Moraless Angels Come North
As projected, the Angels have joined Texas and Oakland in the AL West leader fray, lifting themselves over a .500 record even in the wake of a devastating, season-ending injury to Kendry Morales. Since the injury, they are 6-1! Meanwhile, the A's are just off their first successful road trip of the season and some tough games against Minnesota. We're looking to regain our first-place edge and bust some halos along the way. Welcome to my very first GOG, and let me know what you think!
The Questions (34 points possible)
Final Update, Series Concluded! Answers in bold.
1. The A's are 2-4 against the Angels this year, all at Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Predict the series outcome, now that they've come north to the "510" for 4 games! [3 points] Tie, 2-2
2. Since Kendry Morales' post-Grand Slam injury, the Angels have filled 1B with Mike Napoli (.252 AVG / .359 wOBA), Mike Ryan (.207 / .233), and Robb Quinlan (.000, 0-for-14). Brandon Wood (.156 / .171) is expected off the DL on Wednesday. Predict the combined output of all Angels' 1B through the four games*: H / XBH / BB / RBIs [1 point each; 4 total] 3 H / 1 XBH / 1 BB / 1 RBI
3. With Brett Anderson out of the rotation, expect Vin Mazzaro to get a fresh start. What is his IP / R (all) / K / BB? [1 point each; 4 total] 5 IP / 1 R / 3 K / 0 BB
4. The A's defense - excepting pitchers and catchers - has begun to perform at the level we've hoped for, committing only one error in a dozen games. Do the A's 7 (non-pitcher, non-catcher) position players commit an error during the series? [+2 points for correct answer; -1 for wrong answer] Yes, Commits Errors (Kouz, Rosales, Pennington 2)
5. With Coco Crisp not yet ready for prime time and Eric Patterson busy picking at his splinters or daring hitters to pop one over his head in LF, Gabe Gross has been a great contributor, hitting the ball hard (.326 BA, .359 wOBA, .867 OPS over his last 13 games) and making some nice plays in the OF. Predict Gross' H / XBH / RBI [1 point each; 3 total] 3 H / 0 XBH / 2 RBI
6. The A's have by far the best AL record in 1-run games this season, at 10-4. (Minnesota is closest at 11-8, and that is mostly due to Bob Geren's mismanagement of two consecutive 1-run losses.) Do the A's win a 1-run game this series? Do they lose a 1-run game? [2 points each; 4 total] None, win or loss.
7. After a few rough starts to begin the year, Ervin Santana has thrown a mean slider 37% of the time to the tune of 5 straight wins, with a K/9 rate over 8. Does Santana get a Win, Loss, or No Decision? Predict his IP / BB / K. [2 points for the first part, 1 thereafter; 5 points total] Loss / 5 IP / 2 BB / 3 K
8. WPA (Win Probability Added), as you recall, measures the situation-specific contribution of a player to the likelihood of a Win. Among all A's, Kevin Kouzmanoff has the most accumulated negative WPA for the A's at -4.57, and the second worst overall WPA at -0.93 (ahead of only Pennington). Oddly, he is also 3rd on the team in accumulated positive WPA (3.64), behind only Barton and Sweeney. Basically, this means that Win Expectancy fluctuates on Kouz's bat more than any other Athletic! Does Kouzmanoff accumulate positive or negative WPA this series? [+1 if right, -1 if wrong] Negative, -.148 WPA [via -.006, -.066 and -.052, -.024]
Interestingly, Kouz got a hit in every game, went 7 for 17, all singles, 2 RBI, 1 K. This just goes to show that for WPA, you have to make the hits when the score is close, and Kouz's hits tended to come late these games.
9. The A's power surge has them tied (with Boston) at the top of the AL in June homers with 9. How many HRs do the A's hit during this series? Who hits one? [2 points each; 4 points total] 3 HR / Fox, Suzuki, Cust
Still tied at 12 for first in HRs, now with CWS (unless Boston, Tampa Bay, or Texas - each at 10 - hits 3 today.
10. Also in June, the A's pitching staff has struggled to the tune of a 6.40 ERA, burdening the relief staff with the league's most appearances (19), innings (19.2) and losses (3). What is the deepest (most IP) an A's starter goes into a game? Which starter goes deepest? What is the most (total) IP by any reliever? Which one? [Treat as four separate questions, 1 point each; 4 points total] Starters - 8 IP / Cahill / Relievers - 3 IP / Bowers
* If a 1B is pinch-hit for by a player who remains in the game as 1B, the pinch-PA counts toward the totals; if there is a pinch-hitter but he is replaced by a different fielder, it does not. If it is the 9th (or later) inning and the Angels do not re-take the field, it counts only if the pinch-hitter is one of the other named 1B possibilities.
(All stats are current as of Sunday, June 6)
Note added: In the "Comments" below, I've pasted an abbreviated version that you can copy over for your answers, since there is so much extraneous information in these ones !
Answers due by 7:05 PDT Monday.