The week for the Athletics started off poorly, with the Seattle Mariners taking 3 of 4 at O.Co. After a much needed day off, the A’s bats woke up and outscored the Nationals 21-4 over the weekend’s series sweep.
The Athletics, and particularly Derek Norris, welcomed Gio Gonzalez back home in Sunday’s finale. Norris blasted two 3-run shots on 3-0 counts that both gave the Athletics a healthy lead, and sent Gonzalez to the dugout in a fit. Gio finished his afternoon giving up 7 runs in just 4.1 innings, and left with an ERA of 3.97 on the season. Gonzalez wasn’t sharp, often falling behind batters, allowing the A’s to wait him out for a pitch to hit.
In case you hadn’t heard, when the A’s traded Gio Gonzalez to the Nats, Derek Norris was one of the players the A’s received. Tommy Milone was also in that deal, along with Brad Peacock. The A’s traded Peacock a year later along with a couple others, to land Jed Lowrie and recently promoted Fernando Rodriguez.
With his 2 HR, 6 RBI day, Norris now has 4 HR and 19 RBI on the season to go with his impressive .385 BA. To put that in perspective, San Francisco Giants’ darling Buster Posey is hitting .305 after a recent surge, and has tallied 7 HR and 19 RBI. The Athletics’ part-time catcher is outperforming a perennial MVP candidate.
Couple Norris on Sunday with John Jaso‘s weekend and you have quite a duo behind the dish. While in the leadoff spot, Jaso hit a solo shot on Friday night, and on Saturday with the A’s trailing early, hit another. In extra innings, he supplied the game-winning hit off the wall in right.
On Friday night, Tommy Milone proved a point. Milone started the game with an ERA of 5.86, but at night’s end he had lowered it by over a run to a much more respectable 4.54. He pitched 8 innings of 2 hit ball while striking out 7 and walking 3. The Athletics scored more runs than the Nationals had base runners. The point Milone proved is that he belongs in the rotation. It may have also been a “Thank You” performance for sending Dan Straily to Triple-A instead of himself.
What? Dan Straily is in Sacramento? Why, yes. Hadn’t you heard? If you’re a regular of the site, you’ve noticed all of the coverage of Drew Pomeranz seemingly every time he looks at a baseball. Pomeranz looking at a baseball. Covered.
It was announced on Friday that Pomeranz will be added to the rotation in Straily’s spot. With how well Pomeranz has been pitching this season, this move gives fans some hope that the bottom of the rotation will be able to keep up with the top-3.
This coming week, the A’s face the White Sox to start the week at home, and the Indians to close out the week on the road. The White Sox have a run-producing offense, and a run-giving-up pitching staff. It should be an interesting series. The Indians have been struggling since they left Oakland to begin the season. Hopefully this time around, the series sways in the A’s favor.