A’s Head Back West, Need Straily At His Best
By Kevin Mendez
The Athletics look to bounce back after losing each game in a four-game set to the Cleveland Indians. Luckily for the A’s, they will be back on the west coast to play three games against an AL West rival: The Seattle Mariners. The A’s are 13-3 against AL West teams and opened the season with a series split in a four-game series at home against the Mariners. Now the team will play for their first time in Seattle year with hopes to put the bad memories from the Cleveland series in the rear view mirror. If you don’t know what I am talking about then click here to read all about it.
May 5, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Oakland Athletics managerBob Melvin
(6) removes starting pitcherDan Straily
(67) from the game against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Straily will aim to set the tone for the series and he will pitch the first game for the Athletics. Straily won his very first start back on April 5 against the Houston Astros when he dominated and ended his outing with eleven strikeouts. Since then, he has made two starts–spelling Brett Anderson who is on the disable list–and has not factored in the decision of either start. In both of his last two starts, Straily has combined to strikeout ten hitters while allowing nine earned runs. Straily is 1-0 with a 5.94 ERA over three starts this season.
Hisashi Iwakuma will take the mound for the Seattle Mariners. Iwakuma has been lights out this year and owns an astonishing 1.61 ERA over seven starts. His first win of the year came against the Oakland Athletics on April 2, which was the second game of the season. He allowed one earned run on two hits while striking out seven hitters over six strong innings in the game against the A’s. Iwakuma is 3-1 on the season and opponents are hitting just .168 against him.
After losing their past four games the A’s find themselves four games out of first place with a record is sitting at the .500 mark. The 18-18 Athletics will need their pitching staff to regain their 2012 form in order to catch up the to the first place Texas Rangers. The A’s relied heavily on their talented pitching staff to dethrone the Rangers as AL West champions last year and they will need the same combination of good pitching and power to do the same thing this year. The Athletics hope that this combination of pitching and power will present itself this weekend against the Mariners at Safeco Field.
DownSide: The Athletics are coming off a series in which they were swept four games (enough said).
UpSide: The A’s are back on the west coast and look to continue their success against AL West opponent.
FanSide: Lets go Oakland!
Saturday, May 11, 6:10 PM PDT
Jarrod Parker (1-5, 7.34 ERA) vs. Brandon Maurer (2-4, 6.07 ERA)
Sunday, May 12, 1:10 PM PDT
Tommy Milone (3-4, 3.13 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (2-4, 6.15 ERA)