Recap: A’s @ Angels Game 36
Most people would not have guessed that the A’s would roll into Anaheim in the middle of May finding Los Angeles in last place and Oakland in second, but that was the case. The A’s came out on top further burying the Halos in the AL West cellar as they fell to 15-21 on the year as the A’s upped their totals to 19-17 behind a 5-0 win. I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the game live in person and it was nice to see the A’s up to 4-1 when I am in attendance.
- I haven’t thought much of Tyson Ross and have been highly critical of him this year and today he did a bit to prove me wrong. Ross pitched six innings of five-hit shutout baseball adding two strikeouts while walking just one. The middling strikeout totals continue to concern me and let’s also be frank here the Angels, though we may look at them and say formidable lineup have been anything but formidable as even the A’s have outscored them in 2012 132-130, though their wOBA and wRC+ edge the A’s at .300 to .291 and 89 to 85 respectively. So Ross had a good game, against a bad team, that is something we expect of our best and average pitchers and while it is a positive we still should take this start with a grain of salt.
- Likewise the same can be said with the relief appearance of Grant Balfour in his new seventh/eighth inning role as he pitched a perfect seventh tonight including a strike out of Alberto Callaspo. All said and done it was a 12 pitch, nine strike inning for Balfour and while a positive sign, again it was against a struggling offensive team.
- The A’s offense got things started early against Dan Haren as Josh Reddick smacked his career high ninth home run over the high right field wall in the first inning to put Oakland up 1-0. Reddick has been a pleasant surprise, as many people myself included questioned whether or not we had just traded Ryan Sweeney for Ryan Sweeney. While, I was enamored of Sweeney, Reddick has proven clearly superior to him in all respects and his 1.4 WAR ties him for tops among American League right fielders with Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki.
- Seth Smith continues his hot hitting as he had two doubles off of Haren in the contest. Smith now has a .253/.395/.396 batting line and a .352 wOBA with a 127 wRC+. He made the start in left field and seems to be best suited to playing in the field as the splits for him are dramatic between being a left-fielder (.378/.489/.703 with 3 HRs) and a designated hitter (.170/.298/.191 with 0 HRs).
- Josh Donaldson getting another start with Brandon Inge nursing a sore groin (though he hit a monster shot well into the batter’s eye in center field during batting practice) went 1-for-3 with a double to raise his batting average above the .100 mark to .105.