botched a throw in the dirt from shortstop Cabrera that resulted in another run making the game 2-0 Angels.

Why would Geren force Buck to the bench and Cust to right field?

This to me is forcing the issue of having Garciaparra in the lineup, and results in spotty defense in right. The philosophy is put up runs and play good defense behind the un-proven pitching, right??

Also can anyone explain to me why Geren would elect to have Garciaparra playing first over Giambi? I know Giambi’s defense isn’t great but he’s a better defender at the corner than is Garciaparra.

The A’s offense will click, don’t worry but Geren must be careful on the lineups he’s putting in there, or it could lead to some heartbreaking games for the green-horn pitchers.

Let me know what you think of the opening day roster and the first game.

Go A’s!

Post info: By KFinkas on April 6th, 2009
Comments: 6 Comments »

The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels played a very close ballgame on Monday night and it was the A’s coming out on top with a 2-1 victory. Dallas Braden and Jered Weaver both tossed seven innings but it was Braden who only allowed one run and received the win while Weaver and the Angels took the loss.

Braden was awesome in his seven innings of action. He allowed seven hits but only one run and improved his record to 4-3. The one run that scored was on a solo home run by Mike Napoli in the sixth inning. Joey Devine tossed a scoreless eighth inning before turning things over to Brad Ziegler who recorded his fifth save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Awesome job by Braden and the A’s bullpen!

At the plate, Daric Barton got the A’s on the scoreboard with a solo home run off of Weaver in the third inning. In the fourth inning, the A’s would score their second run on a wild pitch by Weaver. Frank Thomas would be the base runner to score on the wild pitch.

There wasn’t much offense for either team as the pitchers really took over the game. It was a great win for the A’s and it shows they can play with any team in the league if they cut down on all the mental errors and just get out there and play baseball.

Athletics Baseball Blog

Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on August 26th, 2008
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The Oakland Athletics bats faltered on Wednesday afternoon as they lost to the Minnesota Twins by the score of 3-1. The A’s pushed across one run in the first inning but then were held scoreless the final eight innings of the game. The A’s ended up losing the three game series one game to two and are now 57-69 on the season.

Dallas Braden took the loss after being charged with six hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings. Braden gave up single runs in the first, third, and sixth innings. Huston Street and Alan Embree both seen action out of the bullpen and held the Twins to the three runs that Braden had given up.

The one run for the A’s that came in the first inning happened when Jack Cust reached on an infield single and Mark Ellis scored. That was all the offense for the A’s as they were limited to just five hits in the game.

Athletics Baseball Blog

Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on August 20th, 2008
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