With two down in the top of the eighth versus the host San Diego Padres, A’s down 5-3and Jason Giambi and Orlando Cabrera each come through in the clutch with two hits, driving in three total and giving Oakland the one-run lead and eventually the comeback win. Andrew Bailey closed the door with another four-out save.

Final Score 7-5.

Earlyr in the contest, stand-out rookie pitcher Josh Outman left early (second inning) with what is being said to be a strained elbow, hopefully that’s all it is as Outman has been the most consistent among A’s rookies pitcher. Edgar Gonzalez came in for relief and lasted 3 1/3 and gave up four runs. Following by Russ Springer who gave up the hit that scored two of the earned runs credited to Gonzo, Springer also allowed his own run as usual.

The other three runs came from Cabrera (sac-fly), Giambi (bases-loaded hit by pitch), Bobby Crosby (sac-fly) and the ever-important insurance run by Kurt Suzuki (single). Suzuki has my vote for the lone All-Star representative, he also had three hits tonight by the way.

Ticket contest reminder:

The game is for July first when Oakland hosts Detroit, four tickets in total, free to the winner.

The contest ends on June 29th if there isn’t much of a contest the tickets will go to waste. What kind of A’s fans would waste tickets, not you guys.

The commenter who brings the most traffic via message boards, blogs, face book, my space whatever will win the tickets. Make sure that anyone who comments on Athleticshomeplate.com references you by name so we can keep a count. Go A’s

Post info: By KFinkas on June 20th, 2009
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That’s five straight and a series win versus the Orioles.

The game was looking like another blowout, something similar to last night’s 9-1 victory, that was until Bob Geren decided to manage again. With a nine-run cushion heading into the seventh inning and Trevor Cahill (tonight’s starter) at a comfortable 91 pitch mark, Geren chose to make a move to the bullpen because there were men on first and third nobody out. The move back-fired (once again) and Cahill was stuck with two earned runs. Two more scored and the 9-0 lead was now 9-4. What more can be said about Bob Geren. Has this guy ever heard of playing through adversity?

Aside from what I’m calling sabotage, things went well for the A’s tonight. Cahill pitched like a veteran and the offense continued to get runs on the board. However; If I could give out an error to someone tonight it would obviously be Geren, he would inherit three of the four runs scored for his misuse of the bullpen (your welcome Ziegler and Breslow, Bailey your still the man).

Cahill’s night was awesome, two runs (one earned because of manager) on six hits in six-plus innings of work. Cahill (3-5) struck out five and walked none.

The A’s offense pounded out 13 hits tying an Oakland-record with 8 doubles. Jason Giambi drove in three with a two-out bases clearing double down the right-field line. Adam Kennedy and Orlando Cabrera each drove in two apiece, Cabrera had a three-hit night. Kennedy, Matt Holliday and Rajai Davis each had two-hit nights.

Five straight and they’re playing the Orioles again tomorrow boys, only 7 1/2 back of Texas and rolling.

Green and Gold and doubles galore!

Post info: By KFinkas on June 6th, 2009
Comments: 3 Comments »

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
Comments: 10 Comments »

That’s what the last few games have been all about, rookie pitching and Brett Anderson is no exception. Anderson went seven shut-out-innings and dominated the White Sox lineup to earn his third victory on the season making it three-straight and the series win for the Athletics. A’s win it 7-0!

The offense was led by Jason Giambi’s second home run in as many days, a three-run home run, a no-doubt-insurance-type two-run home run from Aaron Cunningham (excited about this guy), and Matt Holliday’s 2-4 performance. Also a couple of sac-fly’s form Kurt Suzuki and Orlando Cabrera.

Stellar defense and good pitching, usually equates to wins for the A’s, and it happened again today. Aaron Cunningham made a highlight grab in foul territory in the fourth and Rajai Davis played a sketchy, but solid center-field to back up Anderson’s pitching performance.

Anderson (3-5) looked especially good today, limiting the walks which is what usually got him in trouble earlier in the season. He really pounded righty’s inside, making it difficult for them to square anything up. Anderson went seven, gave up zero runs on six hits and struck out a respectable four.

The impossible bullpen scenario? Bring out Wuertz and Bailey in the eigth and ninth innings respectively, every night. Hey, I can dream.

Go A’s.

Post info: By KFinkas on June 4th, 2009
Comments: 1 Comment »

Close that door Andrew Bailey! A’s 5-0 winners over the White Sox.

That’s two-straight and another solid pitching performance by sleeper/rookie pitcher Josh Outman. After a solid 6 2/3inning performance in which Outman gave up only three runs (two earned) on seven hits and Uncharacteristic of Geren, allowed Outman to go out for the seventh with over 105 pitches. Anything can happen tonight A’s fans, Rajai Davis’ two hits proves that! Outman (3-0) struck out two, allowed seven hits and also walked one.

Michael Wuertz and Andrew Bailey finished the Sox off with 2/3 from Wuertz and 1 2/3 for the five-out save for Bailey.

Back-to-back long balls from Crosby and Powell in the fourth followed up by a solo shot from Jason Giambi in the fifth, gave the A’s the 5-0 lead and eventually the win.

Post info: By KFinkas on June 3rd, 2009
Comments: 2 Comments »

Of course the A’s couldn’t keep the Rangers quiet all game, but hey, a wins a win and with this team we’ll take any they can get. The A’s salvaged the four game series with a win Sunday 5-4 in the top of the ninth on Adam Kennedy’s second home run of the day.He’s been the best offensive player since being acquired from Tampa Bay, no doubt.

Dallas Braden (no-decision)was in the middle of a dominant one-hit performance through six innings but as the seventh inning begun, back-to-back hits and an abrasion to Bradens pitching hand ended his day. After the bullpen was done with his runners, his line looed like this: Six-plus innings, two earned runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

The bullpen combined to pitch three innings and gave up five hits and two earned runs. Andrew Bailey got the win after Bob Geren chose to bring him in for a FIVE out save with two on. He gave up the game-tying single but hung in there to get the win in the ninth. Oh it was his 25th birthday too so that worked out well for him.

The offense was pretty anemic once again, aside from Kennedy’s two bombs and Jason Giambi’s solo shot. Through the first six innings the A’s had only five hits, after that a run scored on a balk and another on a bloop single by Jack Cust.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 31st, 2009
Comments: 6 Comments »

The good news is the A’s finally held onto a win to beat the Diamondbacks 6-2, the bad news is manager Bob Geren is still making random moves with his pitching staff. Back to this issue in a minute.

Josh Outman was fantastic once again, lasting 7 2/3 innings while allowing only four hits. Outman (2-0) walked five and didn’t strike out a batter. His ERA on the season now stands at 3.12, best among A’s starters. Outman lasted just long enough for his offense to come around as the A’s were being shut out up until the sixth when they struck for three to take the lead. Landon Powell hit his first ever Major League home run and almost failed to get around the bases, and Jason Giambi hit another home run, his fifth on the season.

Back to Geren.

Two things that surely tell us that Geren has screwed up lately were his decisions with his starting pitcher, and bullpen usage.

First: Starter Josh Outman was already over the 100-pitch mark after the seventh but Geren chose to leave him into the eight, should he have done this a little earlier in the season the A’s might have not lost some of those heart-break games.

Second: The bullpen needed some rest of course, and thankfully Outman was allowed to surpass the 85- pitch mark, but the question here is why Ziegler came into close tonight and not last night? Last night he came into the game in the seventh, today the ninth? I’ve never seen this before, not even with a closer by committee based bullpen.

Anything to add guys?


Post info: By KFinkas on May 24th, 2009
Comments: 3 Comments »

Bullpen fails, A’s lose 8-7 in eleven innings to the Diamondbacks.

Yeah, that’s how it’s going for the A’s, four home runs off one of the most dominant pitchers in the National league in Dan Haren, still doesn’t equate to a win. Way to go bullpen, especially you Springer.

After another shaky outing in the eighth inning by reliever Russ Springer-whom for whatever reason is still the setup man- the A’s saw a five-to-one lead erased in one inning. Springer never recorded an out, Chat it up guys, plenty to discuss here. Instead of having Brad Ziegler come in late in the game, Manager Bob Geren chose to bring him in for the seventh. Ask yourselves this, who would you rather have late in the game right now, Springer or Ziegler. Where was Casilla in the eight?

Too bad for recently-recalled pitcher Edgar Gonzalez who pitched a solid game but failed to pick up the win after leaving the sixth inning with a five to one lead. Gonzalez went five-plus innings giving up one run on four hits, he struck out four and walked two.

The bright spot in the game was obviously the long-balls, one more special than the others. Jason Giambi hit his 400th career home run in the fourth inning off Dan Haren. Jack Cust started the home run parade with a two-run shot to right center in the first, followed by solo variety’s from Giambi, Adam Kennedy in the fourth and Nomar Garciaparra’s coming in the fifth.

PS: Jack Hannahan and Bob Geren are spies.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 23rd, 2009
Comments: 2 Comments »

A’s (13-19) lose 14-1 to the Detroit Tigers.

Who knows how this game might have ended up have the A’s not committed two costly errors (four total) that led to a grand slam.

The A’s had a chance to get out of this filthy game, but Mother Nature thought differently. After Detroit ended their side in the bottom of the fourth, the game was delayed for over an hour, the A’s were losing 9-1, but unfortunately for the A’s, the game resumed, and the butt-kicking continued.

Starting pitcher Brett Anderson (0-4) looked good through the first two batters of the game, but then Jason Giambi completely dropped a little-league throw that hit his glove in the sweet spot. Next Bobby Crosby-who I know cant stand being on the A’s-botched a routine grounder. After a hits batsman came an unfortunate grand salami…Game over. After the second of two rain delays, another grand slam a occurred. Get them out of here. Pretty much a nightmarish evening for the A’s

An inning later Bobby Crosby (coincidentally) left the game with a “stomach ache”. Gimme a break!

Post info: By KFinkas on May 15th, 2009
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A’s 7, Royals 2.

After a night filled with runs galore on Tuesday, Wednesday was shaping up to be the opposite, as the A’s had only a 2-1 lead going into the seventh, but a couple of walks, an error, and some pure capitalization by the Oakland offense led by jack Custs’ bases-clearing-double with two outs, and the A’s were back on the board in a big way, make it 7-1! The only (meaningless) remaining run was  Mike Jacobs solo-shot off Andrew bailey in the ninth.

What seemed to be another Bob Geren moment in the making surfaced in the seventh when the transparent- nerves of the manager brought him out of the dugout fast, as he like many A’s fans, were in need of another win, went to the bullpen.

78 pitches and a lead-off walk and Geren removes starting pitcher Josh Outman, what faith Geren has, however; Outman did (1-0) have his most efficient outing of the season, allowing only one run in six-plus innings of three-hit ball, striking out four and walking two. Funny how a manager can seem so worried one night about an overused bullpen and another night, remove his starting pitcher after only 78 pitches, one more time, what faith. At least it ended up as a win. Outman was good tonight.

A’s record, 13-18, five games back of the first place Rangers,

Post info: By KFinkas on May 13th, 2009
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