Exactly one week ago, the Athletics were reeling from being swept by the Texas Rangers. The A’s then went to Houston, a place they have had great success and split the series with the Astros. Questions surrounded the Athletics heading into this week’s series in Arlington. Those questions look quite silly after the effort put forth by our Oakland A’s to start this week.
In each game, the Athletics offense worked the count on the opposing starting pitcher, causing them to hit the showers early, while the Athletics starters were utterly dominant.
In Monday’s win, Sonny Gray pitched his first career complete game, allowing just 3 hits in the process. Holding this Ranger offense scoreless is quite a feat. Allowing only 3 hits just adds to the burgeoning Legend of Sonny Gray.
Tuesday night, Scott Kazmir allowed 3 runs in 5 IP, but was buoyed by the 9 runs the A’s put on the board by the end of the 5th. 8 of those runs came against Martin Perez, who came in to the game boasting a 26 inning scoreless streak, which included a complete game 3 hitter against these same Athletics just a week prior.
In the final game of the series, Jesse Chavez dominated the Ranger bats, going 7 innings allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk. Adding Chavez to the rotation was done out of necessity, but he has shined with the new opportunity.
Texas starter Robbie Ross was the victim of poor defense, allowing 10 runs (6ER) in 3.1 IP. This series was a matchup of the top 3 starters in each rotation. The A’s offense added a full run to each opposing starter’s ERA in this series.
The trio of Gray (1.76), Chavez (1.89) and Kazmir (2.11) now rank 2, 3 and 6 respectively in ERA in the AL.
The Athletics now sit at 18-10 and lead the AL West by 3 games over these same Texas Rangers. With all of the issues the Athletics have had this season, mainly in the bullpen, to be 8 games over .500 after the first month of the season is quite remarkable. Despite the injuries to Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin who will both be out for the season, this team has the look of a postseason contender yet again.