Much has been said about the A's odd pattern through the first five games of 2015 - blowing away the opposition one day, showing little to no offensive firepower the next. Today, that pattern will once more be put to the test during the sandwich match of a three game set against the Seattle Mariners. Coming off the heels of a dominant 12-0 victory over Taijuan Walker on Friday night, the A's will try to bring their big-boy bats against left-hander J.A. Happ this afternoon.
Happ looks to turn his career around with Seattle this year. After posting an ERA of 4.00 or greater in his last six seasons (between Houston and Toronto), he was traded to the Mariners this past offseason in exchange for outfielder Michael Saunders. For his career, Happ has been slightly better against left-handed hitters (.322 wOBA vs. .334 against righties), but over the past two seasons he has shown reverse platoon splits. It will be interesting to see if this is just noise, as Bob Melvin has stacked the lineup with all righties (and one switch-hitter, Ben Zobrist) against Happ this afternoon.
For the A's, 25 year-old ace Sonny Gray will be opposing Happ. Gray is coming off of a sparkling season debut on Opening Night in which he flirted with a no-hitter, ultimately settling for eight innings of one-hit, shutout baseball. He'll look to keep it going against a strong Mariners lineup, featuring left-handed hitters such as Robinson Cano, Theth Thmith, and Kyle Seager.
The Mariners, as a team, were the trendy pick to win the AL West this season, and perhaps make it to the World Series. The A's stuck it to them last night, so it's time to do it again this afternoon!
- Josh Reddick (oblique) will be getting the day off today in High-A Stockton, and will return this Sunday in favor of Tyler Ladendorf.
- Jarrod Parker (Tommy John Surgery) will throw 45 pitches over three innings in extended Spring Training against the Brewers today.
- New fan favorite Mark Canha gets the start batting second and playing first base this afternoon. On Friday night, he went 3-5 and hit his first major league home run.
- A University of Michigan football helmet, left by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, was given to Drew Pomeranz as the "Player of the Game" award Friday night. Going forward, the players will decide who has earned it for their work.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Austin Jackson - CF||Craig Gentry - CF|
|Seth Smith - DH||Mark Canha - 1B|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Ben Zobrist - LF|
|Nelson Cruz - RF||Billy Butler - DH|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Cody Ross - RF|
|Logan Morrison - 1B||Brett Lawrie - 3B|
|Dustin Ackley - LF||Josh Phegley - C|
|Brad Miller - SS||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Jesus Sucre - C||Tyler Ladendorf - 2B|
First pitch is at 1:05 P.M., PST. It's Sonny Gray vs. J.A. Happ. Let's go Oakland!