The Oakland Athletics host the San Francisco Giants in the return series of their 2011 six-game interleague schedule. The Giants swept the A's at AT&T Park in the first half of the annual Bay Bridge Series, winning two of the games in extra innings. Since that series wrapped up, the Giants have hung around in spite of an ugly spat of injuries to remain in first place in the NL West. On the other side of the Bay, the A's have fallen apart, losing 13 of 14 games at one point and now sitting in last place in the AL West.
Since their last interleague series, the Giants have lost Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez to season-ending injuries and seen Brandon Belt and Darren Ford both go down with more short term injuries. Tim Lincecum has also struggled since the A's series after seeing his starting catcher go down. Lincecum and Bochy blame it on some basic pitch location issues, but one has to wonder if losing Posey has affected him. The good news for the Giants is that Pablo Sandoval is back off the disabled list and Ryan Vogelsong has been fairly dominant in replacing the injured Barry Zito.
Since being swept by the Giants, the A's have fired Bob Geren, seen more of their pitching staff get injured, and generally fallen into series disrepair. The team finally got back into the swing of things with a series victory over the Kansas City Royals this past weekend, but have plenty of work to do to right the ship. The most successful move they've made in the last two weeks was promoting Jemile Weeks from AAA when Mark Ellis injured his hamstring. In nine games, Weeks has a line of .344/.364/.594 and is providing a spark in the ninth spot. Throw in the strong performance of Scott Sizemore at third base since coming over via trade and the A's might have something going for the first time since early May.
The best pitching matchup this weekend will probably be Sunday when Trevor Cahill meets Matt Cain. Of course, Cahill finds himself in a bit of a tailspin, so we'll see if he can bounce back against Cain. The A's scored five runs in three games against the Giants and even those were tough to come by. Both teams have struggled to score runs this season so we could once again see some close, low-scoring ball games.
3 game series vs Giants @ Overstock.com Coliseum
San Francisco Giants
Friday, Jun 17, 2011, 7:05 PM PDT
Tim Lincecum vs Graham Godfrey
Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.
Complete Coverage >
|Sat 06/18 - Guillermo Moscoso vs. Jonathan Sanchez||7:05 PM PDT|
|Sun 06/19 - Trevor Cahill vs. Matt Cain||1:05 PM PDT|