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Recap: Mariners @ A’s Game 4

April 4, 2013

Wrap: Oakland 8, Seattle 2. A’s 2-2 (2nd Place (tie), 1/2 game back)

A’s salvage a split with the M’s by winning in strong fashion this afternoon in a game threatened by rain but that ultimately was seen through to completion. The A’s took an early lead and never looked back before piling on late and spoiling the MLB debut of Brandon Maurer. A.J. Griffin had a solid outing though he too failed to contain Michael Morse who homered (can anyone stop him? Wow!). All in all not a particularly interesting game as it was devoid of intrigue, but I think anyone will take a boring win over a thrilling loss.

The Bats

Lineup vs. Maurer: Coco Crisp CF, Jed Lowrie SS, Josh Reddick RF, Yoenis Cespedes DH, Brandon Moss 1B, Chris Young LF, John Jaso C, Josh Donaldson 3B, Eric Sogard 2B.

Just looking at this lineup, I liked its composition more than others we’ve seen this short season. I really think Young is the type of player we need to see more not less of, and he was 1-for-3 with a double in this contest. Lowrie continues to be the real big bat in the A’s lineup and went 2-for-4 leaving his season slash line (oh the joy that is small sample sizes) at .462/.533/1.000 with a .635 wOBA and 329 wRC+ for 0.5 WAR. He is on pace for 20.3 WAR right now, my guess is he likely slows down, but this is fun to watch. Reddick and Cespedes both added homers in this one and the team solved the RISP problem going 3-for-3 in that situation.

The Pitching

Appearances: Griffin, Sean Doolittle, Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook.

Griffin did his thing being good but not great and ending up with a W. Six innings, two runs both earned, seven hits one a home run, two walks and three K’s is nothing to scoff at. Nothing to set the world on fire with either. How long Griffin can keep this act up will go a long way to determining just how good he will be. My guess is this is an act that is destined to fall flat. In 2012 when Griffin went 7-1 his run support was 5.6 over a run above league average (4.5) and significantly higher than Travis Blackley (5.1) and Jarrod Parker (4.7) the only other A’s starters north of league average. Again this year Griffin finds himself atop the run support standings in Oakland. Doolittle and Blevins looked solid but most impressive was Cook who was a much different pitcher than the one we saw last who could not find the strikzone with a map and compass. Today Cook needed 14 pitches, 10 for strikes to strike out the side, it was the 8-9-1 hitters and it was Kelly Shoppach (33.4% career K%), Robert Andino (20.5% career K%) and Michael Saunders (26.2% career K%) but nonetheless better than last time out.

Hero/Zero

Hero is Reddick. Reddick got the A’s on the board first with a two-run shot for his first of the season and they didn’t look back. Reddick then doubled in Lowrie in the sixth before an eighth inning sacrifice fly plated Crisp. Can’t complain with a 2-for-3 day and four driven in. Griffin just wasn’t impressive enough to warrant hero status and Reddick was the standout in what was pretty much a balanced offensive attack.

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