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Game 151: A's vs. Rangers

Way back when the A's last faced Brandon McCarthy, they knocked him out of the game early on their way to a 6-1 victory. What's that? You say that was just a week ago?


Well, how about the time Trevor Cahill finally started to look like the pitcher he could be as he threw 7 innings of 1-hit ball in a shutout in Texas? What'd you say? That was last week too?


Anyway, those two square off tonight in the second game of back-to-back four-game series following the weekend sweep of Cleveland. A few quick notes:

* Cahill's had some pretty telling stats centering around home runs allowed. Games 1-3, no homers, 2.60 ERA, .203 AVG against, .670 OPS against. Games 4-23, 25 homers in 109 innings, 5.53 ERA, .291 AVG against, .894 OPS against. Games 24-30, 1 homer in 42 innings, 2.79 ERA, .216 AVG against, .596 OPS against.

This is in no way an attempt to fully explain Cahill's ups and downs and is mainly just a few stats I quickly pulled. In fact, it's clearly obvious that if you don't give up any home runs chances are you're going to look pretty good. It's just telling in that he's had two well-defined stretches where it's been pretty all-or-nothing instead of the homers being spread out through most of the season from start to finish. The good thing about it is the streak he's on now is coming at the end of the year. Positive sign, that.

* According to Susan Slusser, Scott Hairston has a sore hip and SI joint and she thinks the A's should shut him down, but for some odd reason the A's may even start him tomorrow night. What in the world are the A's doing even considering letting him play again this season? Honestly, what is the point? They're not in a pennant race, there are twelve games left in the season, they have people who can take his place with expanded rosters...I just don't get it. I really don't. They really DO hate Buck, don't they?

* So far the A's are having good success with relievers named Brad when it comes to scoreless streaks to begin their careers. We all know what Ziegler did last year but since being brought up a couple weeks ago Kilby's gone 11 scoreless innings and 19 of the last 20 hitters he's faced have failed against him. That's solid. Unfortunately I see no other Brads pitching in the Oakland organization. Is it too late to bring Mr. Knox back from the Angels system?

* Not only was Matt Carson's homer last night the first of his career, it was also the first in Major League history by a Carson (Kit Carson had all of 40 AB with Cleveland in 1934-35 and Al Carson saw action as a pitcher in two games for the Cubs in 1910). I'll bet you didn't know that.

* Oakland now needs to go 10-2 to finish the season at .500 and last night was a reminder of why it will be tough. After all, Edgar Gonzalez will probably get two more starts and that's enough to reduce the odds right there. Remember, Dana Eveland will probably get a couple more starts as well.

* The A's are 19-26 against the AL West, so if they go 10-2 the rest of the way they'll also finish above .500 within the division. Three more against the Rangers and Mariners and six against the Angels, with half their games remaining at home and on the road. .500 or not, I'm just happy to see them finishing on a positive note and it'll be fun to see how some of the position competitions shape up next spring.

* Now I think I understand why Bob Geren didn't use Henry Rodriguez on Sunday.


Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics

09/22/09 7:05 PM PDT

Texas Rangers Oakland Athletics
Julio Borbon - DH Adam Kennedy - 3B
Elvis Andrus - SS Rajai Davis - CF
David Murphy - LF Ryan Sweeney - RF
Marlon Byrd - CF Kurt Suzuki - C
Hank Blalock - 1B Jack Cust - DH
Ian Kinsler - 2B Mark Ellis - 2B
Nelson Cruz - RF Daric Barton - 1B
Chris Davis - 3B Cliff Pennington - SS
Ivan Rodriguez - C Eric Patterson - LF