The Oakland Athletics are 8-9 on the season while the Los Angeles Angels are struggling at 6-10. The Angels are in last place in the AL West, and while it is only 16 games into the season, this is certainly not the start that they had anticipated when signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson this winter. I am not saying it will continue, but the Angels are playing terrible baseball and the Swingin’ A’s are playing…..well, I guess they’re playing baseball.
The A’s had lost two games to the Cleveland Indians before Sunday’s 5-1 win. Tyson Ross gave himself a wonderful birthday gift by going 6 2/3 innings with four hits and one earned. Travis Hafner doubled to right, which brought in Shin Soo Choo for the lone run on the visitors side. Justin Masterson lacked control, allowing six hits to five different batters, two belonging to Kurt Suzuki and a long ball down the right field line crushed by Seth Smith. Smith’s first homerun of the season ended a 45 game drought. Masterson’s ERA sits at 6.65, his WHIP is 1.62, and he is 0-2 in four starts this season. The A’s scored in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings and added one more run in the 8th for a 5-1 win. Cliff Pennington, Kurt Suzuki, and Seth Smith provided the offense in front of the 24,049 fans in attendance, which is up about 1,000 from last seasons average attendance.
The A’s are 6-0 when scoring the first run of the game this season, but today they played from behind and pulled out a win. Stolen bases held a lot of value in this game, with Oakland thieving 4 bags on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Cliff Pennington grabbed two, Yoenis Cespedes proved he’s more than just a power bat adding one to bring his team leading total to 4, and Josh Reddick added another to his season total. The A’s lead the AL with 18 swipes on 22 attempts. This aggressive running style is going to help the A’s all season long, especially if they can find some offense. This will put some pressure on opposing teams and hopefully Oakland can capitalize on some mistakes.
Winning two out of three against average to below-average teams will help keep the A’s in contention all season long. Obviously baseball is about winning, if the A’s can bring in a couple series wins against the less talented teams and squeak a couple series out against teams like the Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox, maybe they will be a topic of conversation come September. For now, fans of the Green and Gold, be excited that The Elephants are playing as well as they are.