ALDS Preview: Oakland v. Detroit

Lineup

There’s a perception out there that the Tigers have an overwhelming offensive advantage in this series. While Detroit will pump out some serious power in the form of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Alex Avila it’s hardly an offensive mismatch. Consider the following chart from Beaneball.org:

Position A 2013 TAv Tiger 2013 TAv Winner
Catcher Vogt .250 Avila .246 A’s
First Barton .297 Fielder .290 A’s
Second Sogard .264 Infante .277 Tigers
Short Lowrie .289 Iglesias .260 A’s
Third Donaldson .321 Cabrera .365 Tigers
Left Cespedes .275 Peralta .286 Tigers
Center Crisp .291 Jackson .271 A’s
Right Reddick .259 Hunter .285 Tigers
DH Moss .325 Martinez .274 A’s

I mean, I’m not making the case that the A’s are offensively superior to the Tigers. From a talent perspective a few things can counter what the 2013 season numbers tell us. A healthy Miggy counts for a lot. Victor Martinez rounding back into form counts for a lot. Prince’s performance can swing the series.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Athletics vs. Yankees, 8/25/2011 (1:05PM EST on YES)

[Update 8/25/11 – 2:30PM]: Apparently the tarp is being removed.  The game should start fairly shortly.

[Update 8/25/11 – 1:33PM]: Obviously the game isn’t starting on time. We’ll let you know more when we know more.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand afternoon matinees (unless I’m watching the game live that is). Following the game, while at work, is just so much harder. Fortunately for us though, the Yankees have fared well during day time affairs this season.

Another notch in the Win column couldn’t come at a better time as the Oakland Athletics have already taken the first two games of the series. Use this as your open thread!

Lineups (compliments of BaseballPress):

For the Athletics:
1. Jemile Weeks (S) 2B
2. Coco Crisp (S) CF
3. Hideki Matsui (L) DH
4. Josh Willingham (R) LF
5. Brandon Allen (L) 1B
6. David DeJesus (L) RF
7. Cliff Pennington (S) SS
8. Anthony Recker (R) C
9.… Click here to read the rest

Crisp, Sizemore beat Yankees 6-4 in extras as Yanks lose first series at home since early June

Hurts, doesn't it? (Frank Franklin II/AP)

First we had an earthquake in New York City. Then all sorts of panic about a possible hurricane this weekend. And now, following their 6-4 victory last night, the A’s have won two games in a row and earned a series victory against the Yankees for the first time since 2007. I’ll let you decide which of these three is the truest sign of the apocalypse.

Kidding aside, this was a rather unfortunate game for the Yankees, as Trevor Cahill and his sinker finally figured them out, limiting the damage to two runs over six for his first-ever quality start against the Bombers. CC Sabathia was good too — ultimately going 7 1/3 innings and giving up three while striking out seven — but neither he nor the Yankee bullpen could retire Coco Crisp or Scott Sizemore, who combined to go 8 for 8 with a walk and all six of Oakland’s RBIs.

Truth be told, the Yankees didn’t even really lose to the Athletics in this one; they lost to Crisp — who hit two home runs in this game for only the second time in his career, and whose second jack broke a 3-all tie in the tenth to seal the win for Oakland — and Sizemore, who both had career games (this was Sizemore’s first-ever four-hit night), and were also once again stymied by Brian Fuentes and taken to school by flamethrowing rookie Fautino De Los Santos.… Click here to read the rest

Yankee comeback falls a few feet short in 6-5 loss to A's

Yup. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

That the Yankees were even within a run of tying a game they really had no business winning was pretty impressive, though they’d ultimately fall to the A’s 6-5. Down 6-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, stymied by A’s righty Brandon McCarthy over seven shutout innings, this did not appear to be the Yankees’ night.

That they were even in a 6-0 hole against a limp offensive attack such as the one the A’s boast is somewhat troubling to begin with, but I suppose even the A’s have to beat the Yankees every now and again. Bartolo Colon turned in another mediocre start, going 6.1 innings and giving up five runs (5 Ks and 0 BBs). Granted two of them were inherited runners Boone Logan let score — Bob Melvin wisely pinch-hit for the lefty Eric Sogard (43 wRC+ coming into this game), who already had a solo home run off Bartolo Colon in this one (his first career blast!), with Scott Sizemore (108 wRC+), and it wound up paying off quite nicely — but still, it’s the A’s.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees vs. A's III: Thank you, MLB schedule-makers

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

I don’t know who the Yankees have to thank, but after three games against the Royals and four against the Twins, the Bombers not only get to come back home and play the A’s this week, a team they basically dominate just as much as they do the Twins, but then get five games against the O’s at Camden yards this weekend!. Per RAB, the Yankees are 59-19 against Ron Gardenhire‘s Twins (including the playoffs), and by my own calculations 53-35 against Oakland during that same time period, including an insane 26-5 since the beginning of 2008.

When the Yankees last saw the A’s a month ago they were sporting an 83 wRC+, but things have picked up a bit for Oakland over the last 30 days, as they now sit at 91 wRC+ and have gotten their team wOBA above .300. Still, though one might be able to get away with that kind of low-scoring effort in the National League, that kind of offensive ineptitude could get a GM killed in the AL.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Athletics vs. Yankees, 7/22/2011 (7:05PM EST on MY9)

Hurray for Fridays, the Yankees not being in Canada or Tampa any longer, non-artifical surfaces in general, upcoming weaker portions of the schedule, and non-divisional-rivalry matchups!  Now if only we could do something about this blistering heat other than find the closest/most powerful air conditioning unit, we’d really be in business.  Tonight’s game will mark Hughes’ third start since coming off of the Disabled List, and his second start since the “mechanical alteration” was evidently applied to his curveball.  Here’s to hoping for the best! Also, incase you hadn’t heard, George A. King of NYPost.com, reported that the Yankees have signed Marcus Thames (who had been recently DFA’d by the Dodgers) to a minor league contract.

Tonight’s Yankees lineup:
1. Derek Jeter (R) SS
2. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
3. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
4. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
5. Nick Swisher (S) RF
6. Jorge Posada (S) DH
7. Russell Martin (R) C
8. Brett Gardner (L) LF
9.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. A's II: Oakland? More like jokeland

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The A’s roll into town this weekend for the first of six games they’ll eventually have to play at Yankee Stadium this season. The Yankees already got the hard part out of the way, sweeping the A’s — who pitch to a 2.71 ERA/3.37 FIP at home and 3.61/3.77 marks on the road — on their home turf back at the end of May. Now Oakland and its Overstock.com Field-aided pitching staff get to come to the Bronx, where there will be no endless acres of foul territory and a rather unforgiving short porch in right field. That’s not to take away from what the A’s pitchers have done on the season, but as you can see by their splits, they are a decidedly different staff on the road.

Add in the fact that the Yankees are 24-4 against the A’s since the beginning of 2008 — and 12-1 at home during that same time period — along with the A’s being the second-most inept offensive team in the AL this season (83 wRC+) and this weekend has all the makings of another nice series for the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees sweep first three-game set of season en route to season-high four-game winning streak

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Yankees beat the A’s 4-2 on the strength of seven strong innings of two-run ball from A.J. Burnett (five strikeouts, three walks), with the lone blemish coming in the first inning on a two-run Josh Willingham home run. That A.J. was able to settle down the rest of the way after immediately surrendering the 1-0 lead the Yankees had delivered to him on an Alex Rodriguez RBI double (his first extra-base hit since May 21!) in the top of the 1st is a nice step in the right direction for Burnett.

Though there’s no arguing with the team’s success — 1st place in the AL East; second-best record in the league — it’s still been a fairly odd season for the Yankees in a number of different ways. As noted after Bartolo Colon‘s complete-game shutout on Monday, the Yankees became the last team in MLB in 2011 to record a shutout with that victory; and after taking all three games from the A’s, this marked the furthest the team has gone into a season to pick up their first three-game sweep since 1997, when they didn’t notch their first sweep until June 6 through June 8 against the Brewers.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks thump Anderson, A's in 10-3 win

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Not to discredit Oakland’s pitching staff, but as I noted in my Mariners preview last Friday, for all the impressive numbers the A’s’ starters have put up, they’d only played five of their first 50 games against teams from the AL East.

Oakland’s gotten yet another lesson in how we do things on the east coast these last few days, as the Yankees pounded de facto ace Brett Anderson for nine earned runs (10 total) over 5 1/3 innings, en route to a 10-3 win. Anderson and rotationmate Trevor Cahill‘s groundballing shenanigans may work against the lesser offenses of the AL West and Central, but to the Yankees’ credit, they’ve gotten runs when they’ve needed to against two of the top pitchers in the American League.

Curtis Granderson continued his “If Jose Bautista Didn’t Exist I’d be MVP” campaign with another three-hit day, including his 17th home run of the season. Alex Rodriguez also picked up three more singles and drove three in, and while I feel ridiculous complaining about any level of production, Alex has been a singles machine of late, and hasn’t knocked an extra-base hit since May 21 against the Mets.… Click here to read the rest