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Braden Who?

May 15, 2011

Tyson Ross had another impressive outing, this outing being his first since learning that the man he replaced in the rotation, Dallas Braden, is undergoing surgery. Ross had seven and a third innings featuring a career high eight strikeouts – which is noteworthy as despite the strong outings his strikeout totals were very low compared to his typical experience in minor league ball and previously in the majors as well. Ross was the star today and though the offense was a lot better than we’ve seen, it still was short of exceptional, scoring six runs on ten hits, still looking for a break out where the A’s truly put another team away. But what was important and great to see, is that the A’s are still doing a good job of drawing walks drawing seven today and improving as the game went on (two off Gavin Floyd in four and a third innings, three off Tony Pena in two and two-thirds innings and then two in one inning of Chris Sale being on the mound). While the walks are great and I truly applaud them, they need to be coupled with a lot more timely hitting  more often.

Ultimately, a win is a win and the A’s won today and again moved one game above .500. It’d be better if they could build some distance between them and the .500 mark but that takes a bit of time and it really requires that they start hitting better – something I do not foresee at this time in certain spots. Mark Ellis for one, went 0-for-3 to lower his batting average to .177, yet he has now played in 38 of Oakland’s 39 games. Kevin Kouzmanoff appears to somehow be out of the doghouse, getting continual starts and though he went 1-for-3 today and stop the presses drew a walk, he remains an atrocious option at third base. Ryan Sweeney, one of the few strong hitters this year went 0-for-5 striking out twice – hopefully this doesn’t push Bob Geren back into playing poorer performing guys. It seems one bad outing and the backups short leash is gone, whereas the lengthy leash the designated starters get is at times limitless.

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