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A’s searching for way to contain Teixeira; relievers Ross Wolf, Justin James called up

Can the A’s turn the tide tonight after dropping two straight against the Yankees? A big key will be whether left-hander Brett Anderson can contain Yanks No. 3 hitter Mark Teixeira, who’s 5-for-6 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs in the series. Might the A’s have more success against the switch-hitting Teixeira when he’s batting from the right side? Perhaps … Strangely enough, the lefty Anderson is holding right-handed hitters to a .242 average, while lefties are hitting .338 against him.

–The A’s go with the same batting order as the past two nights. That includes Kurt Suzuki in the No. 3 hole. Suzuki batted .185 in August (17-for-92), the lowest single-month average of his major league career. But as manager Bob Geren pointed out — and this is a fundamental flaw with this team right now — there’s no logical replacement to plug into the third spot in Suzuki’s place. Just like there’s not another hitter who seems like a good replacement for Jack Cust in the cleanup spot. The A’s are trying to make things work with a misplaced cast in the heart of their order, and it’s making it tough for them to play catch-up when the starting pitchers struggle and the team falls behind early.

–Relievers Ross Wolf and Justin James were called up from Triple-A Sacramento, the only additions the A’s made on the first day rosters could expand to 40. Pretty cool story with James, who was drafted in 2003 but is just now making his major league debut at age 28. He spent all of 2009 and part of this season in independent ball. …

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Ellis 2B, Larish LF, Davis RF, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.

Yankees — Jeter SS, Swisher RF, Teixeira 1B, Cano 2B, Thames DH, Kearns LF, Granderson CF, Nunez 3B, Cervelli C; Burnett RHP.

Joe Stiglich

  • crister

    looking at the pitching matchups going into the series, you could talk yourself into a possible positive outcome for the team. well… talk about not so ready for primetime players. forget about being competitive, we’re getting spanked in every aspect of the game. there are some serious week spots that’ll need to be addressed going into next season. natural growth and maturity from the pitchers is one thing and reasonable to expect, but problems obviously run deeper then that.

    new contract or no new contract, suzuki’s lack of progression this year (and yes, i am aware he got hurt) has got to be a concern on some level. everyone’s talked in the past about how he’s possibly the second best catcher in the american league, but honestly, too often and for very long streches this year, he’s looked . . . rather average at best. i wonder if his projected growth as an over all player will have to be reconsidered… he’ll be what, 28 next year? i’ve already mentioned my concerns with barton being counted as one of our building blocks so no need repeating myself.

  • crister

    ugh… what’s with anderson and fielding the ball? ever since last year… he gets beaten when running to first and is always muffing balls hit to him. if he keeps it up, he’s going to be known as brett bobbles anderson. that or a left-handed jamarcus russell. ok, so maybe the russell thing is a bit harsh, but still.