AL Wildcard Game Recap: All Your Bases Belong to Us

A's, Recaps, Royals
In perhaps what was one of the most exciting wildcard games ever, the Royals topped the Athletics in 12 innings last night in Kansas City. Below is my recap of the game, though I will admit I missed innings 7-10 (approximately) since I had the unfortunate timing of softball game last night. Innings 1-5: Pitch Off Post season games are generally regarded as pitching games and the start of the AL Wildcard game was no exception.  While both pitchers did give up runs in the first inning (including one of two Brandon Moss homeruns), the score remained relatively low early on.  James shields was a little shaky the first two innings, throwing 45 pitches and 27 strikes.  However, he got pretty dialed in and only needed 35 pitches over the…
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Angels Game #159: See you soon A’s?

A's, Angels
The Angels bounced back this week and took two out of three from the Oakland Athletics.  Considering the A's are likely headed toward a 1 game playoff with Kansas City, there is a chance we could see the A's again next Thursday in Anaheim.  So what about last night's game? The Good: I'm still not fooled into thinking Hector Santiago is a great starter but he did pitch a pretty solid (and scoreless) 5.1 innings yesterday while giving up only 2 walks and 3 hits. Howie Kendrick went two for 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs and a double.  If Scioscia brings back Hamilton to the #4 spot in the playoffs I will personally kick his ass. Mike Trout!  He hit, he scored - he even stole a base!  Hey,…
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The Sinking Athletics

A's
What is going on in Oakland?  What happened to the team that just a few weeks ago was the best in baseball and held that spot much of the season? In the past 3 weeks, the AL West has seen a 9 game shift with the Angels going from 4 games back to 5 games up. During that time, the Angels scored 90 runs while the A's scored 76.  Angels pitchers allowed only 57 runs over 20 games while the A's allowed 89 runs.  It's wasn't long before August 10th that many said the A's had the best pitching staff in baseball, but it appears the wheels have fallen off in Oakland. The A's are a dismal 7-14 since August 10th and their slide that took them from the best…
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Angels Demolish the A’s

A's, Angels
Last weekend while I was away playing baseball in Rockford, Illinois, the Angels were playing their own baseball games in Anaheim.  And were they ever!  Before the series, there was a big question mark with an unknown starter set for game 3 of the matchup.  No one would have been surprised if the Angels dropped a game, or even if the two teams split the series.  Not only did the Angels sweep the Athletics, they embarrassed them.  Consider some stats: 19 = Number of Angels runs 4 = Number of A's Runs 29 = Number of consecutive scoreless innings the Angels pitched 2 = Number of shutout games 1 = Number of A's players with extra base hits (Donaldson) The Angels owned the A's all weekend.  The only exception was the…
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Angels/A’s Pitching Preview

A's, Angels, pitching
The two best teams in baseball happen to be in the same division and they have a very important 4 game series coming up this weekend at the Big A. In preparation for the series, the A's made a great move by calling up Drew Pomeranz (because they like pitchers with Zs in their name) to be a sixth starter which lines up their 4 best pitchers for this weekend's matchup.  The Angels will now face Gray, Lester, Kazmir and Samardzija. How about the Angels?  Nothing is certain at this point, especially with the lackluster outing from LeBlanc last night. Does he pitch again this week?  Against the A's?? Shoemaker is pitching tonight and Santiago is slated for tomorrow, which means the series lineup for the Angels looks like Wilson,…
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What happened to the Angels and A’s?

A's, Angels
What is happening to the best two teams in baseball?  Both the Angels and A's have struggled since All Star break.  The Angels and A's went from 1st and 3rd OBP in the AL to 6th and 13th.  They went from 1st and 2nd runs scored to 15th and 3rd.  Comparing other numbers as well you will see the drop - though the Angels have had more significant drops while at the same time gaining ground (and passing) the A's for the best team in baseball.  Looking at some pitching stats, the Angels have staying in 3rd for WHIP and the A's dropped from 2nd to 7th while supposedly having the best rotation in baseball.  The Angels ERA has gone down from  3.84 (pre) to 3.02 (post), while the A's…
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The two best teams make pitching moves

A's, Angels, pitching
In recent weeks, the two teams holding the best two records in baseball have made some moves to help assure their spot in the post season. The A's have not made a lot of transactions but they DID make one big one on July 4th.  Despite having the best record in baseball, they were not content to sit by and wonder if their record and inexperienced pitching staff would hold up into October, so they traded away Dan Straily (P), Addison Russell (SS), Billy McKinney (OF), and a player to be named later to the Cubs for All Star Jeff Samardzija (P) and Jason Hammel (P).  Both Samardzija and Hammel arguably have been top 10 pitchers in the NL this year and are likely to benefit from the A's offense…
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