Surprise, surprise. The Oakland Athletics are heading into Anaheim to face the Angels tonight while sporting a 3-1 record and cast of strong pitchers and timely hitters. The A’s took three games from the Seattle Mariners in the first series of the 2010 season, and the A’s will look to continue their winning ways against another AL West rival.
Whenever the A’s come down to Anaheim, it’s always special since I’m a SoCal resident myself. For some reason, the A’s usually tend to play really well against the Angels at Angel Stadium. The A’s come into the second series of the 2010 season with a 3-1 record and the hope that they can continue the momentum in their favor. The A’s strong pitching and timely hitting has them in a good position to start of the season on the right foot.
Gio Gonzalez, who won the fifth spot in the A’s rotation after Trevor Cahill was put on the DL, will get the nod tonight for Oakland. Gio’s success will depend on whether or not he can keep his emotions in check. Gonzalez is a talent young southpaw with a big breaking ball that can usually get hitters swinging. In two career starts against the Angels, Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA. The A’s will look for Gio to extend the current team winning streak to four games. Mind you, last season the A’s spent only one day above .500 for the entire season.
The AL West, which is considered by most analysts to be extremely tough this year, has belonged to the Angels for the past three seasons. The A’s, Mariners and Rangers all improved this offseason and are all vying for the Halos’ division crown. This series should give an idea of how the A’s stack up to the Angels this year.
In other baseball related news:
Former A’s player, Matt Holliday, belted his first homer of the season in Thursday’s game against the Reds.
Former A’s ace, Tim Hudson, will be making his first start of the 2010 season against the Giants (@ SF). Hudson looked really good all spring, so I’m expecting the Braves to hand the Giants their first loss of the season.
Former A’s player, Rich Harden last only 3.1 innings in his Rangers debut. He did, however, manage to strikeout eight batters.
The A’s probable pitchers for this A’s-Angels series: Gio Gonzalez (Friday), Ben Sheets (Saturday), Dallas Braden (Sunday).
**Oh yeah, I’m also now contributing over at FanSided’s LA Dodgers site, Lasorda’s Lair! Be sure to stop by and see the site!