The A's have to win another series sometime, right...right? Well, they'll go for their 11th try in the last 12 series and in a few hours we'll know the answer to that question one way or the other. At this point in the season, I think we've all come to the realization that the remainder of the year won't be about contention or really even about getting back to the .500 mark. Right now, it's about the little things and hoping and praying that the young players can make adjustments and make the little improvements in their games that will pay off next season and beyond.
One of those adjustments we all hope to see is Gio G's willingness to come inside on right-handed hitters. As Nico and others have pointed out, Gio has had a tendency so far in his young MLB career to live and die exclusively on the outside part of the plate against right-handed hitters. This has led to him issuing a lot of walks and driving his pitch count up. Today's matchup, where he'll face several imposing righties (Carlos Quentin, Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko among them) will be a good test to see if his strategy (or that of Kurt Suzuki or Curt Young) has changed within the last week. Even if he were to get hammered today while trying to make that adjustment, I think the learning process would be beneficial to him going forward. Successful big league pitchers can use both sides of the plate to any type of hitter, so this is definitely something to monitor going forward the rest of this season.
Gio will be starting today against the team that drafted him and against the GM who once promised him - after trading him once and then re-acquiring him - that he would never trade Gio ever again. Perchance the young, gregarious lefty will approach the game today with a little extra oomph, striving to teach Kenny Williams and the rest of his old organization a lesson about loyalty?
Sox veteran Javier Vasquez will oppose young Gio. We all know what Vasquez bring to the table: good control and veteran savvy. For a homerun-prone pitcher, Javy's curiously been better at home (4.11 ERA) than on the road (4.92 ERA). Here's to hoping those trends (homers) and a 5.00 ERA follow him into the Coliseum today to help the A's get that series win they've been seeking for a month now...
08/17/08 1:05 PM PDT
|Chicago White Sox||Oakland Athletics|
|Orlando Cabrera - SS||Eric Patterson - 2B|
|AJ Pierzynski - C||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Carlos Quentin - LF||Frank Thomas - DH|
|Jermaine Dye - RF||Jack Cust - LF|
|Jim Thome - DH||Carlos Gonzalez - CF|
|Paul Konerko - 1B||Emil Brown - RF|
|Ken Griffey - CF||Bobby Crosby - SS|
|Alexei Ramirez - 2B||Jack Hannahan - 3B|
|Juan Uribe - 3B||Daric Barton - 1B|