You’ve gotta admit this is an interesting week for the A’s. With the Dodgers and Giants visiting back to back, that’s two opponents who bring the fans out. But for the second straight series, figure that about half of those fans will be cheering for the opposing team. Players these days seem to downplay the Bay Bridge rivalry, but I’ve gotta think that hearing half the house rooting for the other team lights a fire under you if you’re wearing an A’s uniform. Speaking of uniforms, the A’s are in the gold unis again tonight. Why not with the way they’re playing right now? They enter tonight having won eight of nine.
–The A’s outstanding pitching work over the past several games didn’t seem to create a whole lot of buzz until the stat came out yesterday about them allowing just 22 hits over the past six games, the team’s best hit rate over a six-game stretch since at least 1918. I think it snuck up on everybody a bit just because the A’s hitting has been better over the past few weeks. There’s not as much of a disparity between bad hitting and great pitching, so maybe the pitching gets overlooked just a bit. But it’s been a pretty amazing run for Oakland’s staff. Jarrod Parker gets his chance to continue that tonight …
–The A’s haven’t announced Bartolo Colon’s DL stint yet. That may not come until tomorrow, when Tyson Ross is officially added to the roster to start Saturday’s game. But Melvin said he is optimistic that Colon could possibly return before the All-Star break. The right-hander played catch yesterday to test his strained right oblique.
–Yoenis Cespedes gets his third straight start at DH. Expect him to return to the outfield soon, but Melvin said he’ll entertain the idea of giving Cespedes the occasional game at DH just to rest him a bit.
–Here’s the lineups, with Kurt Suzuki back at catcher. Melvin said Derek Norris will be behind the plate catching Ross on Saturday:
A’s: Crisp CF, Weeks 2B, Reddick RF, Cespedes DH, Smith LF, Inge 3B, Moss 1B, Suzuki C, Pennington SS; Parker RHP.
Giants: Blanco CF, Theriot 2B, Cabrera LF, Posey DH, Sandoval 3B, Belt 1B, Schierholtz RF, Sanchez C, Crawford SS; Lincecum RHP.