Documenting the Athletics – From Philadelphia, to Kansas City, to Oakland and Finally to Fremont
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Close and low-scoring define the games in Oakland’s series against Seattle pretty well. This weekend, Oakland scored a total of 11 runs, compared to Seattle’s 10. In all the three games, (Oakland won the first and third, Seattle the second,) the margin of victory was two runs or less.
Fortunately for the team, the LA Angels suffered three losses this week, setting them half a game back, and making Oakland the leaders of the AL West. What will really set a divide in this race is the four game series between the Angels and A’s starting tomorrow in Los Angeles.
Chad Gaudin did a great job. The pitcher lasted seven innings for the A’s, giving up only four hits and zero runs.
This was good for Oakland, who only scored three runs on five hits. Those hits includedÂ a Mark Sweeney homerun AND additional RBI and run. Sweeney took part in all three of Oakland’s runs.
This boosts Gaudin’s record to 2-1 and the team’s record to 13-9, still tied with the LA Angels for first in the AL West. The team will face Minnesota one last time before heading to Seattle tomorrow.
After a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals, Oakland dropped the first game of their series against the Minnesota Twins this evening in Oakland 5-4.
Joe Blanton was on the mound for Oakland, and lasted well into the eighth inning, when he left the game tied at 4-4, with runners on first and third. He was relieved by Alan Embree, who faced one batter, giving up a single and a run on a single. That would be enough to lose the game. Embree was immediately relieved by Casilla, who struck out the next batter to end the inning. The bottom of the eight and the full ninth remained scoreless and only had three base runners.
Â The A’s picked up a total of eight hits, and did well in the fifth and sixth innings, where six of their hits and all four of their runs came from. In the end, it easily could have goneÂ either way, and although Oakland’s record adds a loss to become 12-9, they remained tied for first in the AL West.
That’s more than the A’s have hit combined in their recent three-game losing streak. That goes for their number of runs scored as well, in the team’s 13-2 win over the Kansas City Royals last night in Oakland.
Last night Oakland seemed to be able to combine strong hitting withÂ a tough bullpen. Chad Gaudin lasted seven innings, only giving up four hits and two runs. Meanwhile, Royals pitcher Brian Bannister couldn’t last six innings against Oakland’s powerful offense. He left the game just behindÂ with a score of 3-2 Oakland, but his many relievers only sunk deeper into a loss, and the A’s scored eight runs just in the eighth innng.
Â The Royals will be playing again in Oakland for game two of the three game series, with Smith on the mound for Oakland and Greinke pitching for the Kansas City. Let’s hope Oakland stays strong on the bats and in the bullpen for this game.
Oakland was limited to three runs in a two-game series against Seattle.
In all fairness, Felix Hernandez pitched a great game on Wednesday. He lasted nine innings and gave up eight hits and just two runs. Compare that to Oakland’s Joe Blanton, who lasted eight innings, but gave up twelve hits and four runs, including four hits and three runs in the first inning alone.
Â But that was nothing compared to Thursday’s showing. After a scoreless two innings, things fell apart for Oakland in the thrid. Lennny DiNardo, on the mound, gave up three hits, walked three batters, and scred three runs.Â He was relieved by Saarloos who got the remaining two outs, but not before giving up another two runs. Oakland’s only rebuttal came in the fourth inning where they scored one run off of an Emil Brown triple. Unfortunately, Seattle ended up scoring another three runs to increase their lead to 8-1.
Oakland opens up a three game series tonight at home.
Daric Barton. Emil Brown. Mike Sweeney. Chris Denorfia. Travis Buck. And Daric Barton again. These are your power hitters, the only ones that could hit off of the Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks, a man who hasn’t picked up a win since last July. At least these guys put the ball in play; the rest of the team went hitless for the night, and none of the hits occurred in the same inning.
To beÂ fair, some of the blame could be placed on pitcher Dana Eveland. Chicago picked up four of their five hits against him during his for innings pitched. During a shaky fourth inning, Eveland hit a batter, walked a batter, gave up a three-run homerun and a double before retiring the next three batters.
Â Oakland’s only run came off of a sacrifice fly late in the ninth inningÂ ofÂ their 4-1 loss. The team will have a chance to redeem themselves tomorrow, when they begin a two-game series at home against Seattle.
In his debut pitching for Oakland, the left-handed Smith gave up six hits and one run in seven innings to the Chicago White Sox Monday. Casilla and Embree took care of the eighth inning and Huston Street finished out the tense ninth inning, while Oakland clung to their 2-1 lead.
Â On the offensive side, Suzuki went four for four with an RBI. In fact, the whole team came alive with ten hits. The problem, it seems, for both teams was turning hits into runs. Both teams had a combined total of eighteen hits and three runs.
Â This win gives the A’s a record of 9-5, still on top of the AL West, and one game ahead of the LA Angels.
After sweeping the Blue Jays and winning their last two against the Indians, Oakland ended their five game winning streak with a 7-1 loss at Cleveland today. Oakland’s only run came off of a TravisÂ Buck triple, followed by a Mark Ellis infield single in the fourth inning. Two of Oakland’s three hits came in that inning. But the lone run was no match for Cleveland, who pounded out seven runs on eight hits to avoid the sweep.Â Some people even blame the 38 degree weather and snow for the A’s inability to come alive on the bats.
This is just a minor setback. Although another sweep might have been possible, Oakland seems to be showing the MLB that they are able to win games consistently and are boasting an 8-5 record, and on top of the AL West.Â Their next game is tomorrow at the Chicago White Sox.
I said Oakland couldn’t keep winning games in the ninth inning. So instead, they took it to a twelfth in their 3-2 win over Toronto to complete the three-game sweep.
Oakland’s eight hits and Toronto’s 11 just couldn’t be strung together to create any runs, and the teams went eleven innings, each only scoring one run. It wasn’t until the top of the twelfth inning that a breakthrough finally happened. With two outs and runners on second and third base, Travis Buck stepped up to the plate and pounded out a double, to take a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of that same inning, Toronto pulled out two hits and a run, but came up short, and lost another heartbreaker to the A’s. Buck had all three of Oakland’s RBIs of the night.
Oakland opens a three game series today in Cleveland.
IÂ said yesterday that Oakland couldn’t keep winning close games. Well, they proved me wrong, at least for today. The team was down 0-3 against Toronto from the first inning, and scored four of their six runs in the ninth in their 6-3 victory over the Jays.
Greg Smith, on the mound for Oakland, gave up just two hits in six innings (although there was that three run first inning). TheÂ A’s also got the bats going with eleven hits. The big ninth inning for Oakland was more of a result of Toronto’s bad pitching than anything else. Obvioulsly, Oakland deserves credit for their two hits of the inning, a triple (Ellis) and a double (Crosby), but what really made those hits count were Toronto’s mistakes and Oakland’s ability to take advantage of them. In addition to the two hits of the inning, Buck was hit by a pitch, Cust was intentionally walked, and Toronto’s relieverÂ Wolfe threw a wild pitch against the first batter he saw.
Â Congrats, Oakland, but you can’t rely on these down to the wire ninth innings and pitching mistakes to carry you all season.
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