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A's Sweep M's Retain Top Spot in Alphabet

We are all smiles when we're winning!
We are all smiles when we're winning!

The A's won this afternoon 8-5 over the visiting Seattle Mariners to cap a sweep. While numerous times the A's attempted to give back the lead after scoring first when Kurt Suzuki drove home Brandon Allen in the second they never looked back. Trevor Cahill who has oftentimes looked lost this year cobbled together five innings of work, allowing one earned run on five hits and two walks, while striking out four. Despite a relatively low pitch count (83), Bob Melvin elected to remove him (no word if this is injury related, but my guess is it was a "he was beginning to labor, let's let him leave with the win type psychological boost/we do have an expanded roster right now" variety move) and a parade of Josh Outman, Fautino De Los Santos, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Andrew Bailey came in to secure the victory.

One of those pitchers, Brian Fuentes, who was being used properly to face the left-handed Dustin Ackley gave up a two run bomb that narrowed the score to 4-3. Perhaps the key play in the game came in the bottom half of the inning, when Ryan Sweeney hit a two run triple just past the reach of Trayvon Robinson to score two and make the score 8-3. The M's would counter with two more runs, but that play essentially sealed the deal on what otherwise would have been a ballgame with less room for error.

All in all it was a good performance by the Green and Gold who went 5-for-14 with men in scoring position, while likewise the A's pitchers limited the Mariners to just a 2-for-11 mark in the same situation. 

One interesting thing was the absence of Michael Taylor in the lineup today. Copenhagen noticed a Joe Stiglich post regarding the omission

"You’ll notice no Michael Taylor in the lineup for the A’s. Manager Bob Melvin mentioned Friday that Taylor would start in right field today, but said this morning he had a change of heart. "I put my foot in my mouth on that one," Melvin said with a smile. "I’ll ease him in against left-handers. He’ll get to play some. I jumped the gun on that one. There’s a chance he could get in there (Monday). He’s not here to sit, that’s for sure."

At the risk of starting a debate anew here, I'd prefer we keep DeJesus in as much as possible to secure his Type-B status. That said, I do also like the idea of getting Taylor some time in and am confused why Bob Melvin didn't use a game like this (where we at one point had an 8-3 lead) to get some guys in, even if it was just some time in the outfield or pinch-running. With the expanded rosters and with the A's out of contention, there is no need for our starters to constantly play nine innings. For guys like DeJesus (and Coco Crisp as well) there is a value in having them stay out there and earn that status (I omit Hideki Matsui because I worry he would accept arbitration and therefore the A's should not offer it rendering his status irrelevant unless they've negotiated a gentlemen's agreement beforehand that he will not accept in which case he too should be included). But in a game like this, we can still have DeJesus get a few at bats, do things to maintain the status and have Taylor (or others) come in nonetheless. Same thinking applies to Balfour pitching the eighth. I am not sure if there were others warming in the bullpen (there should have been - you do have two mounds, use them both) but if you have a guy warming for a close game, and another warming in case it becomes a blow out, you can get a chance to see what guys like Carignan and Wagner have to offer. Why use Balfour with a five run lead?

Those are my thoughts on this one. Good game regardless of my nit-picking! GO A'S! The Major League Baseball Players Association wishes you a Happy Labor Day weekend!

Current Series

3 game series vs Royals @ Coliseum

Kansas City Royals
@ Oakland Athletics

Monday, Sep 5, 2011, 1:05 PM PDT Coliseum

TBA vs Rich Harden

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.


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