The A's are coming off a heartbreaking loss last night against the Angels that was scarily reminiscent of 2015. They play the Halos at home today to avoid the sweep.
Taking the mound for the Athletics is interim 5th starter LHP Eric Surkamp. After several decent Spring Training outings and one excellent relief appearance against the Giants, Surkamp earned a shot at the 5th starter slot while Jesse Hahn works on his control in Nashville. Surkamp's last start came on Friday against the Mariners, where he pitched solidly, giving up 2 earned runs in what would have been 5 innings if not for a Jed Lowrie error.
Pitching for the Angels is RHP Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker got blown up in his first start of the season last Friday against the Rangers, when he gave up 7 hits and 3 walks in 3 innings for 6 earned runs. Billy Butler and Marcus Semien have a track record of mashing Shoemaker in the handful of times they've faced him, so hopefully Butler can get some momentum and Semien can build on his incredible 2 home run performance from last night.
The A's hitters are desperately in need of a breakout game. The offense has only managed to score more than 4 runs in one game this season, and as last night showed, we can't always rely on our bullpen to hold narrow leads. The A's have the worst OBP in MLB at .271 and today would be a great day to fix that and have the offensive breakout Tim predicted yesterday in order to avoid the sweep.
|LOS ANGELES ANGELS||OAKLAND A'S|
|Yunel Escobar - 3B||Billy Burns - CF|
|Craig Gentry - LF||Coco Crisp - LF|
|Mike Trout - CF||Josh Reddick - RF|
|Albert Pujols - DH||Stephen Vogt - C|
|C.J. Cron - 1B||Danny Valencia - 3B|
|Kole Calhoun - RF||Chris Coghlan - 2B|
|Andrelton Simmons - SS||Billy Butler - DH|
|Carlos Perez - C||Yonder Alonso - 1B|
|Johnny Giavotella - 2B||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Matt Shoemaker - RHP||Eric Surkamp - LHP|
Who will step up on offense today?
This poll is closed
The speedy guys (Burns/Crisp)
The sluggers (Vogt/Valencia/Butler)
The all-around hitters (Reddick/Coghlan/Semien)
Alonso, I guess?
None - this is the beginning of the end