Derek Norris has been a major part of A’s three-headed catching corps.
The only way for the A’s to get more out of their catchers than they do is to play them all at the same time.
So that’s what they’re doing.
By the time Tuesday night was over, A’s catchers John Jaso, Stephen Vogt and Derek Norris combined to go 7-for-8 with two doubles, a homer and seven RBIs in the A’s 10-6 win over the Rangers.
It’s been like that a lot for the A’s, who have seen all three catchers come on strong lately.
Vogt had three singles and two RBIs, is hitting .359 for the year and has a six-game hitting streak going.
A’s first baseman Brandon Moss has four career homers off Rangers’ Yu Darvish.
If you are planning to watch the A’s take on Yu Darvish and the Rangers tonight in the Coliseum or on the tube, Darvish would like to plant a seed in your mind.
It’s this – he knows the A’s have his number.
Darvish is 1-7 with a 4.73 ERA against the A’s. Against everybody else he’s 35-13 with a 2.93 ERA.
And he’s come to terms with it, after a fashion.
“Greg Maddux told me last year that he didn’t have any good numbers against Arizona through his career,’’ Darvish said in looking toward his third start of the season against Oakland. “Just the fact to know that a great pitcher like him had a team that didn’t have any good numbers against, that alleviated my thoughts.’’’
Dennis Eckersley likes the A’s offensive approach
As is often the case, when the Red Sox and the A’s meet, Dennis Eckersley is likely to show up.And such was the case Friday night when the longtime Boston starter and Oakland reliever (and Hall of Famer) dropped by Fenway Park to take in the game.
And while Eckersley can wax eloquently about any number of topics, what he wanted to talk about was the Oakland offense.
Now a regular broadcaster with Boston’s NESN and TBS, he had the night off. But he can’t help analyzing. And he was enthralled with the way the A’s took apart Yu Darvish on Monday in Texas.
“Everybody in the lineup was 3-2, everybody,’’ he said. “How do you do that?’’
Josh Reddick got Reddicked Monday in Arlington, Texas
The Texas Rangers clearly had a target painted on Josh Reddick.
They know the A’s right fielder as an aggressive base runner. They tried to take advantage of that, catcher Robinson Chirinos repeatedly throwing behind him at first base in an effort to pick him off.
It didn’t work, although it was close enough that in the eighth inning the umpires had to have a video review to determine if Reddick was out or had been tagged by first baseman Prince Fielder.
“They were treating me like I was Coco (Crisp),” Reddick said through a grin, referring to the A’s top base runner.
Later in the inning, center fielder Leonys Martin climbed the wall in right-center to bring back Daric Barton’s bid for a home run. Martin then threw to first base. Reddick, already past second base, raced back to first and beat the tag.
Yu Darvish came out of Monday’s game with his losing streak against Oakland intact at six games.
One suspects he can live with that. The A’s have given Darvish more trouble than any team in baseball in his three seasons in the big league since making the jump from Japan, and Monday had a chance to be one of those games.
It wasn’t, which was surprising after the A’s scored three times against him in the second inning.
But Darvish put his game back together after putting the first two men on in the third, stranding them at second and third. An inning later he loaded the bases with two out, but he got Josh Donaldson to strike out.
With their relative surplus of pitching and relative paucity of wealth, the A’s don’t seem inclined to be in on the bidding for Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in the coming weeks.
That doesn’t mean Oakland won’t be closely following the ins and outs of the Tanaka talk. The 25-year-old right-hander was made available for posting Thursday, and it wouldn’t be too outlandish a proposition to see him coming to rest with one of the A’s American League West competitors.
Tanaka, who was a simply unbelievable 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, stands to be the player with the most potential impact still on the open market this winter. The Yankees (yawn) are almost always the first club mentioned as coveting Tanaka, thanks to their big pockets and fragile starting rotation.
Brandon Moss homered in the first inning the last time he faced Yu Darvish, a two-run shot that led to what would become an 11-4 A’s win back on Sept. 4.
So perhaps it should have been no surprise that when Moss faced the Rangers’ ace in the first inning Saturday, he’d unload with a run-scoring double.
The difference this time was that there would be no scoring on either side, and the A’s would claim a 1-0 win that would move Oakland to 5½ games in front of Texas in the American League West. The A’s magic number to win the West — any combination of 10 A’s wins or Rangers losses would give Oakland the title.
It never occurred to Moss that his hit would produce the game’s only run.
Maybe it’s that West Coast night games don’t get much play back East.
Maybe it’s that ESPN doesn’t show enough highlights of the Oakland A’s.
Maybe it’s that other teams have a couple of great players and the A’s only have a whole bunch of good players.
Whatever the reason, the American League All-Star team announced Saturday is a slap in the face. Not just to the A’s or to the East Bay. But it’s a slap in the face to putting winning teams on the field
Chili Davis liked to play mind games when he was a player, and that hasn’t changed since he’s become a coach.
Asked what it was that his hitters have done to win four of five decisions against Texas ace Yu Darvish, Davis just smiled.
“I think we’re in his mind more than he’s in our minds,’’ Davis said.
Have the Oakland A’s gotten into the heads of the Texas Rangers?
It’s one thing that the A’s took the American League West by storm last year, winning six of the last seven games against the Rangers to win the West title by one game.
It’s another that the A’s were seven games back on May 15 this season and have stormed into a three-game lead in the division entering a four-game series that starts tonight.
And then there’s the case of Yu Darvish. He’s the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but coming into his start Tuesday he is 1-3 with a 3.81 ERA against Oakland.
And, asked Sunday about facing the A’s, he sounded torn between being confident and being wary.
“I don’t think I have any difficulty facing them,’’ he told the Texas media. “It’s like facing a new team every time, because the condition of the team varies from each time I face them.’’
Well, yes, the A’s have made changes up and down the roster during Darvish’s time in Texas. But Oakland will mostly be healthy and have its roster intact heading into this series.
Asked about the significance of the series, Darvish wouldn’t make much of it.
“It’s only June. It’s too early in the season to be thinking about those things,’’ he said. “I don’t really have anything to say other than we’re going to have a meeting again and try and figure out how to win.’’
That sounds like something you say when the other team is in your head a little.