In for Joe Stiglich, who is packing up the trunk for the 10-game junket …
It’s only three games, but the A’s have gotten plenty of juice from their three-game stop in Oakland as they prepare for their 10-game road trip that very likely will decide their 2012 postseason fate. Quite frankly, I think the A’s are a virtual lock for the playoffs based on how well they’re playing and how well they’ve played away from home, but strange things can happen when you have eight teams vying for five playoff spots, and the A’s are also crossing time zones.
The crowds have been a big deal for this Baltimore series. Many players have commented on the fact that they feel like they have a fan base behind them now. I covered Friday night’s game, and I can’t remember a crowd so loud since 2006 that was wholly in support of the A’s. I think they may even like this team better than the ’06 model seeing as it’s such an unlikely success story. Or at least it seemed unlikely at season’s outset.
There was a sign on the players’ bulletin board in the clubhouse that read “Two out of three ain’t bad, but that’s not who we are.” Don’t know who put that up, but it’s clear the A’s understand just how important every game is at this point in the season and they’re every one like it’s their last. Certainly, if they can sweep the Orioles today and get out of town with that springboard, it should do wonders for this last long trip.
Not a whole not of newsy notes today other than Coco Crisp, who is not in the lineup due to a case of allergic conjunctivitis in one of his eyes. Bob Melvin wasn’t sure if Crisp would be available at all today. Quite honestly, it’s probably a blessing in disguise that Crisp gets today off and gets two full days of rest before this trip, because the A’s really need Coco at the top of his game in Detroit, New York and Arlington over the next 11 days.
The starters have been announced for the Detroit series and it’s a tough hoe for Oakland: A.J. Griffin vs. 16-6 Max Scherzer on Tuesday, Brett Anderson against 14-8 Justin Verlander Wednesday and Tommy Milone Thursday against Anibal Sanchez, who is only 3-5 but having seen that guy pitch many times for the Marlins, he could be just as tough as the other two.
OAK: LF Cowgill, DH Gomes, RF Reddick, CF Cespedes, 1B Carter, 3B Donaldson, SS Drew, 2B Rosales, C Kottaras. P Straily
BALT: LF McLouth, SS Hardy, DH Davis, CF Jones, C Wieters, 1B Reynolds, 3B Machado, RF Chavez, 2B Andino. P Wolf
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