On Monday, the following was written on the white board next to where the A’s lineup is posted daily in their clubhouse.
Slow torture vs. Instant kill
Slow torture is a team approach.
Instant kill is an individual approach.
Home runs end rallies, not start them.
Keep pitchers in the stretch and trust your teammates.
Pass the torch if necessary….
Derek Norris blasted a pair of 3-0 count, three-run home runs off former A’s All-Star Gio Gonzalez in Sunday’s 9-1 win. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet since we had a nice easy game and I’m going to try to get home in time to enjoy the rest of Mothers’ Day.
Most of the talk of the day can be found in the game story, which is posted here and should be updated shortly. This was all about Derek Norris’ domination of Gio Gonzalez, the player for which he was once traded.
That December 2011 deal in which the A’s sent away their All-Star Gonzalez netted Tommy Milone and Derek Norris along with Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole. Considering the events of this weekend, including Milone’s eight innings of shutout ball in a win Friday, that trade looks pretty good right now.
It’s late August, the A’s are a half-game back of first place in the American League West and yet there really isn’t a ton to report before tonight’s second game of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners. That’s probably not a bad thing. The A’s seem to be a relaxed and confident team with the September stretch drive around the corner.
Of course, after the game the A’s hope to be talking about another strong Sonny Gray start and a return to first place.
There were a couple small notes from manager Bob Melvin’s pregame session:
I’m feeling pretty much like the A’s right now — lousy all over — but I just saw a live interview with Dallas Braden during today’s game against Colorado — A’s are losing (big shock) — and it was cool.
What I’m about to say next is something I never thought I’d say: I like Dallas Braden.
Sure looks like Gio Gonzalez will be throwing (emphasis on “throw”) tomorrow tonight for the A’s. Whoop-de-du!!
Just when you thought all the pitching woes were reserved for the big club, a rough night at Triple-A Sacramento. The River Cats allowed three runs in the ninth in a 7-6 loss to Round Rock. J.R. Towles hit a three-run home run off Jerry Blevins. Not sure what Blevins’ deal is, but he’s gone from being very promising to very nauseating. His combined ERA this season between the A’s and Sacramento: 7.79.
BTW, Sean Gallagher got what he deserved after his pathetic outing.
The rest of the rundown:
— Righty Vin Mazzaro earned pitcher of the week honors in the Pacific Coast League after allowing just a run in 13 2/3 innings. Question for the readers: Do you want to see Mazzaro called up.
— Lefty Dana Eveland still stinks.
— Interesting promotion by the River Cats.
— The Rockhounds’ pitching staff had just as brutal an outing Monday. Chad Tracy’s two-run double highlighted a three-run sixth after another Chris Carter RBI made it 6-2. that tied it after Midland reliever James Heuser walked a pair while loading the bases. In the 10th, Sam Demel allowed three straight hits without getting an out to cap a 7-6 loss.
— How did outfielder Matt Spencer adjust to his promotion from Single-A Stockton? On the third pitch of his debut, he smacked a two-run single in a 9-1 win over Frisco. Here are Spencer’s numbers since his promotion.
— Travis Banwart is a guy to track. He was 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his first seven starts.
— Another tough loss for Craig Italiano, who has pitched better than his numbers. The Ports are showing signs of life.
I’m wondering if Eric Chavez should retire.
News from the farm:
One pleasant thing to report: Vin Mazzaro, the talented 21-year-old pitching prospect, has an 0.75 ERA in his past two starts. Something not-so-pleasant: Daric Barton, who is fast turning into Kelvin Moore and other memorable busts, is in a 3-for-27 (.111) slump.
Tommy Everidge, last year’s Texas League RBI champ, drove in two runs to give the Rockhounds a quick lead, shortstop Adrian Cardenas erased a deficit with a two-run double, and pitcher Arnold Leon struck out Mark Ori to end an uprising in the ninth in a 7-4 win against Corpus Christi.
The Ports (4-14) will take their first two-game winning streak of the season into a three-game series against Visalia. One interesting item: Shane Keough, son of Matt, is hitting .209 in 17 games.
SINGLE-A KANE COUNTY
The Cougars hit three more homers Monday, pushing their Midwest League-leading total to 16, as Petey Paramore (solo), Grant Desme (two-run) and David Thomas (two-run) all went deep in a 10-6 win over Beloit. Kane County rallied from 5-1 down to win their sixth straight home game and capture its fifth straight series to start the season, a team record.
Just watched Melky Cabrera hit his walk-off homer to beat the A’s 9-7 in 14 innings and cap a 1-4 road trip, and one of our co-workers muttered disgustedly about how the A’s have only four homers as a team trough the season’s first 14 games. Which incidentally leads to our favorite phrase — “on pace for” — and in this case, the A’s are on pace to hit 46 home runs (maybe they should give their old buddy Jose Canseco a call).