Friday night didn't go too well for our heroes in green and gold. Despite home runs from Ike Davis and Stephen Vogt, and some #grit from Brett Lawrie, the A's usually-strong bullpen collapsed once again en route to a painful 6-4 loss. Starter Sonny Gray did all he could, but every ball in play seemed to find a hole. Saturday afternoon, Jesse Hahn will look to come out luckier than Gray did, as the Athletics try to push their record back to an even .500.
Hahn (0-1, 3.09 ERA) will look to prove that he belongs in the A's rotation, after a couple of starts in which he couldn't get any help whatsoever from his defense. Errors by fantastic fielders such as Craig Gentry and Josh Reddick cost Hahn outs in his first two starts, leading to two losses despite Hahn's admirable efforts. Jesse will also look to regain his strikeout game, as after striking out 8.6 batters per nine innings over 11 starts in San Diego last year, Hahn's K/9 rate has plummeted to a mere 3.9 on this young season.
And when it comes to the Royals' offense, giving up balls in play can be dangerous. Between their speedy top of the lineup and some good ol' fashioned luck, Kansas City is second in baseball in BABIP, having posted an insane .352 mark thus far. Their lineup doesn't have that big, intimidating slugger that some of the best do, but they will surely keep a defense on its toes.
Opposing Hahn this afternoon (evening in Kansas City) will be right-handed flamethrower Yordano Ventura (2-0, 2.31 ERA). After signing a five year, $23 million dollar contract extension just prior to the season's start, Ventura will look to continue his dominance and development in becoming the staff ace.
This should be a fantastic match-up between two young, high-ceiling pitchers, and between two legitimate postseason contenders. After an incident at second base Friday night between Brett Lawrie and Alcides Escobar, tonight's contest could get a little heated. Regardless, this will be a great, competitive game. Let's all hope the A's come out on top!
|OAKLAND A'S||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Sam Fuld - CF||Paulo Orlando - RF|
|Stephen Vogt - C||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Ben Zobrist - LF||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Billy Butler - DH||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Ike Davis - 1B||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Brett Lawrie - 3B||Salvador Perez - C|
|Eric Sogard - 2B||Omar Infante - 2B|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Christian Colon - SS|
|Jesse Hahn - RHP||Yordano Ventura - RHP|
Alcides Escobar will sit out on Saturday:
Escobar says he could play tonight, wants to but decision was it would be smarter to take night off.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 18, 2015
Royals closer Greg Holland has been placed on the DL and will miss the rest of the series:
#Royals place closer Greg Holland on 15-day D.L. (right pectoral strain); recall RHP Yohan Pino from Triple-A Omaha.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 18, 2015