Athletics Get Set For An Important 3-Game Series Against The Halos
By Kevin Mendez
Going into Monday night’s game against the Angels, the Athletics are in second place and a 1/2 game ahead of their current opponent. This series will be very important for both teams. Not only will it be a good test for both ball clubs, but each game will create a 2-game swing in the division standings. This series isn’t just big for both teams, it’s just as big for the fans of the Oakland Athletics and those who are starting to doubt the A’s as well.
The Athletics are 3-4 during their current homestand and people are starting to wonder whether the A’s are for real. The doubt is all coming after Oakland had the best July in franchise history with a 19-5 record. This month allowed the A’s to come storming back in both the Division and Wild Card standings. Nationwide people are finally taking notice of this Athletics ball club. After the month of July and the current slight downgrade in performance during this homestand many are wondering if the month of July is a fluke. Was it a fluke? No! Are they going to repeat what they did in July? No! But none of that matters because they do not need to repeat what they have already achieved. The Athletics have already gotten themselves back into contention for the playoffs and that is why this series against the Angels will be very important. It will not be easy either.
The Angels will be sending one of the best pitchers in all of baseball to the mound on Monday. Jered Weaver will be going for his American League leading 15th win of the year. Yes, Weaver has been phenomenal this entire season. He has tallied together a 14-1 record, a league leading 2.29 ERA and has compiled 92 strikeouts. He has been dominate all year and it does not seem as if he plans on slowing down anytime soon. Over his last three starts Weaver is 3-0, he has a 2.45 ERA, and has fanned 15 hitters. The Athletics are going to need to take advantage of any chances they can get against Weaver and cannot afford to fail.
On the hill for the Oakland Athletics will be the impressive rookie starting pitcher Jarrod Parker. He is currently 7-5 with a 3.44 ERA. Parker, who started off the season so well, seems to have hit somewhat of a rough patch his past few starts. He finds himself 1-1 in his past three starts, with a 4.74 ERA and 15 strikeouts. Parker will be back at home where he has thrown 65.1 innings and has a 2.48 ERA at the Coliseum. This should be and will need to be the start where Jarrod Parker finds his groove on the mound again.
DownSide: The Athletics will be facing one of the best pitchers in baseball and will have to find ways to score against him.
UpSide: The A’s will be sending out a pretty good pitcher as well and they have the pitching to match the great Jered Weaver.
This series against the Angels can do a lot for the Athletics. If the A’s can win all three games, they can jump from a ½ game ahead of the Angels in the division to 3 ½ games ahead the Angels in the division, allowing themselves to have some breathing room in the second place spot in the division. Oakland can also use these three games to keep pace with the division leading Texas Rangers as well as keep pace with the other American League teams fighting for the wild card spots. Lets not jump the gun though, the A’s will have their work cutout for them over the next three days. They will just have to take it one game at a time.
Tuesday, August 7th at 7:05 PM
C.J. Wilson (9-7, 3.27 ERA) vs Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.55 ERA)
Wednesday, August 8th at 12:35 PM
*Zack Greinke (0-1, 4.14 ERA) vs Dan Straily (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
*Grienke’s stats are from his first start with the Angels after being traded over from the Brewers and Straily’s stats are from his first start with the Athletics after being called up from Sacramento.