Oakland Athletics Rotation Riding the Shutout “Wave”

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Nine games into the 2015 season and the Oakland Athletics have already shut out three teams a total of four times, riding the shutout wave to a 5-4 record.

Out of the Athletics’ starting rotation, Jesse Hahn is the only pitcher not to have earned a win yet. After allowing three runs in his first start, Hahn, however, only allowed one run in his second appearance before the A’s bullpen gave up the lead to the Seattle Mariners.

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Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Kendall Graveman and Drew Pomeranz have each pitched marvelously in their victories, each with scoreless outings under their belt.

Gray got the season to a hot start delivering eight shutout innings against the Texas Rangers as the Oakland offense powered in eight runs. Kazmir would pitch two days later and receive 10 runs of help while allowing no runs in seven innings of work. Kaz would give up one run in his next start but would earn his second victory of the season.
Additionally, Kaz had 10 Ks and eight Ks in his two appearances.

While Gray and Kazmir are the familiar names for common A’s fans, the A’s also have to rely on the young arms of the four and five pitchers of their staff to keep the team on track in the early half of the season.

Pomeranz, who will get the start tonight against the Houston Astros, had a great first outing against the Seattle Mariners, holding them to seven scoreless innings and only two hits.

Pom looks to repeat Graveman’s efforts against the Houston Astros tonight. Graveman went 5.1 innings last night allowing only four hits.

A solid rotation of young pitching has led to the successes of the A’s so far and it’s obviously important for the hot pitching to continue. While the A’s have only won one series so far this season, they lost a couple of tight games to the M’s after the bullpen allowed homers in late innings.

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The starting rotation boasts a 40/14 K/BB rate so far this season and while the A’s starters have earned each of the five wins, they’ve only been on the losing end in two games, while the bullpen has lost the other two.

The A’s pitching is also sure to receive a boost when Jarrod Parker returns in a couple months, as well as A.J. Griffin, and Bob Melvin will surely have a decision on his hands whether or not to send one of the newer pitchers to the bullpen or to AAA Nashville.

It goes without saying, the more pitching the better, but if the pitchers keep up the pace of shutouts (not likely), you can imagine how difficult the conversation will be when BoMel has to send one of the pitchers to the pen or to the minors.

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