Oakland 6, Baltimore 1 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
A's Current Record: 24-23
Adam and I have this friend who absolutely hates being late to ballgames. This seems to be one of the only things that can really get him worked up. While I don't have the same passion for making sure my butt is in my seat for opening pitch, I also like to make sure I get to the game on time. I'll never understand those people who waltz into the ballpark an hour after the game. Last night, I sat in a section that had some sort of summer camp come to the game, but they arrived in the fourth inning and left in the seventh. I'm glad that I was spared being surrounded by four busloads of 14 year olds for most of the game, but why even go to the game if you miss more than half of it?
Anyways, I ended up getting to the park about ten minutes late last night, which will happen when you've got to drive from DC to Baltimore to catch a Wednesday night game. On my way to my seat I caught a glimpse of one of the TVs in the ballpark and saw a big, right handed guy ground out. I assumed that it was Kevin Kouzmanoff and settled into my seat thinking that the A's gotten a runner or two on, but had failed to score. It wasn't until Trevor Cahill stepped to the mound that I saw that the A's had actually put up four runs in the first. And that is why you don't show up late to a baseball game. I might as well have gone home at that point, given that the A's are now 20-1 in games where they've scored four or more runs.
Although I missed it, and it's a pretty obvious point, Adam Rosales' homer explains perfectly why the A's need some sort of power in the lineup. His three run blast increased the A's win expectancy from 60% to 80%, all but putting the game away in the first inning. It takes a ton of singles and walks to have that kind of impact in the first inning.
Trevor Cahill made the offensive explosion hold up, pitching solidly through six innings. Although his strikeout and walk totals were a bit disappointing (he had three of each), he looked more impressive than those numbers indicate. First, he gave up only two hits, one of which was a bunt single. He also got a few swings and misses on his fastball, which the stadium gun had at as high as 94 MPH. Even if you don't believe that reading, which I don't, the whiffs still means he's setting hitters up well enough to make his fastball an effective pitch. He'll need to continue to get hitters to whiff on his fastballs if he wants to develop strong K rates.
On the injury front there's some good news and bad news. The good news is that Brett Anderson is expected to make a start for the A's Saturday in Detroit. Dallas Braden, battling a sprained ankle, is set to make his start Sunday against the Tigers. The bad news is that Coco Crisp is heading to the DL again with a strained intercostal muscle. This is the same injury that sidelined Kurt Suzuki for a couple weeks. Landon Powell will take Crisp's spot on the roster.