by David Zizmor
ALAMEDA–The Houston Texans are not a very good team they’ve lost eight in a row and they hosted the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. The Texans are going through a lot of problems with injuries and poor performance and a whole lot of other things the fact of the matter you got play whose in front of you. The Raiders are banged up as well their not the picture of perfect health, they put in quarterback Matt McGloin as the starter last Sunday for injured quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
McGloin is a undrafted rookie back there behind center and you know what he looked pretty good and he doesn’t have the arm strength of a lot of quarterbacks but he’s pretty accurate and that makes up for a lot of the problems the arm strength. As long he knows what throws he can and can not make he should be able to at least step in and be a decent back up.
We saw him come into this game last Sunday in Houston and go 18-32 for 197 yards, with three touchdowns passes. That’s as much as you could hope for from a guy like McGloin and he really is a work in progress by all accounts. He’s a guy who came on late in college to even get into the position to join the team and boom he’s in there filling in for Pryor and already your hearing on our talk shows and in the Bay Area “hey maybe McGloin should be the starter instead of Pryor.
Well it’s a little too soon to say that and going forward this year you have to put Pryor back there as long as he’s healthy because that’s the real purpose of the Raiders this season is to figure out whether Pryor is the future quarterback of this football team. You got a guy like McGloin there and he does well it makes you feel a little bit better you have something to build on. If Pryor doesn’t pan out then McGloin can step in and do some business and take care of things for the Raiders for at least a short time.
Now is McGloin a long term solution for the Raiders at a bare minimum they probably have a solid back up behind Pryor whether McGloin is a full time starting option is anybody’s guess. One game against a really bad Texans team doesn’t prove too much in that respect. McGloin has proven for a game or two at least he can step in and be of service to any team in league let alone the Oakland Raiders.
The other big development is the emergence of Rashad Jennings who had just a fantastic game he had 22 rushes for 150 yards 80 of those yards came on one long bruising touchdown run that was just fantastic. Jennings ran through the line and lowered his shoulder and knocked the Texans safety backwards before rumbling the rest of the way it was an eye opening run that kind of served notice to running back Darren McFadden that Jennings is not going to give up that position anytime soon.
McFadden certainly helps by never being on the field but McFadden is a free agent after this season and if Jennings keeps this up it already is a 50-50 proposition whether McFadden returns to the Raiders and the better Jennings. The less likely that McFadden remains a Raider going into 2014. Jennings is proving that he can be a starter in this league, that he should be the Raider guy the rest of the way and he’s the guy to key on.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportrstalk Radio
by Phillip Torres
OAKLAND-The Oakland Athletics (82-60) entered the day a half game up on the Texas Rangers in the American League West, and remained on top after a 2-1 victory of the Houston Astros (47-95) on Saturday Afternoon at O.co Coliseum.
Oakland struck first when Yoenis Cespedes hit his 22nd homerun of the year on a 1-1 pitch to left field off of starter Brett Oberholtzer in fourth inning to give the A’s a 1-0 advantage.
The A’s got on the board again in the seventh inning with another long ball. On a 1-2 pitch, leadoff man Jed Lowrie cleared the Center Field wall to make it 2-0 Oakland.
After a Brett Wallace double in the eighth, with runners on second and third, Brandon Barnes grounded into a force out to knock him in. The Houston run cut the lead to 2-1. The Astros youth then showed on the series of plays. Barnes stole second base on the next pitch. But, Barnes got picked off trying to steal third after attempting to on the previous pitch that was negated by a Jonathan Villar foul ball. Oakland clearly noticed the attempted steal of third after the foul ball, but Barnes went for it again on the very next pitch and was picked off easily.
The base running mistake made it easy to see why the Astros only have 47 wins on the season.
Dan Straily earned the victory, his ninth of the season after tossing seven shutout innings. Grant Balfour picked up the save in the ninth inning.
There were 20,340 in attendance at the Coliseum. The A’s will finish off the series with Houston tomorrow afternoon.
Phillip Torres covers the A’s for SportsRadioService.com
By George Devine, Sr.
Despite Oakland’s being in contention all season, and Houston’s doing the opposite, an A’s-Astros game is frequently hard-fought, and tonight’s was no exception. An announced attendance of just over 15,000 went to enjoy a balmy (80 degree) evening at O.co Coliseum and saw a competitive game that had the fourth inning beginning well after the hour-and-a-quarter mark.
The A’s scored first in the second inning when Yoenis Cespedes singled to center, reached second on Nate Freiman’s base hit past shortstop Jonathan Villar, and third on a fielder’s choice, scoring on Chris Young’s bunt back towards Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel. In the third, the Astros’ first three batters – Villar, Jose Altuve and Trevor Crowe – all hit Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (with a double for Villar) and all scored, the latter two on Matt Dominguez’ single. That made it 3-1 for the visitors. But in the bottom of the frame, The Athletics’ first two batters – Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie – followed a similar pattern. both hitting doubles, to tie it at 3. In the next inning Villar bunted for a single and brought Brett Wallace home from third. Advantage Houston, 4-3. But the Oaks scored two runs in the bottom of the inning, on a hit by Lowrie and a groundout by Cespedes. Donaldson’s two-run homer to left in the sixth broke the game open.
Houston added a run in the ninth when Villar singled to short and Altuve to right, with Crowe reaching on a force attempt with an error by second baseman Eric Sogard; Villar scored.
Keuchel took the loss (5-9; 3.1 ip, 10 h, 5 er, 2 w, 3 k) and Oakland starter A.J. Griffin is the winner (13-9; 7 ip, 4 er, 1 w, 9 k). Grant Balfour got his 37th save.
The A’s are once again in the lead for the AL West. The two teams meet again at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 with RHP Dan Straily (8-7, 4.38 ERA) opposing LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-4, 5.91).