Happy Holidays, Athletics Nation! For the purpose of helping you enjoy Easter Sunday, the sixth day of Passover, or whatever other holiday you might be celebrating on this 20th day of April, the A's are looking to complete their second sweep of the season against the bottom-dwelling Houston Astros, who have managed to fall 7.5 games behind Oakland in the AL West Standings just three weeks into the season.
The A's are red-hot through 17 games, sporting a 12-5 record that could just as easily be 14-3. Here's a fun fact: Oakland's record in games played against an opposing pitcher not named Felix Hernandez is 12-3. The good news for A's fans is that today's opponent is the Astros, and Felix Hernandez does not pitch for the Astros.
Former Oakland farmhand Brad Peacock does pitch for Houston, though, and it's up to him to prevent the Astros from falling to 5-14 to start the season. Peacock is making his first start of the year, slotting into the spot of recently designated for assignment Lucas Harrell. Peacock has made four appearances in relief, none of which was particularly successful — his WHIP stands at 2.07 after giving up eight earned runs in 9.2 innings pitched.
Jesse Chavez is on the hill for the A's today, and he's been a revelation in his three starts this season — he's 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, having lasted six, seven, and seven innings, respectively, against the Mariners, Twins, and Angels. Chavez hasn't allowed more than a pair of runs in any appearance, and his WHIP is 0.85. On paper, an even pitching matchup this is not. Then again, that's why they play the games.
Coco Crisp is back in the starting lineup against Peacock, a right-hander — with minor injuries to his left wrist and left hamstring, he's been uncomfortable hitting against left-handers. Bob Melvin has the rest of the usual suspects in against right-handed pitching, including Brandon Moss at 1B, Eric Sogard at 2B, and John Jaso catching.
|HOUSTON ASTROS||OAKLAND ATHLETICS|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Jason Castro - C||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|George Springer - RF||Brandon Moss - 1B|
|Marc Krauss - 1B||Yoenis Cespedes - LF|
|Chris Carter - DH||Alberto Callaspo - DH|
|L.J. Hoes - LF||Josh Reddick - RF|
|Marwin Gonzalez - 3B||John Jaso - C|
|Jonathan Villar - SS||Eric Sogard - 2B|
|Brad Peacock - RHP||Jesse Chavez - RHP|
One last A's news tidbit:
#Athletics announce that Sam Fuld has been claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) April 20, 2014
It was bound to happen — regardless, good to see Fuld land with an organization where he has a chance to get some actual playing time.