This is perhaps an odd time to concern oneself with the Oakland offense, but the A’s have gone from scoring early and often in game after game to having scored one run in the last two starts.
That in itself wouldn’t be too miserable if it were not for the fact that the A’s face Felix Hernandez in Seattle Friday and they haven’t scored a run off the King in two starts this year.
Having three of the final five games before the playoffs start be games in which they haven’t been able to score much is not the tone the A’s want to set.
There is some upside to all this. In the playoff they won’t see Hernandez. They also won’t see Wednesday’s Angels starter Jered Weaver. When they broke through with a Jed Lowrie sacrifice fly in the sixth, the A’s snapped a streak in which Weaver had shut them out over the course of 29.2 innings.
Actually, while the A’s have had trouble with those two, admittedly two of the best pitchers in the American League, they’ve actually done fairly well against most of the top guns in the AL.
With the exception of Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, who leads the AL in lowest ERA at 2.64, nine of the top 10 in the ERA race have face the A’s this year. Hernandez, who ranks sixth at 2.99, has done well (2-0, 0.00) against Oakland.
However, in statistics compiled by the Bay Area News Group, the rest – Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers, Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners, Yu Darvish of the Rangers, Chris Sale of the White Sox, Max Scherzer of the Tigers, Ervin Santana of the Royals, James Shields of the Rays and Hiroki Kuroda of the Yankees – have combined to go 4-10 with a 3.68 ERA when facing Oakland.
That’s in marked contrast to most of last year, when the A’s frequently beat up second-tier pitchers but often succumbed to the aces, and it’s a promising sign for the playoffs this time around.
–Marge Simpson and a cast of superheroes from the comics and from video games took the long walk from the A’s clubhouse to the bus, the long bus ride to the airport in Long Beach and the long flight to Seattle.
It was rookie hazing day, and with veterans Coco Crisp, Jerry Blevins and Grant Balfour doing most of the role playing, about 10 of the A’s rookies wound up dressing up.
Here’s the breakdown:
Dan Straily, Wolverine; Nate Freiman, Marge Simpson; Evan Scribner, a frog; Dan Otero, Mileena from Mortal Kombat; Andy Parrino, Ken from Streetfighter; Michael Choice, Zelda Warrior, Stephen Vogt, a referee, Derek Norris, Ryu from Streetfighter; Sonny Gray, Robin; Pedro Figueroa, Raiden from Mortal Kombat.