Preview: Oakland @ Seattle


As Oakland comes to town, they have slowly gotten better over the course of the year. Their pitching is young and they have some patchwork pieces, but overall they can be a very dangerous team. I think that our pitching matches up very competitive with them and that we could very well win this series. However, I do think that just like last time they have just as good chance to take 2 of 3 from us. Everything really depends on if we show up. I think our offense has the ability to be more potent than theirs. While they have some solid players, we have better. They have young pitchers with a lot of talent but we sending out there two pitchers that have had more time to develop and in Luke French we are putting him in front of the best defensive team in baseball with a park playing to his strengths.

Again, the question is will we show up or will we again lay another egg offensively and hurt our pitchers with another showing of poor defense. It really lies very heavily upon our own shoulders. I think the Cleveland series will serve as a type of wake up call. We should have swept them but they out played us the whole time and we lost two games to them. The team has responded well in the past after playing poorly in a series, but you really could have said the same thing following the series in Detroit , which they followed up by playing completely flat.

It maybe that we are just coming down to the end of the season and you have a lot of these guys in their first full season and they just are wearing down due to lack of previous experience playing everyday or filling a major role like that Sean White or Shawn Kelley. How they fight through this fatigue is going to go a long way into showing us what type of guys we have going into next year. I don’t see Wak letting these guys play at any lesser intensity than what we have seen this year.

PosAthleticsWARwOBA PosMarinersWARwOBA
CKurt Suzuki1.90.316 CRob Johnson0.50.279
1bTommy Everidge-0.20.295 1bRussell Branyan2.50.374
2bMark Ellis0.70.321 2bJose Lopez1.40.317
3bAdam Kennedy1.50.333 3bJack Hannahan0.70.288
SSCliff Pennington0.30.285 SSJack Wilson0.20.259
ofRajai Davis30.36 ofIchiro Suzuki3.90.372
ofScott Hairston0.60.311 ofFranklin Gutierrez4.10.34
ofRyan Sweeney2.10.349 ofMichael Saunders0.20.268
DHJack Cust0.40.31 DHKen Griffey Jr.0.20.318
 Bench    Bench  
CLandon Powell0.50.322 ofRyan Langerhans0.70.303
1bDaric Barton-0.10.275 😕Josh Wilson0.20.449
1b/DLNomar Garciaparra-0.40.295 😕Mike Sweeney-0.70.304
     CKenji Johjima0.40.287
     ANYBill Hall00.342

Rajai Davis is having a solid year in the out field for Oakland , being their very own defensive addition and providing some unexpected additional offense. He is currently hitting .344 on BABIP and added some great base running, swiping 27 bags so far this year. Of course on the unexpected list Adam Kennedy was a complete shock, he has himself 16 SB and maintaining an above league average .331 wOBA. He has also posted his highest ISO(.134) in the past 8 years. While his strike outs are down (compared to his last full season) his swinging at pitches outside the zone is down and his overall contact rate his up. These are all indicators that show his stats may just be for real, despite being 33 he just may have benefited from great coaching that could have adjusted a few mechanical things creating a career year. While not amazing in any regard it was completely unexpected and has given this A’s line up the boost needed, between the departures of Giambi and Holliday they have needed great play from him.

As far the way things have been going for the Mariners Bill Hall has shown to provide some quick positives in the Cleveland series. With a wOBA of .342 Also Josh Wilson continues to play above his head. One can only wonder how long this audition for some other team can last. Jack Wilson should(again) be back for the series against Oakland . But we heard that again everyday this weekend. So I suppose we’ll just have to wait and find out what will happen next.

Even though he doesn’t play for Oakland anymore … I am just flabbergasted at the season that Orlando Cabrera was having and the fact that Billy Beane got something back for him. I swear he just amazes me on all sorts of levels. Of course everyone mentions the Matt Holiday trade for St. Louis but no one has even raised an eyebrow about the Cabrera move. It astounds me to no end. He got something out of NOTHING, really. Maybe he sold them Cabrera’s track record which is impressive, but he had lost all sorts of defensive capabilities. He was TERRIBLE at short this year. He was -10 RAR batting and -15.2 RAR fielding with a UZR of -15. HOLY CRAP HE GOT SOMETHING IN RETURN FOR THIS GUY.

The pitchers

Day of StartAthletics PitcherswFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
FridayVince Mazzaro-15.92.1X2-2.5XX
SaturdayBrett Anderson-5.415.3X-1.9-0.4XX
SundayGio Gonzalez-2.2XX5.8-3.6XX
 Mariners PitcherwFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
FridayIan Snell-10.7X-4.30.4XX
SaturdayRyan Rowland-Smith-1.80.3X3.30.9XX
SundayLuke French-7.30.5XX2.7XX

Game 1 Mazzaro vs. Snell – Snell has shown himself in Detroit to be a much better pitcher than he initially showed his previous two games. Mazzaro despite his recent success hasn’t been that great of pitcher this year and I think the Mariners have a great chance to win this game.

Game 2 Anderson vs. RR-S – this game is going to be the highlight of the series. RR-S is slowly becoming a great #3 pitcher for us. His change up is getting better, as and the same with his slider. The better these pitchers get along with that huge curve ball the better his fastball is going to get as he can keep hitters off balance. Speaking of great off speed stuff, Anderson has A LOT of talent and he has some great stuff. While he has been mildly successful this year I think his stuff has gotten sharper as the season has gone on.

Game 3 Gonzalez vs. French – This is the one game that I actually think that the Athletics have been pitcher. Gonzales while not being great has been able to be average and shown himself to be a pretty capable pitcher. Meanwhile despite the adjustments to his slider Luke French still needs further adjustments on his mechanics and until those are implemented (I know Adair has been working with him) I don’t see a lot of change within his overall results. However, with the improved defense and playing in Safeco it moves us slightly closer to being a closer matchup.

The relief core …

Oakland AthleticswFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
Craig Breslow11.7-1.7X0-0.5XX
Jeff Gray0.91.5X0.2XXX
Jay Marshall0.40.2XX-0.2XX
Brad Ziegler-0.12XX2.6XX
Mike Wuertz-2.914X-0.7-0.5XX
Edgar Gonzalez-5.63.1-13.10.7XX
Santiago Casilla-7.62.1XX1XX
Andrew Bailey9.61.853.9-0.1XX
Seattle MarinerswFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
David Aardsma14.31.1X0X-2.3X
Sean White6.40.1X-1.11.5XX
Mark Lowe-1.26.4XX-2XX
Shawn Kelley0.2-0.1XX-0.7XX
Miguel Batista-4.1-0.6-0.6-0.9-0.20X
Randy Messenger       

Of course my one guy that I have been surprised about is Jeff Gray. Small sample sizes I know, but mildly impressive so far. Oh, and they have this guy maybe you have heard of him Andrew Bailey… yeah he’s pretty good too. This guys K/BB is 3.41 with BABIP at .241 and has 75K in 68 IP … flat out awesome. His LD% is only 12%… 12% … pretty average splits between ground balls and fly balls and contact percentage of 30.1% (league average 18%) as a reliever he has so far posted a WAR of 2.0 … just … all around awesome as a rookie. This guy is going to be scary for years to come. I don’t know if they plan to keep him as a closer or they will move him back to a starter. But as things are Oakland has a good thing going with this guy.

Nothing new to report on the Mariners and their relief core, I was sad to see Jak leave but he’ll be back once he gets healthy. I also am interested in seeing what comes this next season with the bullpen. I have a feeling that it’s going to have a different feel next year an extra year under the belt of Aardsma, Lowe, Kelley, and White. It should look pretty scary once we start adding onto via our system. Not to mention with their added experience they should be a solid group to build a competitive team with in ’10.