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Recap: A’s @ Angels Game 10

April 11, 2013

Wrap: Oakland 11, Los Angeles 5. A’s 8-2 (1st Place, 1 game ahead)

If baseball had a football schedule one can say that the A’s would now be 1-0. The A’s just look unstoppable now, after losing their first two they have won every remaining one jumping out to a solid start and just besting the Rangers whom they bested by just one game too for the division crown a year ago. This team continues to mystify me, I believe and don’t believe simultaneously. The holes seem so glaring and so obvious, yet they somehow continually pull it off. The A’s just had an overall drubbing of the Angels in this one to sweep them in Orange County winning it 8-1 and outhitting the Halos 16-5. The Angels meanwhile slump to 2-8 and already find themselves six games behind Oakland. Who would of thought that on April 11th?

The Bats

Lineup vs. Jason VargasCoco Crisp CF, Chris Young RF, Jed Lowrie SS, Yoenis Cespedes LF,Brandon Moss 1B, Derek Norris C, Josh Donaldson 3B, Seth Smith DH, Andy Parrino 2B.

A’s bats could do no wrong. hitting a combined 16-for-41 (.390) with six doubles, two home runs and four walks to go with eight strikeouts. The A’s again amassed a huge number of runners in scoring position at bats going 5-for-18 (.278) and constantly keeping the Angels pitchers on their heels. Every starter had a hit in this one the offensive highlight being Smith who went 4-for-5 with two doubles. Lowrie (who also had a double), Cespedes (with a home run off of Sean Burnett), Norris (double and a stolen base), and Donaldson (with a home run off of Vargas) all had two hit games. Parrino in his first at bat of the game had a double where I liked his aggressiveness as it seemed a solid single, but he raced to second just beating the throw by Mike Trout which set the A’s up for their first run of the night when Lowrie singled him home.

The Pitching

Appearances: A.J. Griffin, Evan Scribner.

Griffin turned in a magical performance. The K’s really weren’t there (just two) but he had pinpoint control (one walk), and scattered just five hits in eight innings throwing very efficiently with just 110 pitches and 73 of them being strikes. Sort of atypical for Griffin who in my opinion seems to burn through a lot of pitches early. Griffin can’t really rely on this method for success in the future (.192 BABIP, 3.01 FIP and xFIP of 5.05) and needs to up the K’s but he has looked good in the early go sporting a 1.93 ERA and 3.99 FIP with some strange peripherals (3.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9). I have to assume the K’s come up but if he can keep the control in check, Griffin could be a very nice piece of this ballclub – something frankly I did not expect. Scribner pitched a perfect ninth.

Hero/Zero

Griffin. On a day where the team slugged sixteen hits including eight extra base hits it would be easy to pick a hero from the offensive side of the coin. But the Angels lineup, despite their early struggles (.265/.333/.407 with a .319 wOBA and 99 wRC+ – for comparison’s sake Oakland is: .292/.368/.524 with a 381 wOBA and 137 wRC+) is a formidable one and he kept them in check. Only one hitter managed more than a single, Howie Kendrick with a with a run-scoring double in the fourth and only Josh Hamilton flummoxed him (2-for-2 with a walk). If the only hitter you struggle with is Hamilton in a lineup that features Trout and Albert Pujols among others, you’ve had a good day by any measure.

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