Here at Swingin’ A’s, my fellow co-editor Jason Burke writes articles called “week in review” which has inspired me to start “week preview” to be posted early Monday Mornings. with the exception of this one, which is on a Tuesday morning.
So what does this week look like for the Athletics? Well we have a 3 game series against the Chicago White Sox, in which the Athletics took game 1 in a thrilling and nerve wrecking 5-4 win.
The White Sox are a good team this year, having the best offense in the American League so far, leading the league with 201 runs scored. Jose Abreu is the biggest threat, and he showed that in the first game where he started a 3 run rally in the 9th, with a solo home run.
The White Sox have to go up against Drew Pomeranz in game 2. Pomeranz has been excellent this season, and it will be his first start in the rotation since replacing Dan Straily. This will be an exciting one to watch, because we will get to see how the newest piece of the rotation does. The Athletics are also riding a 5 game win streak, and any time you have a win streak going, games are only that much more exciting to watch. We’ll see if they can make it 6.
They will have the final game of the series, throwing Tommy Milone on the mound. This game will also be exciting to watch, because we will get to see if Milone truly has bounced back, or if last week was just a one time thing. Also, if the Athletics win game 2, it will be a game in which they go for yet another sweep, and a 7 game win streak.
After facing the White Sox to start the week, the Athletics will travel to Cleveland. They started the season off against the Indians, and that didn’t go so well. The Indians took 2 of 3, including Opening Night. The Athletics should have taken at least 2 of 3, but Jim Johnson blew a 3 run lead and caused the Athletics to lose. He also gave up the only runs of the first game, in which the Athletics lost because of those only runs.
Oakland now knows better than to throw Johnson out there in a close game. He nearly cost the Athletics yet another lead against the White Sox Monday, where he gave up two consecutive hits, which led to the White Sox coming within just a base hit of tying the whole thing up. Johnson will not be closing out games against Cleveland, Bob Melvin should know better than that now.
Cleveland will have to face a sizzling Sonny Gray, which they failed to score against in their first game on Opening Night. They will also have face their own former pitcher, Scott Kazmir. He is just as hot as Sonny Gray, and they will have just as much trouble scoring runs off of him. Then we have Jesse Chavez, who just went 8 innings against the highest scoring offense in the league, limiting them to only 2 runs. Cleveland won’t get a series win this time, the Athletics are much more prepared now.
Also, Cleveland will have to go against the best pitching staff in the American League without Jason Kipnis, who was a thorn in Oakland’s side when they first met this season.
If Oakland plays their best baseball, they have the chance to sweep two teams that are both under .500 and with that, a 10 game win streak. That will only happen if the Offense stays hot, the rotation remains superb, and if Bob Melvin chooses who comes in from the bullpen carefully. That means no Jim Johnson to save a 1 run game. That would mean snapping the win streak.
So what does this upcoming week have in store for us? Potentially a 10 game win streak. More than likely at least 2 series wins and the Athletics go 4-2. I don’t see them dropping a series to either of these teams, and they can’t afford to if they want to stay in 1st, with both the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners playing some really good baseball right now.