|TEXAS ( DEMPSTER )|
OAKLAND ( GRIFFIN )
|967||TEXAS||+100||Ov 7.5,-115||-105||Ov 7.5,-105|
|968||OAKLAND||-110||Un 7.5,-105||-105||Un 7.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||65-49||-3.3||49-59||4.8||0.269||0.326||4.3||0.250||0.308|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.9||5-2||4.6||0.240||0.301||6.0||0.304||0.358|
|vs Right-handed Starters||61-39||+31||36-62||4.2||0.237||0.307||3.3||0.240||0.296|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.6||4-3||6.1||0.275||0.337||3.4||0.221||0.280|
|9/19/2012||HOLLAND(L)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||6-2||W||145||8 ev||P||10||6||0||8||5||0|
|9/20/2012||DARVISH(R)||@ LA ANGELS||GREINKE(R)||3-1||W||130||7.5 un||U||7||4||0||5||3||0|
|9/21/2012||PEREZ(L)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||3-6||L||-125||7.5 ev||O||10||4||1||9||5||1|
|9/22/2012||HARRISON(L)||@ SEATTLE||BEAVAN(R)||0-1||L||-175||7 un||U||8||6||0||7||7||0|
|9/23/2012||DEMPSTER(R)||@ SEATTLE||VARGAS(L)||3-2||W||-145||7 ev||U||10||9||0||9||9||1|
|9/28/2012||DEMPSTER(R)||LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||4-7||L||+105||9 un||O||7||4||0||11||9||0|
|9/30/2012||DARVISH(R)||LA ANGELS||GREINKE(R)||4-5||L||-105||8.5 ov||O||6||4||0||11||8||0|
|9/30/2012||HOLLAND(L)||LA ANGELS||SANTANA(R)||8-7||W||-125||10 ov||O||12||8||0||12||8||0|
|10/1/2012||PEREZ(L)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||3-4||L||125||8 un||U||6||5||0||9||8||0|
|10/2/2012||HARRISON(L)||@ OAKLAND||BLACKLEY(L)||1-3||L||-160||8 un||U||5||4||2||6||3||2|
|10/3/2012||DEMPSTER(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)|| |
|9/19/2012||ANDERSON(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||2-6||L||165||7 un||O||8||9||0||10||9||1|
|9/20/2012||MILONE(L)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||12-4||W||130||8 un||O||12||5||0||11||8||1|
|9/21/2012||PARKER(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||1-2||L||160||8.5 ev||U||4||8||0||8||4||0|
|9/22/2012||BLACKLEY(L)||@ NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||9-10||L||150||9 un||O||15||13||3||16||17||0|
|9/23/2012||GRIFFIN(R)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||5-4||W||140||8.5 un||O||8||7||2||10||9||3|
|9/24/2012||STRAILY(R)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||4-5||L||160||9 ov||P||8||7||2||9||10||0|
|9/25/2012||MILONE(L)||@ TEXAS||FELDMAN(R)||3-2||W||145||9.5 ov||U||7||7||1||7||6||0|
|9/26/2012||PARKER(R)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)||9-3||W||115||9.5 ev||O||16||9||1||5||8||1|
|9/27/2012||BLACKLEY(L)||@ TEXAS||HARRISON(L)||7-9||L||187||9 ov||O||11||4||2||14||6||0|
|TEXAS: HITTING: 2B IAN KINSLER will lead off again. A few less at-'em balls and he's an MVP candidate. SS ELVIS ANDRUS is coming along offensively, but his poor SB% could lead to fewer attempts. Injuries are the only thing that will keep OF JOSH HAMILTON out of the MVP discussion. He'll likely start declining at age 35, but DH MICHAEL YOUNG can't help but put up numbers batting cleanup in this lineup. 3B ADRIAN BELTRE was unstoppable in Arlington. Like Hamilton, he's an MVP candidate if healthy. Injuries are piling up for OF NELSON CRUZ, who still has monster power but doesn't run as much anymore. C MIKE NAPOLI is MLB's best offensive catcher and will play some 1B on 'off' days. Because their lineup is stacked, Texas can play defensive-minded/offensively limited 1B MITCH MORELAND. And because Ron Washington would prefer to play Hamilton in left, speedy CF CRAIG GENTRY looks to have the edge over DAVID MURPHY for the starting job in center. Cuban import LEONYS MARTIN will start the season in Triple-A, but JULIO BORBON could earn a significant OF role. |
STARTING PITCHING: COLBY LEWIS can overpower when he's on, but as a flyball pitcher in cozy Arlington he's going to have a handful of ugly days. The much-ballyhooed YU DARVISH brings a deep arsenal of pitches and a durable frame from Japan. He's probably the best Japanese arm to ever cross the Pacific. Lefty MATT HARRISON solidified his rotation spot. He has topped out as a respectable No. 3-type starter. DEREK HOLLAND has top-of-the-rotation upside. Consistency has been an issue, but hopefully another year and some big postseason moments helped to cure that. The big story is NEFTALI FELIZ moving to the rotation. He was considered a future ace in the minors, but the transition might not be easy. His K/BB ratio plummeted last year and his flyball tendencies could spell disaster in Arlington. Keep in mind the Rangers made a successful closer-to-ace switch with C.J. Wilson. Top prospect MARTIN PEREZ could be an option in the second half.
RELIEF PITCHING: Veteran JOE NATHAN was brought in and handed the closer's job. He struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers who've had the procedure don't come all the way back until their second full season. If Nathan falters, MIKE ADAMS could be next in line. He had no trouble transitioning from pitcher-friendly San Diego in the National League to hitter-friendly Arlington and the A.L.'s superior bats. KOJI UEHARA would also be in the closer discussion if Nathan falters, but he was unhappy about being traded from Baltimore and faltered for the Rangers late last year. ALEXI OGANDO got a huge boost from his defense and his bullpen before a late-season collapse. He threw by far a career-high in innings; better stamina would allow him to take the next step and possibly rejoin the rotation.
|OAKLAND: HITTING: 2B JEMILE WEEKS may not be a legitimate .300 hitter, but he's still the best option they have at the leadoff spot. C KURT SUZUKI seemingly hits as many line outs as anyone in baseball. He has a solid bat for a catcher and qualifies as a middle-of-the-order option in Oakland. OF JOSH REDDICK is more of a line-drive hitter than a 25-HR guy, and he doesn't yet have the plate discipline to approach .300. 1B BRANDON ALLEN is an all-or-nothing hitter, but his potential for much-needed power should be enough for him to beat out DARIC BARTON. SS CLIFF PENNINGTON has quietly developed into a serviceable regular. With 3B SCOTT SIZEMORE out for the season with a torn ACL, either ERIC SOGARD or JOSH DONALDSON will win the job at third base. Neither player has reached 80 career at-bats yet. Highly-coveted Cuban OF YOENIS CESPEDES inked a four-year deal with Oakland, and will be expected to produced in the heart of the lineup immediately. OF COLLIN COWGILL is undersized, but has shown impressive power in the minors. The DH spot will fall to Allen when Barton is in the lineup. When he's not, it will be filled by such Quadruple-A types as KILA KA'AIHUE and CHRIS CARTER. |
STARTING PITCHING: BRANDON McCARTHY reclamation project worked out nicely. He's an injury risk, but when healthy he's one of baseball's better middle-of-the-rotation arms. BARTOLO COLON pitched better than expected with the Yankees last year (7.4 K/9, 4.00 ERA), and should perform just as well in his new spacious ballpark. DALLAS BRADEN (shoulder) and BRETT ANDERSON (elbow) are both question marks after major surgeries. Braden's return date has been pushed back to early May, while Anderson will might not take the hill until June. The jewel of the Trevor Cahill trade, hard-throwing righty JARROD PARKER has a chance to make a big impact if his arm is recovered from 2009 Tommy John surgery. The Gio Gonzalez trade landed Oakland TOMMY MILONE and BRAD PEACOCK, both of whom are coming off impressive minor-league seasons. They'll compete for rotation spots this spring. TYSON ROSS could get a few starts, but he's gotten very hittable over the past year. They're in no hurry to start the arbitration clock of top prospect SONNY GRAY, but he should make some late-season starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Andrew Bailey gone, righty GRANT BALFOUR (2.47 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) will get the first chance to close games. Though his occasional bouts with command issues make him a risk. If Balfour falters, BRIAN FUENTES will get the next look because of his ninth-inning experience and strong second half of 2011 . . . Long a favorite inside the organization, injury-prone righty JOEY DEVINE has long been considered a future closer and should get some late-innings duties. The highest upside option for a future closer is 25-year-old righty FAUTINO DE LOS SANTOS. He has overpowering stuff but his command comes and goes.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TEXAS-OAKLAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rangers-Athletics Preview* ===========================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Texas (93-68) at Oakland (93-68), 3:35 p.m. EDT
While they've already locked up a playoff spot, the Oakland Athletics suddenly find themselves on the verge of overtaking the Texas Rangers.
With the AL West title on the line, the surging Athletics try to sweep the Rangers as both clubs wrap up the regular season Wednesday.
After clinching its first postseason berth in six years during Monday's series opener, Oakland (93-68) pulled out a 3-1 victory Tuesday to move into a first-place tie with Texas (93-68).
"As long as we believe inside this clubhouse and we know we can get it done, we're going to do it. I honestly believe we're going to win tomorrow," Grant Balfour said after recording his third save in as many days. "Nothing is guaranteed, but it's about as good as. I believe we can go out and get it done."
Jonny Gomes hit his 18th homer for the A's, who were 13 games behind the Rangers on June 30 but now have a share of first place for the first time since March 29.
Winner of five in a row, Oakland is trying to become just the fifth team to win a division or pennant after trailing by at least 13 games.
"This isn't Game 7 of the World Series. It's not win or go home," Gomes said. "We're going to play loose. We're going to have fun and just continue to pass the torch. Hopefully tomorrow we get our pitching, defense and homers. That's been it for us."
The reigning two-time division champion Rangers, meanwhile, have dropped six of eight - with four of those losses coming to Oakland.
"No one said it was going to be easy," said manager Ron Washington, whose team had held sole possession of the division lead since April 9.
"We started out to play 162 games and now - tomorrow - it's 162. And we'll see what happens. We take it no different than we have been approaching it. We just haven't put our game together yet. Tomorrow we have to put it together. If we don't put it together, we still go to the playoffs."
The loser of this game enters the postseason as one of two AL wild-card teams and will have to win a one-game playoff against Baltimore or the New York Yankees in order to advance.
The A's have to be feeling good about giving the ball to rookie A.J. Griffin (7-1, 2.71 ERA), having won 10 of his last 12 outings. The right-hander yielded one run over 5 2-3 innings Friday in an 8-2 victory over Seattle, improving to 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in seven starts by the Bay.
"That's the fun part of the business, you get to pitch in games that matter, especially this time of year," said Griffin, who has limited opponents to a .190 average at home.
Griffin was terrific in his only matchup versus Texas, giving up two hits and two walks over six scoreless innings in a 4-3 road loss June 29.
The Rangers counter with Ryan Dempster (7-3, 4.64), who has been very good recently as long as he's not facing the Los Angeles Angels. He lost to them for the second time in September on Friday and allowed a combined nine runs over nine innings in those starts, giving up 13 hits and seven walks. Not counting those games, he's won six consecutive outings while posting a 2.04 ERA.
Including his time with the Chicago Cubs, Dempster has a 2.78 ERA on the road this season - sixth-best in the majors among qualified starters.
In his only career appearance against Oakland, Dempster allowed two runs over 6 2-3 innings of the Cubs' 6-2 victory June 16, 2010.
Texas slugger Josh Hamilton has not homered in eight straight games to remain stuck on 43, one shy of Miguel Cabrera's AL lead but needing two to possibly prevent the Detroit star from winning the Triple Crown.
|Last Updated: 8/31/2014 5:35:12 AM EST|