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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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
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Tonight we saw another glimpse of the A’s promising pitching future with Vince Mazzaro making his anitcipated big league debut in impressive fashion. This guy looks as he might be the best of the new “big three” (Cahill, Anderson, Mazzaro). With his family watching in the stands, Mazzaro-and the A’s-got the win 5-0 against the White Sox.

Vince Mazzaro (1-0) went 62/3 innings and allowed no runs on only three hits, his only blemish were walks, he issued four. Mazzaro also struck out a batter. This guy throws with ease and is fun to watch, and it surely keeps me tuned in for his next start.

Mazzaro was backed by his offense tonight for five runs on eight hits, the biggest blow coming with a walk in the fifth to Jack Cust which loaded the bases and brought hot-hitting Matt Holliday up to bat. Hollday wasted little time a nailed a bases-clearing double over the right fielders head to put the A’s up five nothing. Cust drove in the other two runs, one on a sac-fly, the other a solo-line-drive home run to right in the fourth.

Side notes, not too dwell on the negative, just observations…

Gregorio Petit continued to ride the bench as jack Hannahan started at third. Hannahan went o-3 with a run scored, but continues to struggle against right or left-handed pitching. Tonight it didn’t matter but when will the A’s realize Hannahan can’t hit. Petit has proven he can hit and play above average defense.

Mazzaro just got Creamed by Dallas Braden, hillarious!

Post info: By KFinkas on June 2nd, 2009
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The A’s put up two runs on five hits, two hits and both RBI’s coming off the bat of Matt Holliday’s two-run blast to left. It wasn’t enough as they fell to the Chi-Towner’s from the south, 6-2. Two runs isn’t going to cut it. Coming into tonight’s game, opposing pitcher Gavin Floyd had a six-plus ERA . The A’s probably did him a favor and reset his season as they have done with several struggling pitchers this season.

Trevor Cahill started things off a bit shaky with some first inning walks but calmed down quickly and lasted 52/3 innings surrendering only two runs. Cahill (2-5) allowed only three hits, walked two and struck out three. No one can say these young guns (Cahill, Outman, Anderson) haven’t pulled their own weight given the circumstances, the offense however is not. Six of the nine starters tonight have .250 or below averages which obviously won’t cut it.

The Holliday watch has begun, if he continues to get hot will the A’s receive a bounty of prospects or was the deal to aquire him (C-Gon. Street, Smith) too much? If the A’s can aquire one solid prospect I won’t complain, conisdering the former haven’t panned out anyway.  Or would you guys prefer a type-a amount of picks next year? This team is obviously built for the future, I wonder what Mr. Bean has in mind…

Post info: By KFinkas on June 1st, 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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It’s alive! At least it was Tuesday night. The A’s beat up on the Kansas City Royals 12-3.

After a short pep talk-initiated by Orlando Cabrera-with the offense, it didn’t take long to notice it had worked, as the A’s slaughtered the Royals pitching in the first four innings for 12 runs. The offense was led by whom else but motivational expert himself, Orland Cabrera.

Not only was it a great offensive performance, but the pitching didn’t disappoint either.

Starter Trevor Cahill (2-2) started things off shaky through the first two frames by loading the bases with two out ion the first, but he survived. The second inning was similar as Cahill gave up two hits but got out of the jam as well. He cruised through then next two innings before giving up solo home runs to Coco Crisp in the fifth, and Mike Jacobs in the sixth. His line was six innings, two earned runs, seven hits, two walks, and two strike outs.  Overall he pitched an effective game, although he still needs to work on his command, at times it looks as if he has no idea where his pitches will go. However, he does have an ERA of 3.69, not bad for the rookie.

This is what Billy Pitt paid for…

Orlando Cabrera had three hits to go along with four RBI’s while Matt Holliday, Jack Cust, and Kurt Suzuki each had two hits a piece. Cust had three RBI, all coming on a three-run sky-rocket home run to center. The remaining RBI’s went to Matt Hollday (2), Jason Giambi (2),and Jack Hannahan (1).

Post info: By KFinkas on May 12th, 2009
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The A’s (9-14)  lost the first of a three-game series versus AL West “rival” Anaheim Angels (11-13) 5-2.

Brett Anderson struggled early and was pulled after 42/3innings (only 72 pitches) after allowing five earned runs on nine hits, no walks, and zero strike outs. His last start was cut short becasue of a blister and it seemed to bother him some today, as you could see him picking at it between at-bats. Sean Gallagher-recalled from Sacramento today-came in a pitched 32/3 scoreless innings of relief, but the A’s never had a chance, as their inept offense continued.

Kurt Suzuki-the lone bright spot-stayed hot even after a change in the batter order (leadoff), however, Matt Holliday continued to look out of it as he had two chances with runners in scoring position and both times popped out foul to first base, he went 0-4 on the day as did Jack Cust, Travis Buck, Gregorio Petit and Rajai davis would have too if he had a fourth at-bat.

Who thinks it’s time Rajai Davis packs his bags? He’s more of a liability in the outfield than an asset at the plate or on the bases. When he comes up to the plate you know the end result before he takes his first swing.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 4th, 2009
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A’s lose 8-7 in bottom of the ninth, but for me the story is Dana Eveland.

Although Russ Springer failed to do his job last night, This is about Eveland. It’s about time Eveland heads back to Sacramento, or another organization for that matter. He has been horrific all season, don’t let his one “decent” outing fool you. After giving him the biggest offensive lift of the season, he goes and squanders it by giving it back, and quick, with no chance of getting out of the inning. Opposing hitters are foaming out the mouth when they see Eveland on the mound this year. Bye Bye Eveleand.

I’ll take wild, Gio Gonzalez, and his good minor league numbers, over Eveland, I’ll even take the promise of a rookie pitcher in VIn Mazzaro, he can at least get ground balls.

Next game is today and hopefully by Sunday the A’s will have sent Eveland somewhere else.

Keep hitting the long-ball Holliday, and keep hitting .350 plus Suzki.

Post info: By KFinkas on May 2nd, 2009
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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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Four A’s players (Garciaparra, Ellis, Anderson, Casilla) left Tuesday’s game versus the Rangers with injuries, Garciaparra and Ellis with calf injuries, Anderson a blister, and Casilla an apparent leg injury.

By the way, the A’s (7-10) lost 5-4thanks to some spotty defense, and what I’m calling some awkward circumstances. Two pitchers left the game injured (Anderson, and Casilla) with at bats still in progress and both resulted in two runs, which proved to be the difference.

The A’s are more than on pace to meet last years 54 appearances on the DL, hope I’m worng.

The offense tonight did manage to get 10 hits, although they were all singles aside from Sweeney’s home run. Brett Anderson had a pitching line as such: five plus innings pitched, four runs (one earned), three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. Too bad he had to leave early.  Orlando Cabrera went three for four, Ryan Sweeney, two for four with one RBI, and Bobby Crosby had two hits in three at bats.

Trends:

Matt Holliday’s inability to hit, Matt Holliday’s inability to hit, and… forget it, he just looks awful, and me using the Woosah phrase too much.

Wishful trends:

Ryan Sweeney hitting the long ball, Orlando Cabrera going three for four, and Brett Anderson pitching like a veteran, all on a consistent basis.

Don’t panick just yet, Woosah Woosah

Post info: By KFinkas on April 28th, 2009
Comments: 5 Comments »
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