SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22: Daric Barton #2 of the Oakland A's gets caught in a double play against second baseman Emmanuel Burriss #2 of the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning at AT&T Park on May 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The Giants won 5-4. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
The A's and Giants get it on this weekend in the latest installment of the Bay Bridge Series. For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles. For the A's side of the story, check out Athletics Nation.
Well, it's that time again boys and girls, interleague play has returned to Major League Baseball. That mean's the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's are ready to rekindle their rivalry in a three game set at AT&T Park this weekend.
Even though these two continue to battle over territorial rights off the field, they've been playing rather similarly on the field as the A's currently sit at 20-19 and the Giants 19-19. Both teams split their previous two-game set as the Giants and A's earned victories on Thursday afternoon.
Both will be without important pieces of their lineups as well as Coco Crisp, Brandon Inge and Yoenis Cespedes are likely all out for the A's. Pablo Sandoval is still a few weeks away, Freddy Sanchez is somewhere doing something, though Brian Wilson's gnome will make an appearance at the ballpark this weekend, so I've heard.
Through it all its just baseball, with the A's and Giants trying to breakout of the .500 valley of death they currently reside. I think CSN Bay Area's Ray Ratto sums up the feeling of the fans heading into the series this year:
Giants fans have developed this irritating daily mood ring method of following their team, where every win is the breakout moment and every loss is the Apocalypse with garlic fries...But the A's? The A's are playing with casino's money. Sort of. Being 19-18 is a triumph of Biblical proportions, if you ignore the fact that they were 19-18 at this time a year and fired their manager three weeks later.
Expectations aside, these two teams really aren't so different, which hopefully will lead to a terrific series in China Basin this weekend.
Youngster Jarrod Parker (1-1, 2.10) takes on former Oakland Athletic Barry Zito (2-1, 2.53) on Friday. Parker took his first loss of the season in his last outing after giving up just two runs in six innings against the Tigers, while Zito got his second win of the year on his birthday, giving up three runs in six innings against the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for a 7:15 p.m. PT start with coverage on NBC Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
Tyson Ross (2-3, 6.25) takes the mound to square off against Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 2.66) Saturday afternoon. Ross had a three-game losing streak going before holding the Angels scoreless in his last outing to earn the win, while Vogey got a ND after 7 innings of one-run ball against the Rockies. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
Bartolo Colon (3-4, 4.13) and Tim Lincecum (2-3, 5.77) close out the series on Sunday as both look to get themselves back on track. Colon hasn't won a game since April 18, while Timmy hasn't got a W since May 4. Lincecum has 15 strikeouts yet eight earned runs in his last two outings, while Colon 11 runs and only three stirkeouts. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
The Giants have a 123-116 (.515) overall record in Interleague Play since it began in 1997, the 4th-highest best win percentage among NL teams behind Miami (.536, 135-117), Atlanta (.535, 129-112) and St. Louis (.532, 117-103). They went 10-5 last year in interleague play.
The A's an Giants are 26th and 27th in MLB in runs scored, eighth and 10th in runs allowed, and 27th and 28th in run support.
The A's hold the lead in the series 45-41 since 1997.