Chicago 6, Oakland 2 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
A's Current Record: 33-34
So the Conor Jackson Era won't be perfect. He tried his best, though, having a near-perfect starting debut for the A's, going 2-3 with a walk, a run scored and a perfect throw to the plate to nail Geo Soto trying to score in the third inning. He was pretty much the lone bright spot in the otherwise lackluster game, one in which the A's never had more than a 6.6% chance of winning after the 6th inning --- heck, even Kevin Kouzmanoff's hitting streak came to an end.
Gio Gonzalez had arguably his worst outing of the year, giving up a season-high 6 runs, walking 3 and giving up 3 extra base hits in 5 innings, and given the A's offense, that pretty much consigned the team to a loss. Ryan Dempster looked shaky in the first inning, unable to spot his fastball, but after that he cruised until the 7th, and ended up with a very solid start.
I don't have much else to say about the game --- Tyson Ross was inconsistent (2 walks, but 3 Ks in 2 IP) again in a low-leverage spot, so he should probably be kept to those situations in the near future. I was surprised that Geren benched Rajai Davis after his great game on Tuesday, and I would've probably benched Cust and sacrificed some offense for defense, but it didn't matter much. I also thought it was funny that Lou Piniella pinch hit Carlos Zambrano in a 2 on 2 out situation, as if to spite announcer Bob Brenly (who publicly ripped the Cubs, including the decision to let Zambrano hit on Tuesday) -- and Zambrano promptly struck out.
The A's look to take the series today against Randy Wells, who looks like he's struggling but whose peripherals are actually pretty similar to those in his stellar rookie season last year, if not better (3.49 FIP, 3.65 xFIP this year v. 3.88 and 4.24 a year ago) and is being victimized by a .359 BABIP. The A's counter with Dallas Braden, who has been battling minor arm troubles and will be watched closely if he continues to struggle (he's given up 14 runs in his last 3 starts over 18 innings).