|OAKLAND ( STRAILY )|
TEXAS ( HOLLAND )
|973||OAKLAND||+125||Ov 9,+100||+120||Ov 9,+100|
|974||TEXAS||-135||Un 9,-120||-130||Un 9,-120|
|vs Left-handed Starters||28-19||+6.4||21-25||4.0||0.245||0.318||3.6||0.240||0.288|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+0.5||4-3||6.7||0.319||0.359||2.9||0.228||0.278|
|vs Right-handed Starters||53-46||-7.7||34-58||4.2||0.255||0.308||3.9||0.251||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-6.8||5-2||3.6||0.257||0.301||5.9||0.303||0.359|
|8/30/2013||PARKER(R)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||4-3||W||+100||6.5 ov||O||7||4||0||8||8||1|
|8/31/2013||GRAY(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||2-1||W||-110||7 ov||U||5||4||0||7||9||0|
|9/1/2013||GRIFFIN(R)||TAMPA BAY||WRIGHT(R)||5-1||W||-130||8 un||U||9||7||0||7||5||2|
|9/10/2013||PARKER(R)||@ MINNESOTA||HENDRIKS(R)||3-4||L||-175||8.5 un||U||8||4||0||9||8||0|
|9/11/2013||GRAY(R)||@ MINNESOTA||PELFREY(R)||18-3||W||-160||8 ov||O||22||8||0||5||6||1|
|9/12/2013||GRIFFIN(R)||@ MINNESOTA||DIAMOND(L)||8-2||W||-180||8.5 un||O||11||5||0||7||5||1|
|9/13/2013||STRAILY(R)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)|| |
|9/14/2013||COLON(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||PARKER(R)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)|| |
|9/16/2013||GRAY(R)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)|| |
|9/17/2013||GRIFFIN(R)||LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)|| |
|9/18/2013||STRAILY(R)||LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)|| |
|9/20/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|9/2/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)||2-4||L||100||7.5 un||U||8||11||2||6||6||0|
|9/3/2013||PEREZ(L)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||5-1||W||115||7.5 un||U||13||12||0||11||9||1|
|9/4/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||4-11||L||-120||7 un||O||9||5||0||12||7||1|
|9/6/2013||GARZA(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||5-6||L||-105||7.5 ov||O||9||7||1||10||3||0|
|9/7/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||3-8||L||-135||8 ev||O||9||6||4||11||8||1|
|9/8/2013||TEPESCH(R)||@ LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||4-3||W||-110||8.5 ov||U||9||8||0||9||8||0|
|9/16/2013||GARZA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)|| |
|9/17/2013||TEPESCH(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)|| |
|9/18/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)|| |
|9/19/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)|| |
|9/20/2013|| ||@ KANSAS CITY|| || |
|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.
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (OAKLAND-TEXAS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Athletics-Rangers Preview* ===========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Oakland (84-61) at Texas (81-64), 8:05 p.m. EDT
Eight losses in 10 games. From three games up in the AL West to 3 1/2 games back. Struggling at the plate and on the mound.
Yep, it's becoming another September to forget for the Texas Rangers, who host the first-place Oakland Athletics for a crucial three-game series beginning Friday night.
Texas led the West from mid-April to late September in 2012, but it lost nine of its final 13 - including a three-game sweep in Oakland to end the regular season that gave the A's the division title - before losing to Baltimore at home in the wild-card game.
The Rangers (81-64) again are running into problems during the stretch run and were swept by Pittsburgh in a three-game series after falling 7-5 on Wednesday.
Thursday marked their final day off before playing 17 straight to end the season.
"Our heart is still in it. We've just got to do what we have to do to make sure we win ball games, that's all," manager Ron Washington said. "I'm not concerned. We'll be ready to play with Oakland coming to town."
Washington surely is trying to remain positive, but he may turn sour if the slump continues. His club held a three-game lead on the A's before play began Aug. 30 but Oakland (85-61) has won 10 of 13 since, including take two of three against Texas from Sept. 2-4.
Adrian Beltre is 5 for 31 (.161) with one extra-base hit over his last eight.
"As a team, we're going through struggles in every phase of the game," Beltre said. "Not good enough to win games is the bottom line. We're positive that we're going to get better, and we have to execute."
The pitching staff also hasn't been very good lately while posting a 5.40 ERA over the last seven, and Derek Holland takes the hill Friday looking to bounce back from his recent struggles.
Holland (9-8, 3.17 ERA) has lost two straight starts, giving up four runs and walking a career worst-tying five in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to the A's on Sept. 2 before allowing eight runs - four earned - in 5 2-3 frames of Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
The left-hander is winless in six outings since giving up four hits over eight innings of a 4-0 win over Oakland on Aug. 4.
"Our pitching is going to get going again," Holland told the team's official website. "Myself, I've had a couple bad starts here and there. I'm going to turn the page."
Holland is 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 career starts against the A's, who scored 29 runs while taking two of three from Minnesota in their last series.
Oakland got a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly from Josh Reddick and a pair of RBIs from Yoenis Cespedes in Thursday's 8-2 victory. Cespedes is hitting .419 in 11 games this month, including .458 during a six-game RBI streak.
The A's have lost four of the last five road meetings with the Rangers, though.
"We know it's an important series, but we're not going to sweat about it," Reddick said. "We know we can beat those guys."
The A's look to keep rolling behind Dan Straily, who takes the mound looking to win his fourth straight start.
Straily (9-7, 4.15) has a 1.50 ERA during his winning streak after allowing two hits and striking out seven in seven scoreless innings of Saturday's 2-1 win over Houston.
The right-hander, though, has had mixed results in four starts against Texas this season, going 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA. He gave up five runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss May 15, then dominated the Rangers by allowing two hits over seven innings of a 1-0 win May 21.
After giving up six runs in 4 2-3 innings of Oakland's 8-7 loss June 17, he allowed two runs and three hits in five frames to beat Holland on Sept. 2.
|Last Updated: 8/31/2014 1:36:41 AM EST|