Even with a league leading team ERA of 3.09, the A's remain in the AL West Cellar, and are guaranteed to be there through the All Star Break. Now, while we can hope that a strong first half finish can propel a winning second half, we have to make it through four games contending with the Rangers' bats. Or perhaps it will simply be enough to act as spoiler, knocking the Rangers out of possession of first place for the first time in two months. Either way, there's a lot of baseball to be played this week, and none next week, so enjoy!
(All stats prior to Wednesday's games.)
Concluded with Game 4. In repeat performance, A's make Cy Young out of marginal pitcher, prove that baseball is unwinnable.
Previously: Game 1: A's manage to make a Cy Young look-alike out of another marginally successful pitcher! Game 2: Gio replicates May 11 performance with 7 Runs and a Grand Slam, this time to Napoli. Game 3. Hamilton Crushes A's before Bailey manages 28th out, ends up with a 1.087 WPA.
0. Choose your proxy. To try to be fair to everyone competing for the top GoGging honors, it is about time to formalize the proxy system that has been used by a number of us. That is, when we know we're out of town, we sometimes say "I'll copy paris7's answers," so as not to fall too terribly behind. There is a good precedent for doing this, which includes the occasional late-posted GoG which can unjustly penalize someone at work or traveling or doing child care. So, everyone should pick one person among the regulars (see any recent Leaderboard for the 21 of us playing on a regular basis) whose score they will receive in case they miss a GoG post. I will keep the names of proxies along with the point totals I've been maintaining. And please, you don't all need to choose vignette to do well - just ask danmerqury!
1. Predict the Series Outcome for this 4-Game Series. [4 points] Rangers, 4-0
2. The A-nemic's are hitting .236 with a .302 on-base percentage and a .341 slugging percentage . This compares to .268 / .329 / .439 for the Rangers. In fact, the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington leads the league in HRs at 127 - nearly 3 per game! Guess the total XBH & HR for each team, +/-1. [2 points each, 8 total] Then, name any number of players who hit a HR for 1 point each - but if you get even one wrong, no points! [1 point each, n total] Don't forget the +/-1 for all XBH and HR totals: A's, 5 XBH & 3 HR / Rangers, 16 XBH & 7 HR / Sizemore, Young, Napoli, Kinsler, Beltre (3), Willingham, Crisp, Hamilton -
3. Remember Gio's May 11 start, with 7 runs in 2.2 innings, including Mitch Moreland's Grand Slam - and then the rain came out to wash everything away? Well, Thursday's game is a makeup of that lucky day, and is also Rich Harden's second start. Hopefully he does better than Gio's May performance! Guess Harden's IP / R / BB / K. Moreland has ridden some pine the last few days, but deserves a chance on the makeup day - does Moreland get a hit? [2 points each, then 1 point, 9 total] 5 IP / 5 R / 2 BB / 2 K / Yes, Moreland gets his Hit
4. The Rangers lead the league in Stolen Bases with 84, and have only been thrown out 22 times for the best percentage, too. Ian Kinsler has stolen 18 in a row without being caught. How many SB & CS for each team? Does Kinsler get Caught Stealing? [1 point each, 5 total] A's, 2 SB & 2 CS / Rangers, 3 SB & 0 CS / No, Kinsler doesn't get CS
5. Jemile Weeks continues to thrill A's fans everywhere with his dynamic play, snagging 31 hits in his 26 games (including 8 doubles and three triples). Guess Weeks' H / R / XBH. [2 points each, 6 total] 3 H / 0 R / 0 XBH
6. The big matchup in the series is All Star Gio Gonzalez against C.J. Wilson. Which pitcher has the better Game Score, Gio or C.J.? Does any pitcher on the A's have a better Game Score than Gio, yes or no? Anybody on the Rangers better than Wilson? [1 point each, 3 total] C.J., Better Game Score (56 to Gio's 30) / Yes, an A's Pitcher Has a Better GS than Gio (Cahill 67, McCarthy 38, Harden 31) / Yes, a Rangers Pitcher Has a Better GS than C.J. (Holland 84, Harrison 73)
7. Let's not forget our trusty Starz 'n Goatz! Name four position players from either team (that's right, no pitchers) who will have the highest WPA among all batters in one of the games. There will only be one player from each game with this achievement, so you are giving four names total, not four from each team. (If you choose a player who does this more than once, you will get points for each game they do it.) [2 points each, 8 total] Hamilton x2 (.106, G.1 / 1.087, G.3), Napoli (.204, G.2), Beltre (.218, G.4) - Hamilton scores 4 pts.