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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Black Jacks! A’s win again!

The two Jacks, Hannahan and Cust, put the A’s over the top to give them the win 4-3.  Backed by what else, but another solid pitching performance by Josh Outman who received timely run support to give him his fourth victory.

After the Twins put up a three spot in the top of the fourth, Jack Hannahan matched it in the bottom half of the inning by driving in three with a bases-clearing double to left center. This all came after Aaron Cunningham was drilled in the head by fastball to load the bases. The next inning proved to be the difference as Jack Cust crushed a solo-shot to right to give the A’s the final score of 4-3.

Outman was roughed up in the third but that was it. Outman (3-3) went six innings, striking out seven and surrendered all three runs on four hits, he walked two.

The draft begins tomorrow, what position would you guy’s like to be filled with the first pick? pitching, offense?

Take it easy A’s fans, seven straight is nice but eight is better!

Post info: By KFinkas on June 9th, 2009
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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
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Another wasted pitching performance by Josh Outman who got the no decision. Outman went 6 2/3 and allowed three runs but was pulled by Geren because there was a runner on first and two out… Oh no, not the ninth place hitter who is 0-2! Quick get Outman out of there! The best reliever (aside from Bailey) was used instead, for a third of an inning, nice management.  Next inning of course the A’s get lit up, and eventually lose 6-3.

Two home runs off Santiago Casilla gave the Rangers a three-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. Casilla looked bad, barely able to find the strike zone. Why not use Casilla instead of Wuertz for one batter in the seventh and use the much better reliever for a whole inning? I know what Geren was doing, he was planning ahead for the second loss of the day.

Oh by the way, anybody else see a far better manager in Clint Hurdle get canned today? Get a clue Billy!

Home run and three hits by Travis Buck, and also three hits by Kennedy.

Hopefully game two will be the PLAYERS fault, and not partially the managers.

*UPDATE TO THIS COMMENT* A’s lose second as well, 5-2

Game two’s fault goes 95% to Geren for intentionally walking a sub .200 batter who strikes out the most in the majors and 5% to pitcher, Gonzalez who gave up the tw0-run single that followed.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 29th, 2009
Comments: 16 Comments »
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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 »
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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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A’s beat the Blue Jays 5-3

Record now at 11-16

A five-run fifth inning ignited by Ryan Sweeney’s two-run shot to right was just what the doctor ordered. Jack Hannahan and Kurt Suzuki both drove in run’s with doubles, and Orlando Cabrera getting his RBI with an single.

The bullpen held their own tonight with 4 2/3 of shutout ball, with MIchael Wuertz (2-1) early entrance making him the winning pitcher. Starter Josh Outman (o-o) unfortunately labored through the third inning, costing him the win as he needed over 100 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings. His third inning, in which he gave up the three runs, lasted over 35 pitches.

This is the kind of baseball I think were going to have to get used to, big innings from both our offense and pitching. The pitching seems to yield all of it’s runs in  one big inning, if they can minimize it-like they did tonight- they can be successful.

Other news from the game has to be the ugly defense.

Bobby Crosby at second and the unlikely Orlando Cabrera at short, both committing what looked like costly errors, fortunately the pen held down the fort.

At least they got a win.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 9th, 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
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A’s lose to the Mariners some how, 8-7.

If a manager could strike out, Bob Geren did just that tonight.

Dana Eveland…my oh my. Well he gets the loss tonight but he’s not worth talking about anymore.

After scoring three in the top of the 13th, head-case-Gio Gonzalez (in his fourth inning of work) loads the bases and A’s manager Bob Geren leaves him in. He walks in one run, and gives up a two-RBI hit to tie the game. Gonzalez was just called up to replace Santiago Casilla who was placed on the 15-day DL. Gonzalez must be close to a mental break-down. He then comes in to pitch the next inning too, another bad decision, but he get’s out of it. Over 100 pitches out of relief from Gonzalez! Wow.

During the 13th, Geren say’s he has no more pitchers available, but he tells Andrew Bailey to get up and then get down, and then up again, and down once again? The problem here is that he never puts Bailey in. Why would Bailey get warm (twice) and not come in?

Josh Outman was in line for the win but Russ Springer couldn’t hold onto the one-run lead and blew the save chance by allowing a solo home run to Kenji Johjima. Outman pitched well, giving up two earned runs, four hits, one walk, five strikeouts while lasting six innings.

Managers shouldn’t lose games.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 3rd, 2009
Comments: 3 Comments »
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The A’s today sent Vin Mazzaro to minor league camp, after two not so good appearances where he gave up 10 runs in his last 4 1/3 innings.

The rotation is still up in the air with prospects Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Josh Outman, and non-roster Edgar Gonzalez still very much in the running.

Who wins the final two spots is up to anyone, it seems every week one leapfrogs another, or until one explodes as Mazzaro did. I’m taking bets, anyone have a projected rotation? Anyone dare to make a guarantee?

I will give my predictions after I see the group later this week instead of making educated guesses, but ultimatley, it could come down to early spring favorites, Outman and Gonzalez.

Post info: By KFinkas on March 23rd, 2009
Comments: 6 Comments »
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