I always bring this up when the A’s arrive at Angel Stadium, but the games feel like they take on a bigger meaning here. Maybe it’s the NorCal-SoCal rivalry, or the divisional matchup, or the fact this stadium is packed for every game. But it’s a pretty electric atmosphere (I feel cheesy when I use “electric” in that way, but it’s accurate in this case).
On to the news ….
–Michael Wuertz was activated from the disabled list and Bobby Cramer was sent down. That puts the A’s bullpen a little more in balance with three right-handers and four left-handers. Expect Wuertz to go back to his righty setup role along with Grant Balfour and Brad Ziegler. Remember how dominant Wuertz was in 2009, and then remember that he wasn’t the same pitcher in 2010 after suffering an early-season shoulder injury. I don’t think there’s the same cause for concern given that he’s now coming off a hamstring injury. The A’s just need Wuertz to at least resemble his 2009 form, when he could enter a tough situation with men on base and get a strikeout when needed.
–Center fielder Coco Crisp is back in the lineup after crashing his left shoulder into the wall while making a catch yesterday in Seattle. “He was here early, smiling with the thumbs-up,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “That’s all it took. Hand signal, no words needed.”
–The A’s are trying to maintain the momentum they built in Seattle, when they combined for 14 runs Saturday and Sunday. The Angels? They’re trying to turn the page, having lost four straight and been shut each of their last two games. …
A’s – Crisp CF, Barton 1B, DeJesus RF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Pennington SS; Gonzalez LHP.
Angels – Bourjos CF, Abreu DH, Hunter RF, Wells LF, Callaspo 3B, Kendrick 2B, Aybar SS, Trumbo 1B, Mathis C; Weaver RHP.