Current Series

7/30, 5:05 PST
Oakland (Lucas Harrell) @ Chicago (Brett Anderson)

7/31, 1:10 PST
Oakland (John Danks) @ Chicago (Dallas Braden)

8/1 1:05 PST
Oakland (Gavin Floyd) @ Chicago (Gio Gonzalez)

Previous Series:
Texas 3, Oakland 1
Oakland 3, Texas 1
Texas 7, Oakland 4

Monday, June 14, 2010

Games 63-65 Recap or The Giants Return the Favor

San Francisco 6, Oakland 2 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
San Francisco 5, Oakland 4 (WPA Graph from Fangraphs)
San Francisco 6, Oakland 2
(WPA Graph from Fangraphs)

A's Current Record: 32-33

In the May A's/Giants series in Oakland, the A's swept the Giants in a convincing fashion, and lo and behold, the Giants did the exact same thing when the matchup shifted to San Francisco.  The A's had an early 1-0 lead against Tim Lincecum on Friday, but never led again in the series, with only a couple of glimmers of hope.

They scored just 5 runs in 22 innings off Giants starting pitching (to be fair, Lincecum/Cain/Zito is a pretty tough 1-2-3 combo to face) and that wasn't enough as their own starting pitching wasn't as sharp as they have been all year.  Sheets, Gonzalez and Mazzaro gave performances that could have been good enough to win with an average offense/amount of support (though Gio fell apart in the 6th inning, he looked okay before that) and the bullpen was relatively decent as well.  The fact of the matter is that when this team gives up 5 or 6 runs, they aren't going to win, and a pitch or two here, a crucial error there, is the difference between giving up 3-4 runs a game and winning and 5-6 runs and losing.

While Friday night's game was essentially over in the 6th, the A's had chances late on Saturday and on Sunday, and both times Adam Rosales struck out in huge situations --- on Saturday, down 1 run with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 8th, on Sunday in a tie ballgame with runners at the corners and 1 out.  Both times, Rosales could have scored a run with an out, and both times he was overpowered.  Not to pick on him (he did homer on Saturday, after all) but when he came up Sunday, all I could think about was Saturday and of course the same thing happened.

A couple of observations on players --- Kouzmanoff is finally hitting, but I still don't feel comfortable with him up there --- I think it's because his swing is so weird and never looks right.  Pennington might be breaking out of his slump with 3 XBH this weekend -- a .280/.340/.420 SS (his line last year) is very valuable, but I hadn't realized his numbers had dipped so far (.211/.290/.324) after a solid start.  His true ability is probably somewhere in between and the A's need him to not be horrible.  Mazzaro had his 2nd straight solid outing showing decent stuff and command --- he's not gonna be Brett Anderson, but it'd be big if he can be competent, because there's a pretty big drop off to the A's next option behind him.

Unfortunately, while the A's were losing, their divisional rivals had successful weekends, and they find themselves 4 back of the Rangers and 3.5 behind the Angels with a crucial trip to Chicago and St. Louis ahead of them.  The A's have had a lot of past success in interleague play and they'll going to need it to continue to avoid falling further behind.

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