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Athletics vs. Tigers, Series Recap: A's Split Behind Inconsistent Offense

The Oakland Athletics wrapped up a four-game series at home with the Detroit Tigers, managing to secure a split in spite of losing the first two games of the series. Over the course of four games, the A’s managed to show the good, the bad, and the ugly of their team. We got to see inept offense followed by an extra-base explosion. We saw a bullpen implosion on back-to-back nights, followed by a strong weekend of bullpen work. The only consistency was very solid starting pitching, which has come to be expected by the A’s.

A’s Pitcher of the Series: Brandon McCarthy, Trevor Cahill – There was no way a bullpen pitcher was getting this spot, so it came down to the four starters that pitched this series. Gio Gonzalez lowered his ERA to a ridiculous 0.47, but had six walks that prevented him from going deeper and potentially hanging around for a win. Dallas Braden got out of some jams, but struggled courtesy of shoulder issues that are officially a concern.

I went with both McCarthy and Cahill because they each put together strong performances this weekend. McCarthy continues his resurgence, as he went 6 2/3 innings on Friday, striking out seven and giving up six hits and no runs. He’s pitching as well as he has in a long time and deserved the win Friday night. Trevor Cahill stuck around long enough for some insurance runs, going eight innings and giving up one run on four hits with nine strikeouts. He’s alternated strong and poor performances and will look to get some consistency this week in his next start.

A’s Hitter of the Series: David DeJesus – The offense had its fair share of struggles, but DeJesus spent the weekend slowly working his way out of the initial funk he was in to start the season. He’s still got work to do, but his five hits, two runs, and three RBIs led the team this weekend. That says as much about the A’s overall performance as it does DeJesus’ individual performance.

Upcoming Schedule: The A’s get their first day off since April 4 and then wrap up this short six game home stand with two games against the Boston Red Sox. The series will feature Brett Anderson versus John Lackey and Gio Gonzalez versus Clay Buchholz. The first game will be at 7:05pm pacific on CSN Plus (due to Sharks playoff game) and the second game will be at 12:35pm on CSN California.

Notable Number: 3-4 – The A’s now sit at 3-4 at home thanks to the split of this series. They are 5-4 on the road. The team started the season off poorly in general but seemed to improve their road play over the course of the nine game road trip. The team struggled quite a bit on the road last year, so it’s a good sign that they got off to a solid start with the 5-4 road trip. The key now is gaining some level of consistency both at home and on the road. This Tigers series showed the inconsistencies that need to be addressed.

Series Results
Thursday: Tigers 3 – A’s 0
WP: Phil Coke (1-2)
LP: Tyson Ross (1-1)
Sv: Jose Valverde (3)

Friday: Tigers 8 – A’s 4 (F/10)
WP: Brayan Villarreal (1-0)
LP: Brian Fuentes (0-2)

Saturday: A’s 6 – Tigers 2
WP: Dallas Braden (1-1)
LP: Justin Verlander (1-2)

Sunday: A’s 5 – Tigers 1
WP: Trevor Cahill (2-0)
LP: Brad Penny (0-2)