Note: Tonight's game is the MLB.tv free game of the day, so if you don't get this game on cable, you're in luck. That said, I have no idea about blackout restrictions — I'm not even on the West Coast. Just a heads up.
Tonight, the A's look to complete their second consecutive road sweep. Unlike this past weekend's demolition of the Triple-A-esque Houston Astros, in which anything but a sweep would've been somewhat disappointing, this series would be an absolutely huge boost to the A's early-season outlook. The Angels are an early-season favorite to win the AL West, and Oakland would be making quite the statement by sweeping them in their own ballpark.
After losing Scott Sizemore for the season thanks to a torn ACL — the second baseman's second such injury in as many seasons — the A's have Andy Parrino in the lineup, his first start wearing green and gold. Oakland picked up Parrino in the November 16 deal that sent Tyson Ross to San Diego, and he needs to make the most of his playing time with Jemile Weeks, Adam Rosales, Grant Green, and even Hiroyuki Nakajima eyeing his job closely.
Josh Reddick is out, too, but it appears he's successfully avoided the DL, and he should return for this weekend's series at home against the defending AL Champion Detroit Tigers. He took 40 swings off a tee today and said he feels good, leading Bob Melvin to say that Josh should be back in the starting lineup tomorrow night at the Coliseum.
A win tonight and the A's improve to 8-2, headed back to the friendly confines of the Coliseum for a 6-game homestand. A.J. Griffin was good against Seattle last Thursday -- let's see what he can do against a much more potent offense.
|Athletics (A. Griffin - R) @ Angels (J. Vargas - L)|
Interesting that Melvin has Smith in the lineup instead of Nate Freiman, the lefty. Seems to go counter to his current all-or-nothing righty/lefty platoon philosophy, but we'll see how it pans out. Maybe Melvin wants Freiman on the bench in case Moss has to leave if his very, very pregnant wife goes into labor...that's my best guess.
On the LAA side, Mike Trout has been bounced from the leadoff spot in favor of Alberto Callaspo, probably just because Mike Scioscia wants to make it seem like he's doing something to stop the Angels' struggles. In the rare instance that Hamilton doesn't wave pathetically at two-strike breaking balls out of the zone, that Trout-Pujols-Hamilton 2-3-4 is nasty. We'll see what happens.