Oakland Goes For Second Straight Series Sweep Against Angels: Game Preview


October 3, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin (64) pitches the ball against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics have been on a quite a run over the past week, and the Los Angeles Angels are getting desperate for a win after losing to the A’s 11-5 Wednesday night to put them at the bottom of the American League after eight games with prospects that look increasingly bleak.

As the adage goes, you can’t win the division in April, but you can certainly lose it, and the Angels are in danger of taking themselves out of the playoff race before we even get to the All-Star break.  The A’s, on the other hand, can do no wrong, and they’ve been nothing short of amazing at the plate as they lead the majors in home runs (16), RBI’s (57), OPS (.859), and are tied with the Atlanta Braves for largest run differential at +26.

Meanwhile, the Angels are struggling, which is a surprising for a team with two former MVP’s and the reigning AL Rookie of the Year.  They’ve had to endure injuries to Jered Weaver and starting shortstop Erick Aybar this week, and a slow start has morphed into a frustrating inability to bring baserunners home. Now, their fans are likely wondering if they’ll be on the outside looking in come October because of another disappointing start out of the gate.

A.J. Griffin will pitch on six days’ rest for the A’s, and the 25 year-old right-hander will be try to get his ninth career win after winning his first start of the season against the Seattle Mariners.  He’ll go against Jason Vargas for the Angels, who came over in the offseason from Seattle and will get his first start with his new team in their home stadium.  He allowed one run on eight hits with four strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers.

Coco Crisp will lead things off for the A’s at the plate, and the veteran center fielder has set the tone for the club on offense, scoring in seven straight games and belting four home runs.  Crisp is not known for his power – he’s never had more than 16 homers in a season – so his performance is indicative of how successful the team has been as of late.

Andy Parrino will get his first start of the season in the Majors, coming up from Triple-A Sacramento after Scott Sizemore was put on the disabled list with a torn ACL for the second straight year.  He’ll bat ninth and start at second base after seeing some action late in last night’s game at shortstop.

Oakland currently has the best record in the American League at 7-2, and if they finish off the sweep there will be a serious reassessment of how far they can go with a group that came within one game of making the ALCS in 2012.  First pitch is at 7:05.


Oakland Athletics

1. C. Crisp             CF

2. C. Young           RF

3. J. Lowrie            SS

4. Y. Cespedes      LF

5. B. Moss             1B

6. D. Norris             C

7. J. Donaldson     3B

8. S. Smith            DH

9. A. Parrino          2B

Los Angeles Angels

1. A. Callaspo        3B

2. M. Trout             LF

3. A. Pujols            1B

4. J. Hamilton         RF

5. M. Trumbo         DH

6. H. Kendrick        2B

7. C. Iannetta          C

8. P. Bourjos          CF

9. A. Romine          SS