I tried posting this about an hour ago, but I guess it didn’t take … So here’s your pregame update, a little later than I hoped …
It’s an unusually warm night at the Coliseum. If it stays that way, might the ball be flying out of the park? A’s starter Trevor Cahill has allowed just one homer in six starts. Indians starter Josh Tomlin has allowed five homers over five starts. Both are 4-0, so we’ve got a good pitching matchup …
–The A’s haven’t released any information yet on Dallas Braden’s appointment with Dr. Lewis Yocum. We might get word after the game. But the A’s have to at least be encouraged by what they’ve seen from Tyson Ross in three starts subbing for Braden.
–Closer Andrew Bailey threw live batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list and looked sharp, according to Geren. He’s still throwing only fastballs off the mound, and Geren said Bailey would probably throw live BP again before deciding his next step.
As the games tick away, it’s becoming clear how crucial a healthy return from Bailey is to the A’s chances this season. This bullpen has depth – better depth than many relief corps in the majors – but Oakland is vulnerable in the late innings, as Brian Fuentes’ struggles Tuesday night indicated. Fuentes was pitching in his fourth game in five days, and he admitted that he was a bit fatigued on the mound. Geren’s use of his bullpen is a hot topic among A’s fans, and for good reason. I didn’t have a problem with Geren calling on Fuentes last night. To me, the issue goes back to Sunday, when Fuentes was brought in during the ninth with two runners on and the A’s leading by five runs. That was a game where it wasn’t necessary to go to him, and therefore Fuentes had nothing in the tank Tuesday when called upon for the third day in a row.
–Conor Jackson draws the start at first base, with Daric Barton getting a day off. Good call … You gotta keep Jackson’s bat in there right now, and Barton is hitting .127 over his past 16 games. For those wondering if Jackson is an option at third base, he takes grounders there pretty regularly. But he’s got virtually no experience at the position as a professional, and Geren says he wouldn’t consider giving Jackson a start there right now.
A’s – Crisp CF, DeJesus RF, Jackson 1B, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Powell C, Ellis 2B, LaRoche 3B, Pennington SS; Cahill RHP.
Indians – Sizemore CF, A. Cabrera SS, Choo RF, Santana C, Hafner DH, O. Cabrera 2B, Brantley LF, LaPorta 1B, Hannahan 3B; Tomlin RHP.