Darren Sabedra here again, wrapping up the A’s lights-out win Saturday night over the Yankees before handing this gig back to beat man John Hickey
The A’s got the expected Saturday night, another gem from Scott Kazmir, a pitcher whom manager Bob Melvin says has been nothing but consistent since joining the club.
And (sort of) the unexpected, a bank of lights at O.co Coliseum going out in left field, prompting nearly a 40-minute delay in the middle of the fourth inning.
This is Darren Sabedra, filling in John Hickey as the A’s play host to the Yankees on Saturday in the second game of a three-game weekend series.
Before I hit the pregame clubhouse, I wanted to pass along a little news.
The A’s traded former top prospect Michael Taylor on Saturday to the Chicago White Sox for minor-league right-hander Jake Sanchez.
Taylor, 28, played in only 26 games for Oakland and was currently with Triple A Sacramento, where the outfielder was the RiverCats’ franchise leader in games (511), at-bats (1,900), hits (521), and RBI (325).
Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes are big parts of A’s muscle machine.
T-shirt fads come and go in baseball clubhouses, and another one may have arrived in the Coliseum Friday.
As they came off the field after batting practice, A’s sluggers Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes each were presented with a green shirt with the letters “RUN DMC’’ stacked. Above “RUN’’ in smaller type was the word “Home’’ and under “DMC’’ were the letters 20 37 and 52.
Those are the jersey numbers of, in order, Donaldson, Moss and Cespedes, the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters in the A’s lineup most nights and to whom the “DMC’’ refers in the local spinoff of the 1980s hip-hop legends.
Meet “Norris Gump,” the unassuming Oakland A’s catcher. You probably knew he about his baseball prowess. Bet you didn’t know Norris Gump was a star ping-pong player and an expert on all things shrimp?
Coco Crisp gets to celebrate a family birthday on the off-day Thursday.
There are few things the A’s like more than playing in Anaheim, then having a day off before playing again in Oakland.
Many of the A’s have homes or family in Southern California, and they use the off-day to visit family and friends, something that’s hard to do in the course of the season.
The timing this week is great for Coco Crisp. The center fielder will stay in Southern California and will celebrate a family birthday Thursday.
Things were not quite as convenient for infielder Alberto Callaspo, whose wife is about to give birth … in Florida.
#A’s Jed Lowrie is just waiting for his luck to turn.
Jed Lowrie drove in the A’s only run Tuesday with a sacrifice fly.
Beyond that, the Oakland shortstop went hitless in four at-bats and is now hitless in his last 20 at-bats.
Josh Donaldson went hitless in all six of his plate trips Tuesday for the A’s and is now hitless in his last 21 at-bats.
There is a difference, though.
Lowrie seems to be hitting in tough luck. Donaldson is in one of those hitless streaks that batters get into from time to time when it seems as if they might never emerge.
When I returned to the A’s beat in the spring of 2013, I hadn’t seen Bob Welch in about five years, maybe more.
I’d hit the road for a dozen-plus years in Seattle and he’d spent time away from the A’s working for the Arizona Diamondbacks but ultimately had been lured back to the Oakland organization by longtime buddy Curt Young.
We’d almost always gotten along well enough, although there are going to be rocky patches between reporters and players, and that’s never going to change.
We started talking, rehashing old times and I was completely unprepared for what happened next. Welch called longtime A’s photographer Michael Zagaris over from the far side of the clubhouse, put his arm around my shoulder and told Zagaris, `I want a picture with this guy.’ ’’
That’s sort of the way it was with Bobby Welch. He liked people. He loved baseball. And anything that brought the two of them together was all right by him.
Angels’ closer Ernesto Frieri had a few choice words for the A’s Sunday, calling them “lucky’’ and saying the Angels were going to beat them this week in a three-game series in Anaheim.
Well, Frieri got off to a good start Monday with a 4-1 Angels’ win in which he struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save.
After that he sounded contrite when talking about Oakland.
“It was a misunderstanding,’’ Frieri said. “I’m sorry if I offended anybody. I respect the Oakland A’s, they’ve been playing really good baseball. But at the same time, I have confidence in my team. I knew we were going to play better baseball.
Josh Donaldson’s good glove work was in evidence in Baltimore again Sunday.
Donaldson was all smiles after Sunday’s game in Camden Yards, and you might think that a bit odd given that the A’s third baseman went 0-for-5, including grounding out twice with the bases loaded.
In all, Donaldson came up with eight men on base in the first five innings and drove exactly none of them in.
It wasn’t like Saturday, when he struck out in every one of his four at-bats, a new career worst, but it wasn’t a day you write home about.
“It’s just two games,’’ Donaldson said. “It’s a long season. It’s no big deal. Things are fine.’’
Jim Johnson had another tough day coming out of the A’s bullpen Saturday.
On Friday, Eric O’Flaherty threw an inning of scoreless baseball for Stockton in the California League.
On Saturday, Jim Johnson came in with a man on for Oakland in Baltimore and gave up a two-run homer on his second pitch.
What do those two events have in common?
The A’s are willing to give up on Johnson, who has not come close to being the pitcher he was with the Orioles when he had back-to-back 50-save seasons. It’s not like that was eons ago, either, it was in 2012 and 2013. It’s just 2014 (3-2 with a 6.46 ERA) that has been a problem.