Found August 17, 2013 on
Even though the Oakland Athletics are a half game back from the AL West leaders, the Texas Rangers, A’s still have a fairly good chance of winning the AL West. The Athletics have a few tricks up their sleeve that will help them during the final countdown to the postseason, and they will ultimately squeak by the Rangers.
Young Team, More Energy
Let’s face it – compared to the Athletics, the Rangers are an old team who are known for choking. They could not compete with the young pitching of the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series, they choked in the 2011 World Series, and they floundered in September of the 2012 season. It is clear that these past three years have deflated the Rangers’ confidence. This paves the way for the younger team to take the AL West in 2013.
Additionally, the Athletics are known for having that late season spark. In August and September of 2002, the Athletics won 20-straight games and ended with a 103-59 record. Then in 2012, the Athletics overcame a five game deficit to win the AL West in less than 10 games. After having one of the best first halves the Oakland Athletics have had in while, the A’s rookies have kept the energy high for the second half of the season.
Ultimately, the lineup is already heating up. Josh Reddick has snapped out of his slump with five home runs in two games last week, and Nate Freiman has a .360 ERA for the past ten games which includes nine hits and one home run. It seems as though the late season spark has just begun.
Currently, the Oakland Athletics are 8th in the MLB for overall ERA with a 3.61 and 3rd when it comes to WHIP. The A’s currently have a 1.20 average WHIP. This bullpen is definitely one of the best in the AL West. Even though they lost Brett Anderson to an injury and had Tommy Milone designated to Triple-A, the Athletics pitching has been solid with glimpses of brilliance.
There are three A’s pitchers that have certainly carried the bullpen. Bartolo Colon, Grant Balfour, and Sonny Gray have set the bar high for the Athletics’ pitching rotation. At 40-years-old, Colon had a win streak that lasted from May 9th to July 3rd and was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for June. Closer Grant Balfour has 31 saves out of 32 chances this season, and was on the American League All-Star team. Late addition Sonny Gray was brought up from Triple-A mid-season and has proven that he was meant to pitch in the MLB. Gray has a 1.00 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP in 18 innings pitched. Even though these pitchers are definitely the stars of the bullpen this year, the Athletics’ pitching has been strong and consistent overall.
The Athletics made some clutch changes to their lineup and bullpen half way through the season. Even though these changes showed little effect in the beginning, it is now clear that these changes are benefiting the Athletics. The key changes were moving Sonny Gray up from Triple-A and acquiring Alberto Callaspo.
Alberto Callaspo came to the Athletics dugout just before the trade deadline. Even though he was initially seen as a bonus to the A’s lineup, he has become a familiar member to the lineup after multiple Athletics acquired injuries within the span on a couple weeks. With a solid .249 ERA and .323 OBP, Callaspo has been a consistent player for the Athletics.
Sonny Gray was the bright light when he came in as a mid-game reliever in late July in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gray pitched two scoreless innings, but was sent back to Triple-A shortly after. This was just a taste of the talent Gray would bring to the A’s bullpen. Then in August, Gray made his first MLB start. He was able to strike out five over six strong innings.
Gray earned his first major league win on August 16th when he threw 118 pitchers over eight innings. Gray was able to strikeout nine and only allowed four hits. With Gray now a regular in the pitching rotation, the Athletics have a great chance of taking the AL West.
While the AL West leaders the Texas Rangers play 16 games against teams with a .500 record or higher throughout September, the A’s play only seven games against teams with a .500 or higher record. Additionally, the Athletics have home field advantage in more than half of the games they will play in September. This could not only boost them ahead of the Rangers, but could help provide a repeat of the 2002 season.
The stars seem to be aligned for this underdog team. With about six weeks left in the season, the Athletics have plenty of time to surpass the Rangers in order to win the AL West.
BEST OF MAXIM
Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso is likely to be sidelined another three to four weeks and perhaps for the remainder of the season as he recovers from a lingering concussion.
Jaso flew to Pittsburgh on Monday to be examined by renowned concussion expert Dr. Micky Collins after the catcher experienced nausea, dizziness, headaches and vision problems when he tried to play catch...
Oakland Athletics shortstop Eric Sogard snags a soft liner off the bat of Chris Carter and then is sent tumbling by the broken bat. The wayward Louisville Slugger skipped toward Sogard just as he was going to unleash a throw across the diamond.
The post Athletics Eric Sogard Sent Tumbling By Stray Bat appeared first on Baseball Hot Corner.
Dan Straily is an important member of the Oakland A’s future, although the numbers may not show it. He is only 24 years old, and has scorched through Triple A ball and is trying to prove his worth to the city and to his teammates but no pitcher in the American League can win a game by himself. Oakland needs their offense to come alive now more than ever
Straily is 0-5 in...
Oakland Athletics shortstop Eric Sogard got taken down by an airborne broken bat during yesterday’s A’s-Astros game, creating a pretty funny sequence for the Internets to enjoy. It’s always pretty scary to see a sharp piece of lumber flying through the air in the direction of a human being but, fortunately for Sogard, he avoided any serious injury.
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Prior to the game Saturday afternoon, A’s manager Bob Melvin that A’s ace pitcher, Bartolo Colon, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list following a straining groin that he suffered Friday while doing flat-ground work.
“He came in today and it was sore again, so this is the prudent thing to do,” Melvin said during his pre-game media session.
“He certainly doesn’t...
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) --Chris Young and Alberto Callaspo homered in the fifth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 7-3 on Sunday.
Jed Lowrie, batting leadoff for only the third time this season, had two hits and scored twice for Oakland. Josh Donaldson drove in three runs as the A's pulled within a half-game of AL West-leading Texas.
Young hit his 11th home...
Sonny Gray is the rookie with all eyes on him since he was recalled this month but it was another first-year player who provided Gray with the backing for his first major-league win.
Rule-5 first baseman Nate Freiman whacked a two-run double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third helping the A's beat the Astros 5-0 and prevent a Houston sweep. Freiman finished...
Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer in the first, Eric Sogard put Oakland ahead on a seventh-inning double and the Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Friday night.
Former A's fan favorite Nick Swisher tied the game at 2 in the seventh with an RBI single, and winner Sean Doolittle (4-4) walked the bases loaded before getting out of it with only the one run. Swisher,...
Following their 3-2 victory Friday evening, the A’s were looking to make it three straight wins Saturday in front of a sold out crowd. The coliseum gates opened early to allow the fans to catch a glimpse at the normally closed A’s batting practice sessions. Those that showed up in time for the show, and judging by the lines outside the coliseum of fans hoping to snag one of the...
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Stephen Vogt can really fly. Especially for a catcher, as he cheerfully points out.
With the game tied in the seventh, Vogt took off from first on Eric Sogard's two-out double and beat the throw home to score the go-ahead run in Oakland's 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
"I can run," Vogt said, smiling. "I played...
With the club looking to a avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros, Sonny Gray (0-1, 1.80 ERA) gets the call for the Oakland A’s.
The rookie right-hander took the loss on Saturday in his starting debut as the team fell 5-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays. The 2011 first-round pick went six innings allowing four runs, of which just two were earned as he gave up four...
Daniel Bryan commented to NBC Sports Radio on whether or not he and John Cena got along when they all hung out with their girlfriends, Brie and Nikki Bella.
“Sometimes, but we also have very different opinions on life,” Bryan said. “It’s interesting because the closer you get to somebody, the more that you know how different you are, and we’re very different people.”...