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The Oakland Athletics played the first game of the second half of their 2011 schedule Thursday afternoon and fell to the Florida Marlins 5-4. The Marlins jumped on Trevor Cahill early, chasing him in the fifth inning. While the A’s did manage to get some offense together, it was a case of too little too late as they dropped to 36-46. They currently sit 7.5 games out of first with the Rangers playing tonight with a chance to push it to eight games.
Cahill got through the first for the A’s with a quick 1-2-3. However, he got into a little bit of trouble in the second as he gave up a Hanley Ramirez double followed by a Logan Morrison double. The Marlins continued to get on base as they got at least two men on in each of the next two innings. Cahill kept them from scoring, but he couldn’t stop them forever. In the fifth inning, Emilio Bonafacio reached first on a bunt single and then stole second. Omar Infante sacrificed him to third before Gaby Sanchez lined out for the second out of the inning.
Things quickly fell apart from there. Hanley Ramirez reached base on an infield single on a play that drove in Bonafacio to make it 2-0. Ramirez reached second on a Cahill wild pitch and was then driven in by a Logan Morrison single. Mike Stanton followed with a single and he and Morrison both scored on a John Buck double to center. The A’s finally brought in relief pitcher Trystan Magnuson but the damage had already been done.
The A’s did manage some runs in the game as they scored on in the seventh, a Coco Crisp solo home run in the eight and a Kurt Suzuki two-run home run in the ninth. However, that was all they could must and the Marlins emerged victorious.
The A’s stay home for six more games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners. They open a three-game set with Arizona Friday night as Rich Harden makes his return to the Oakland rotation.
The Oakland Athletics will face the Florida Marlins in a rubber match on Thursday looking to secure the series victory. Trevor Cahill will face off against Chris Volstad looking to improve his All Star resume following Gio Gonzalez’s dominant effort on Tuesday. However, the most intriguing story for A’s fans is the fact that Chris Carter is finally in the starting lineup. Carter was called up after Josh Willingham went down with an Achilles injury. In his time with the team his only appearance was during a double switch against the New York Mets that saw him get one at bat.
Although Carter’s numbers were not spectacular in the minors before the call-up, he brings power potential that this team is sorely lacking. Considering they’ve only scored nine runs over the last seven games, change is needed. Bob Melvin has rolled out a variety of lineups and none of them has been able to do a whole lot of much. It’s possible Chris Carter will not be the difference-maker for the A’s, but given the way this team has performed to date, it certainly can’t hurt to see what he can do.
While Guillermo Moscoso was not dominant on Wednesday, he pitched well enough that the Oakland Athletics should have been able to figure out a way to defeat the Florida Marlins. Moscoso gave up four hits and one earned run while striking out eight batters. And yet even if that was the whole story, it was not enough as the A’s fell 3-0 to the Marlins.
The first inning gave fans an idea of what kind of game this was going to be and it was not encouraging. In the top of the first, Marlins leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio hit a ground ball to shortstop Cliff Pennington. Pennington booted it and Bonifacio was safe at first. Two batters later Moscoso struck out Gaby Sanchez in what should have been the third out of the inning. Instead, the error allowed Hanley Ramirez to come up to bat and he proceeded to hit a two-run homerun off Moscoso. While Moscoso should have pitched better to Ramirez, he never should have been in that position.
In the bottom of the first, the A’s offense had their best chance to score as they put men on first and second with one out. Instead, Hideki Matsui flied out to right and Ryan Sweeney flied out to center, stranding three base runners after a two out walk. Ricky Nolasco was pretty much unhittable from there on out as he would give up three more hits and finish the complete game shutout.
The A’s and Marlins will meet in the rubber match as Trevor Cahill faces Chris Volstad. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35pm and will only be available on MLB.TV and radio. A’s fans pray Chris Carter is in the lineup.
The Oakland Athletics face the Florida Marlins Wednesday night using the same lineup for two consecutive games for the first time in a while. Manager Bob Melvin has moved players around and mixed and match parts of the lineup as the A’s have battled to figure out some way to generate some offense. Considering they’ve managed ten runs over their last six games and 281 runs on the season, the moves are not all that surprising.
At the same time, one has to wonder if the team should settle into a single lineup for more than a day or two to see if it can gain some traction. The team is dealing with Josh Willingham’s injury so now might not be the time for that. And plenty of people (myself included) are hoping to see Chris Carter get a crack at some at bats. Melvin indicated in Tuesday night’s post-game press conference Carter was likely looking at mostly a pinch-hit role at this point.
The 2011 baseball season has seen the Oakland Athletics deal with an overwhelming number of injuries to their pitching staff. Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross, and Brett Anderson all have gone down with a variety of ailments leading the A’s to dig deep into their farm system. Guillermo Moscoso, Josh Outman and Graham Godfrey have all made extended appearances at the big league level in recent weeks.
Now, Rich Harden is returning to Oakland to join the rotation on Friday, Brandon McCarthy has begun making rehab starts, and Tyson Ross is expected to head out on a rehab assignment in the coming week. As they get healthy, one of the next questions facing the A’s will be what to do with Wednesday night starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso.
Ideally, Anderson, McCarthy, and Ross will all be healthy at some point in the near future. Anderson is a ways off so that buys some time on a decision, but with the addition of Rich Harden to the rotation, it becomes a question of what to do with him versus Moscoso when McCarthy and Ross are back in the next couple weeks. Of course, this is also assuming Rich Harden stays healthy in his return. It’d be great of he could, but historical patterns indicate otherwise.
In the meantime, Moscoso will look to develop a bit more consistency in order to prevent the A’s from removing him from the rotation in the next few weeks. He faces the Florida Marlins Wednesday night and will be looking to put together a second consecutive solid start. He’s coming off a dominant start against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he went seven innings and gave up no runs, two hits and three walks. He has done some solid work as a long man, but if he can turn into another solid pitching option, the A’s would suddenly find themselves with some interesting trade bait, whether it be Moscoso or one of the other starting pitchers.
The Oakland Athletics got their nine game homestand off to a solid start as they rode a dominant pitching performance from Gio Gonzalez to a 1-0 victory over the Florida Marlins. The A’s offense struggled to get much going but it was more than enough as Gio Gonzalez gave up one hit and three walks while striking out nine over eight innings.
Emilio Bonafacio led off the game with a single and that was the last hit for the Marlins. The Marlins got no more than one runner on base in the remaining innings and simply had no answer for Gonzalez who was dealing all night long. He came out after eight innings due to a pitch count of 106 and Andrew Bailey slammed the door for the victory. In the ninth inning, Bonafacio reached base on a throwing error by Scott Sizemore and advanced to second on the bad throw. However, Bailey proceeded to strike out Omar Infante, Greg Dobbs and Hanley Ramirez to secure his sixth save of the season.
The A’s were only able to score one run, but it was enough to secure a victory. Hideki Matsui doubled to lead off the second inning, advanced to second on Conor Jackson’s infield single, and advanced to third on a Ryan Sweeney groundout to first. Kurt Suzki then hit a fly ball to right field that saw Mike Stanton go into enough of a slide that Matsui was able to tag up and score.
The A’s and Marlins play the second game of their series Wednesday evening. Graham Godfrey is tentatively scheduled to start against Ricky Nolasco on CSN California. However, with Rich Harden returning to the rotation on Friday, Godfrey is expected to head to the bullpen. It sounds like he’ll make the start on Wednesday and then head to the bullpen this weekend.
The Oakland Athletics sit waiting for the Tuesday rain to stop at the Oakland Coliseum but are ready to open their series with the Florida Marlins. The A’s will look to put together a solid homestand as the All Star Break approaches. After the A’s complete six games with Florida and Arizona, they play Seattle for three at home and four against Texas on the road. Given how tight the AL West has become this season, those seven games could allow the A’s to get right back into the thick of things. However, in the mean time they’ll need to take care of business in interleague play.
The A’s will once again roll with Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington at the top of the lineup. Coco Crisp remains in the three spot while Josh Willingham recovers from his Achilles injury and Hideki Matsui is back to the designated hitter role for now. The A’s are going with Ryan Sweeney in left field and David DeJesus in right field. DeJesus has been sitting out fairly frequently the last couple weeks but it sounds like he’ll get several starts this week against right handed pitching.
The Oakland Athletics return home following a fairly unsuccessful road trip but they've managed to remain six games back of the Texas Rangers who are scuffling a bit. The A's dropped two of three to the Mets followed by two of three to the Phillies, but the Rangers lost two of three at home this weekend against the Mets. The Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners both won two of three in their respective interleague series' which has them 1 1/2 and 2 games back of Texas, respectively.
While the A's will be facing the Marlins for three games this week, the Rangers head down to Houston, the Angels wrap up three games against the Washington Nationals (one game already finished), and the Mariners will look to rebound from a series-opening loss to the Braves.
The A's will look to become the third AL West team to win a series against the Marlins. The Angels went into Miami and took two of the three from the Marlins last week while the Mariners went into Miami and took two of three from the Marlins this past weekend. The Rangers host the Marlins this coming weekend.
|Tampa Bay||44||35||.556||2||Lost 1|
|Los Angeles||40||40||.500||6.5||Won 1|
|Kansas City||33||46||.417||13||Lost 1|
(updated 6.27.2011 at 10:58 PM PDT)
The Oakland Athletics head home on Tuesday for a six game homestand that will wrap up their 2011 interleague play schedule. The A's are currently 5-7 and will be looking to finish up better than their 8-10 record last season. They wrapped up a six game road trip against the Mets and Phillies in which they went 2-4 with numerous chances to do significantly better. The A's biggest problem this season has been an inability to get a timely one or two out hit. Accordingly, they sit nine games under .500 and six games out of first place.
The A's will open up the homestand against a struggling Florida Marlins squad. Even with new manager Jack McKeon, the Marlins have continued to struggle. They have managed to go 2-4 in six games under McKeon. It's an improvement on their previous stretch of 18 losses in 19 games but they have their work cut out for them the rest of this season.
The question for the A's is whether they can take advantage of the Marlins struggles and notch some much needed wins. At the conclusion of this series the A's will be into the second half of their 2011 schedule. While there is a lot of baseball to be played, Oakland needs to start notching up bigger stretches of wins. The five game winning streak was huge but they need to get more stretches like that together.
The series will feature Gio Gonzalez facing Javier Vazquez, Graham Godfrey facing Ricky Nolasco, and Guillermo Moscoso facing Chris Volstad. Realistically, the A's would appear to have a definite pitching advantage with Gonzalez and Moscoso. While I think Godfrey has shown he can pitch well enough to hang with a journeyman like Ricky Nolasco, I'd say the edge goes to Nolasco. Either way, this is a series the A's should be able to take advantage of and gain some ground in the West.
The A's will have some lineup decisions as they return to the land of the designated hitter. Josh Willingham remains on the disabled list, the team called up Chris Carter, Hideki Matsui showed he can still play some outfield, and Bob Melvin is still trying to figure out what to do with Mark Ellis. Conor Jackson has settled in s the primary first baseman, but beyond that the team is trying to find a consistently solid lineup. For a lot of fans, the big question in all this is when Chris Carter might get some consistent at bats. It's one of many questions about a struggling offense.
|Wed 06/29 - Graham Godfrey vs. Ricky Nolasco||7:05 PM PDT|
|Thu 06/30 - Guillermo Moscoso vs. Chris Volstad||12:35 PM PDT|
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