The Oakland Athletics offense faces one of their toughest challenges of the season on Saturday as they battle San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum. Although Lincecum has a record of 3-4, he is pitching much better than any win/loss record would show. The A’s best chance to get him out of the game and get into the Giants bullpen is to run up the pitch count. The Rockies defeated him that way as they had him out of the game in the middle of the sixth inning. Lincecum had thrown 22 innings without giving up a run before the Rockies worked him into a jam.
The A’s have made a couple of adjustments in their lineup for Saturday’s contest. They’ve replaced Dave DeJesus and Josh Willingham in the lineup with Ryan Sweeney and Conor Jackson. Additionally, Landon Powell will start in place of Kurt Suzuki. Sweeney and Jackson have been two of the A’s better hitters this season, although both have struggled at times to get consistent playing time. In 31 games, Jackson has a line of .270/.353/.371. In 29 games, Sweeney has a line of .317/.414/.400. While those lines aren’t spectacular, they represent a sizable improvement over what the A’s normal lineup has done to date.