To say the least, things have not been going very well for the Oakland Athletics over the past few days. They were swept by their division rivals the Los Angeles Angels in three games at the O.co Coliseum and they were outscored 21-5. The A’s struggled to receive clutch hits as they were terrible with runners in scoring position, the bullpen looked very shaky and as you thought things could not get much worse, they lose Brandon McCarthy after he was struck in the head by a line drive in the 4th inning of Wednesday’s game. I believe it is safe to say that things are not going to get any easier for the Athletics due to the fact that they will face King Felix in the first game of the series against the Mariners.
Since the All-star Break the Athletics have the best record in the American League with a 33-17 record. Yes, they didn’t look like one of the best teams in the past three games, but they had just won their previous nine games before that. That gives the A’s a 9-3 record over their past twelve games, which really doesn’t sound all that bad. But like I said earlier, it will not be easy to get back into the winning column and tomorrow’s game should reflect that as it looks like it will be a good old-fashioned pitchers duel.
The Athletics will be sending the rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin to the mound for game one of the 3-game series against Seattle. Griffin, who pitched his first game since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 1st against the Red Sox, pitched one of his best games in his brief big league career. He pitched 7 innings, gave up one earned run and struck out five while not allowing a single free pass. Griffin has pitched tremendously well all year and he will enter Friday night’s game 4-0 with a 2.26 ERA.
Making the start for the Seattle Mariners will be Mr. Perfect himself, Felix Hernandez. To no surprise King Felix has pitched brilliantly all season long and after pitching a perfect game on Aug. 15th, he has shown no symptoms of “post-perfect game syndrome” whatsoever. In his last three starts since throwing his perfect game, Hernandez has a 2-1 record with a 1.88 ERA and 17 strikeouts. Lets not forget to mention that in his second start after his perfect game he recorded his American League leading 5th shutout. He is 13-6 with a 2.51 ERA on the season.
DownSide: The Athletics lost Brandon McCarthy, they have lost three games in a row and they only scored a combined total of five runs in that series. They will also have to face one of the best pitchers in all of baseball on Friday night.
UpSide: Since the All-Star Break the A’s have the best record in the American League and they still hold one of the American League Wild Card spots.
Saturday, Sept. 8th, 6:10 PM
Sunday, Sept. 9th, 1:10 pm