Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 1: Where We Begin

August 12

Oakland A's:
67-50. 1 GB of Texas for the AL West. Leading AL Wild Card race.

The A's were the only one of my trio to play today, so I thought we'd do a short 'Get to know em'

Lineup against lefty JA Happ

Chris Young, CF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Josh Donaldson, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Nate Freiman, 1B
Josh Reddick, RF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Stephen Vogt, C
Eric Sogard, 2B

-Chris Young led off today's match with a homer, but he's only playing because Coco Crisp jammed his wrist yesterday. Crisp had led off the  precious 37 games.

-Lowrie, Donaldson and Cespedes have occupied the middle of the order for the majority of the season and seem to be there for the long haul. Lowrie has split his time between the 2 and 3 slot depending on the handedness of the opposing pitcher. Same goes for righties Donaldson and Cespedes.

-Missing from this lineup are lefties with power Seth Smith (often DH) and Brandon Moss (1B) which shows that manager Bob Melvin seems to play to the platoon advantage. However, Melvin did pencil in lefty Vogt over right handed hitter Derek Norris at catcher. Something to keep an eye on.

-It's fairly evident that the lineup is lacking the same kind of pop we see with the Red Sox, but if Josh Reddick can ride his recent hot streak that may help ease the pain.

Starting today was Dan Straily. He's a young guy who's career is marked by his domination of the minors but merely decent 'stuff'. He relies primarily on a well-located fastball and slider but also mixes in the occasional changeup. Straily is likely to stay in the rotation for the balance of the season, based on the A's need for starters.

We also saw a couple of Oakland's better relievers in Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle because the game tied 1-1 until the top of the ninth. This is a deep bullpen.

The Pirates added Andrew Lambo to their roster over the weekend. He'll play tomorrow (Tuesday). Lambo's an interesting case as a prospect who took a long time to develop but might have finally figured it out. Lambo's hit 31 home runs between AA and AAA this season. For comparison, Twins uber-prospect Miguel Sano is getting huge recognition for hitting 29 in the same time frame. That said, it's an imperfect comparison because Lambo is 5 years Sano's senior. Nevertheless, Lambo adds some much needed pop to right field in Pittsburgh where Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have added none.

I'm not sure what I just wrote, or what this 'daily' business will evolve into. I hope it's less jotting down topical thoughts and more to do with the ups and downs of a playoff team.

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