The Oakland Athletics will start a 4-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tomorrow and they will be looking to get revenge. The A’s were in the midst of a 9-game winning streak before it was rudely interrupted by the soaring Angels about a week ago. Not only did the winning streak come to an end, but it sparked a 3-game losing streak, a collapse of the Athletics’ bullpen, and it was then that Brandon McCarthy was hospitalized after being struck in the head by a line drive. As I said before, it was a very bad span of three days for the Athletics and their fans. Fortunately, the past three days have been much different.
Oakland has started another winning streak. Yes, it may only be a streak of three games but you have to start somewhere and lets not forget it is coming promptly after their losing streak of three games as well. They also didn’t do it against just anyone. They did it against the Seattle Mariners. Ok, so maybe the Mariners are a last place team but that does not appropriately sum up the challenge the A’s conquered in the last three days. Not only was the team dealing with the emotional discomfort of one of their teammates and friends being hospitalized, but they were also facing a team that had won six of their past ten games, they had to face King Felix in the first game, they also had to face Hisashi Iwakuma in the second game, who had been pitching very well since making the switch from the bullpen to the starting rotation, and last but not least, they had to face Jason Vargas in the third game and he has dominated the Athletics all year. I think it is safe to say that the A’s are back on track. So far, they are 3-0 on what will be a 7-game road trip by weeks end. The Oakland Athletics will try to get revenge on the Angels, who have won six in a row, and end their winning streak and sweep them just like the Angels did to the A’s a week ago.
Jarrod Parker will be taking the mound in the first game for the Oakland Athletics. Parker, who started off his rookie season incredibly strong, has really been quite inconsistent in his last ten starts. The A’s have pushed his starts back to allow him more time to rest and they have even gone as far as skipping him in the rotation in hopes of freshening up his arm. Although he has not been consistent, he has shown signs that he can still get the job done. In his last start, which happened to come against the Angels, Parker pitched extremely well despite receiving the loss. He pitched seven strong innings, gave up two earned runs while allowing eight scattered hits and striking out five. Parker is 9-8 with a 3.67 ERA on the year.
The Angels will be sending Dan Haren to the mound for the first game of the series. He also has had a very inconsistent year. The ex-Oakland A’s pitcher, is one of many Angels’ starters in the rotation that have had a tough time finding consistent success in 2012. In his last ten starts, Haren has shown more signs of consistency, but has also allowed the opposing team to put up more crooked numbers against him than he would like. He is a respectable 5-3 in his last ten starts but he also owns an ERA of 4.83 in that span as well. Luckily for the Angels, he has been more consistent and has pitched much better in his last three starts. Haren is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA and has 17 strike outs in his past three starts. On the season, Haren is 10-10 with a 4.46 ERA.
DownSide: The Angels are still hot and they have a 6-game winning streak going which includes a 3-game sweep of the A’s.
UpSide: The Athletics are coming off of a sweep of the mariners in which they outscored them 16-4 in the three games.
Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 7:05 PM
Dan Straily (1-0, 3.18 ERA) vs To Be Announced
Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 7:05 PM
A.J. Griffin (5-0, 2.21 ERA) vs To Be Announced
Thursday, Sept. 13th, 12:35 PM
To Be Announced vs C.J. Wilson (12-9, 3.69 ERA)