By Matt Furtado/KHTK Sports 1140
It was a big weekend for the Oakland Athletics.
They entered Friday two games back of the division leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Luckily for them, Friday was also the beginning of a three game home stand with those same Angels.
The A’s stumbled into the series losing eight of 10 while the Angels were hot winning eight of 10.
The weekend came and went for the Athletics and the positives and negatives leave a mixed feeling for the Green and Gold. So let’s look at those positive and negatives:
The A’s won two out of three games over the Angels. Winning the series moved Oakland to just one game out of first place. The great pitching performances from Sonny Gray and Jon Lester helped propel the A’s to wins on Friday and Saturday night.
They could not complete the sweep at home on Sunday, but the series win puts them in great striking position with three games against the Houston Astros this week before a four game set with the Angels at the end of the week.
With the offensive struggles as of late, the Athletics’ lineup needed catalyst Coco Crisp to come up big in this series, and that’s exactly what he did. His numbers weren’t staggering by any means, but he came through when the Athletics needed it most.
After a first inning home run by Mike Trout on Friday, Crisp brought the A’s right back with a lead-off home run to shift the momentum back in the A’s favor. As for Saturday, it wasn’t a big hit or a home run for Crisp, but his speed that helped the A’s gain the lead on a wild pitch from Angels reliever Joe Smith.
For the Athletics to keep climbing in the West, they will need Crisp to play consistent for the rest of the season.
Although the weekend meant only good things for the Athletics in the standings, the injury-front was not too kind to the Green and Gold.
Sean Doolittle earned saves on both Friday and Saturday night, but news of the closer being put on the 15-day Disabled List hit the A’s hard on Sunday. According to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, Bob Melvin has announced that fellow lefty Eric O’Flaherty will take over as the closer until Doolittle returns.
Catcher John Jaso was put on the seven-day concussion DL after his symptoms have progressively worsened which was caused by a foul tip to the head he took a couple weeks ago. The A’s did bring in some back up for Jaso by acquiring Geovanni Soto from the Rangers.
The A’s are also being hit with a few day-to-day injuries to All-Star Josh Donaldson and outfielder Sam Fuld. Both players are having knee problems but neither look to be too serious.
One of the reasons the offense has been struggling for the Athletics as of late is because of the struggles from Brandon Moss, and those struggles continued this weekend. He is now 0-17 in his last seven games with zero runs batted in.
Kazmir has also been struggling recently. His poor start last night put his record at 2-3 with a 7.92 ERA for the month of August. The three innings he pitched last night was also his shortest outing of the season.