Game 132 wrapup: Anderson gets in, gets save; Moss opens up stance and ball starts jumping; Straily finds comfort zone throwing to Suzuki
By John Hickey
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at 8:58 pm in 2013 regular season.
Brett Anderson kept jumping up in the bullpen every time the telephone rang.
Anderson, a starter for virtually all of his career, isn’t used to the rhythms of the bullpen.
“Every call, first to last, I figured I’m in the game,’’ Anderson said. But as the game went along and the A’s lead went from 3-1 to 7-1 to 10-1, he began to calm down.
“I thought they might save me to see how Bartolo does,’’ Anderson said.
Bartolo Colon is coming off the disabled list Thursday to pitch against Detroit in the A’s series finale with the Tigers. Since Colon was slumping before he went on the DL with groin problems, the A’s aren’t sure how far he will be able to go. They may need long relief.
Naturally, just when Anderson started thinking like that, he was in the game. Manager Bob Melvin had him throw the final three innings of a 14-4 win over Detroit. Anderson gave up three runs in the eighth inning, but he said he felt good about the bulk of the 56 pitches he threw.
“I had one mistake to (Alex) Avila (a two-run double), but that was it,’’ Anderson said. “I gave up three runs, but I’ll never feel better about giving up three runs than I did tonight.’’
That’s because Anderson is back in the game after four months off battling a sprained right ankle and a stress fracture of his right foot.
It didn’t hurt that he wound up throwing 56 pitches. The A’s activated him looking for a situation where he could get stretched out to the point where he’d be a candidate to move back into the starting rotation, and this game might have done it.
“Getting stretched out was something I think they wanted to do,’’ Anderson said. “I’ll come in tomorrow and see what the plan is. I don’t know if they’ll give me the ball (Thursday).’’
–Brandon Moss was working on his swing a couple of weeks ago when he hit upon a fix, the kind he’s been looking for all season.
He said he’d had an open stance all along, but when he opened up even wider, things began to click.
The Tigers have felt the wrath of that fix in the first three games of this four-game set in Comerica Park. Moss hit two homers Wednesday, hit one on Tuesday and is 6-for-10 with three walks and eight RBIs.
“I opened up, and it was like `There it is!’ ’’ Moss said, talking about the balance and the weight transfer that has made him a threat to hit the ball out from left-center field to the right field line. “I can see the spin, really see the ball. This is the most relaxed I’ve been this year.
“Last year when I came up I was determined I was going to show them that I could drive the ball and hit the ball out. Last year we needed that.’’
Actually, the A’s need that now, and Moss seems ready to do his part.
–Dan Straily didn’t have great numbers Wednesday, except for these: one run allowed, one win.
Straily, winless in his previous seven starts, got lots of help from the A’s offense in a 14-4 shellacking of the Tigers.
But he also helped himself out by making sure that just one of the 10 men to reach base against him in six innings scored.
“I was able to make the big pitch when I had to,’’ Straily said. “And I threw whatever pitch (catcher) Kurt Suzuki wanted. It really helped having him call the game.’’