This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. It started out great as the A’s took two games from the Angels, one with extra inning heroics on Monday, and the other in decisive fashion on Tuesday, crushing the halos 14-0. But it’s been pretty much down hill ever since.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the A’s lost a two game home series to the last place Minnesota Twins and when I say last place, I don’t mean in the AL Central, I mean in Major League Baseball. It was pretty ugly and it totally nullified whatever good feelings the A’s and their fans had about the previous series against their division rivals.
Oh, but it gets worse.
On Friday night, the A’s began the Bay Bridge series with the World Champion San Francisco Giants. On paper, the two teams seem fairly matched both with strong pitching and week hitting, but before the series even began, the A’s got some bad news that could greatly affect the AL West playoff race.
The A’s announced that Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy would both be placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain and a shoulder injury respectively. They join fellow starters Dallas Braden and Rich Harden on the DL, and while I wish the best for all these guys, it couldn’t come at a worse time for Oakland, who’s offense seems more inept with each passing day.
But we’ll get to that later, on to the main event.
Friday night’s match up seemed to favor the A’s, who threw ace Trevor Cahill against Ryan Vogelsond, who was called up after Barry Zito was injured. Cahill pitched great, the offense was awful, and Brian Fuentes gave up the winning run in the ninth as the A’s lost game one.
Game two was an inevitable outcome as the A’s were facing two time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. Brett Anderson was awesome as usual but we all knew the A’s wouldn’t beat Timmy if they couldn’t win when Cahill pitched against Vogelsond. Lincecum subsequently pitched a complete game shutout and the A’s lost game two.
But they wouldn’t get swept right?
Going into the Sunday the A’s were 11-7 on day games so the 1:05pm start time was a welcome sigh. Gio Gonzalez took the hill against Jonathan Sanchez. Gio labored but only gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings and actually left with the lead, which was unbelievable in itself. The A’s had come from behind with a Willingham solo home run in the fifth and a sixth inning rally. But it was only an illusion as Fuentes gave up a two run home run to Nate Schierholtz in the ninth inning to tie the game. The A’s went on to lose the game in extras resulting in a sweep of the series for their fifth straight loss.
I’d like to take this time to point out that I am an A’s fan living in San Francisco and have been waiting six months for this moment to be able to combat my Giants loving co-workers with competitive gloats of victory. Instead it will only get worse.
It was a pitiful display of hitting rendering good starts useless. This series also made every A’s fans check in with their local news outlet to see when Andrew Bailey would be coming back. The A’s need their closer more than ever with runs coming at such a premium.
To top t all off, the A’s woke up this morning in last place. The good news is they are only a couple games back of first, but with the entire AL West within two games of each other, and their week showing against the class of the National League, it becomes increasingly clear that The A’s need change, even more so now with the injuries to the A’s starters. Later this week, I’m going to discuss what those changes might be, but for now, It could get ugly quick if players don’t start stepping it up.
Of course, you could look at it the other way. After being embarrassed by their cross-town rivals and losing forty percent of their starting rotation, the A’s are only two games back. One thing is for sure: it should be an interesting summer.
UP NEXT: The A’s will have a big test next as they travel to Anaheim for a four game series. Josh Outman makes his first start since Tommy John Surgery. To make room for Outman, the A’s designated Jerry Blevins for assignment.
ROSTER UPDATES: The A’s sent down Trystan Magnuson and put Ross and McCarthy on the DL. They called up Joey Devine, Josh Outman and Fautino De Los Santos.
About the Author
Written by Josh Muller
My name is Josh Muller. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently live in San Francisco. I watch sports religiously and organize my calender year to coincide with baseball season. I'm a diehard A's and Warriors fan, love talking sports all day and believe that the words "Opening Day" are the two greatest in the English language.