Game 135: Angels-Athletics …

Who would’ve thunk it. We’re well into September, and it’s the Angels who need to win matchups against the A’s — the A’s! — to make up the ground that sits between them. But here we are. The Angels have won nine of their last 12 games, but they still find themselves in a similar hole that they dug themselves into with a rough second-half start (which was almost as bad as their first-half start). The A’s, meanwhile, have reeled off nine straight victories, outscoring their opponents 72-22.

Somehow, Billy Beane continues to re-tool.

Josh Reddick (.825 OPS) was acquired from the Red Sox for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney. Yoenis Cespedes (.849) signed because the A’s offered him far more than anyone else as a free agent. Jonny Gomes (.844) was a January bargain-bin pickup. Jarrod Parker (3.72 ERA in 23 starts) and Ryan Cook (2.70 ERA and 13 saves) came in the deal that sent Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to the D-backs. And Tommy Milone (11-9, 3.73 ERA) was acquired from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez.

“It’s remarkable,” Mike Scioscia said. “Not that they didn’t have talent, and didn’t have talent in Spring Training moving forward. But they’ve re-tooled, and re-tooled during the season. When you look at not only some of the young pitchers that have come up, but some of the veterans, like Inge who came over, you look at Drew, some of the young players like Reddick, how they’ve developed. Those guys have re-tooled themselves, not only personnel-wise but philosophically on how they’re going about winning games. They’ve been running a lot more, and they’re definitely doing it with pitching and defense.”

Angels (71-63)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, DH
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Vernon Wells, LF
Chris Iannetta, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (10-9, 3.86 ERA)

Athletics (76-57)

Coco Crisp, CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Chris Carter, 1B
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Derek Norris, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Adam Rosales, 2B

Pitching: LH Tommy Milone (11-9, 3.73 ERA)

  • Scioscia said Jered Weaver‘s right shoulder, which he injured on a comebacker yesterday, is “a little tender.” Asked whether he’ll make his next turn, on Friday, Sicoscia said: “We’re going to wait and see how it’s feeling. … Let’s get through this series and we’ll see how some things set up, particularly with Weave, and then we’ll have decisions.” No tests for Weaver just yet.
  • Peter Bourjos was activated off the disabled list today, the first day he was eligible. The wrist had been bothering him since a HBP in spring, but he thinks it’s fully healed and doesn’t anticipate having to get it taken care of in the offseason.
  • Asked about keeping Trumbo in that cleanup spot while he’s scuffling like this, even if it’s only against lefties, Scioscia said: “The thing about Mark that we’ve talked about is, we’ve seen him have rough at-bats and rough days and bounce right back, whether it’s the fourth at-bat of a game or the next day and hit it. Right now, his presence is important. If we have to adjust from it, we’ll look at some things. … Against lefties, I think Mark, even though he’s in a little downturn right now, it gives us the best chance of getting Albert some pitches, and hopefully Mark will get productive.”
  • Nick Maronde threw three pitches, all strikes, to record a big strikeout in his big league debut in Sunday’s sixth inning. Scioscia could go to him more in spots like that moving forward, giving him a second lefty who may (unlike Hisanori Takahashi) actually be able to get lefty hitters out. “His stuff plays against them, you just want to see where a player is as far as getting settled and getting to a situation. He obviously passed that test very well.”

Alden

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