Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

by Michelle Richardson

Texas 36 Oklahoma 20: These kids from Texas are literally playing for Texas head coach Mack Brown’s job and I still don’t see him being there after this year but right now that’s what their playing for, these kids are playing for Brown. There’s grumblings within the university of Longhorn nation that he is overstaying his welcome and he’s one among the senior college coaches in the nation.

He’s been with U.T. about 16 years so there’s rumblings within from alumni like Earl Campbell that maybe it’s time to have a new leader at the helm. The Red River rivalry is alive and well and the University of Texas took on the Gold Hat. They proved to be the better team Saturday and both teams had interceptions Oklahoma had two interceptions.

In those total yards the efficiency that Texas was just way more efficient with first and third downs the Longhorns converted 13-23 downs when Oklahoma converted only two of 13. You got to convert third downs into first downs. It’s kind of important to keep the ball a little bit. On passing yards there were 109 yards for Texas, rushing yards 255 yards, so Texas was doing it on the ground and in the air.

Missouri 41 Georgia 26: Missouri played like a team possessed and they really didn’t believe the hype from U.G. and they were not thrown by playing them and they were not intimidated and they went in there and they smacked Georgia around. They just smacked those guys around for Georgia they had two fumbles, two interceptions.

That is so unlike Georgia and you have the Georgia quarterback and he’s playing without a lot of weapons and half of his players are injured, running back Todd Gurley is injured and head coach Mark Richt is playing with a lack of weapons. When you start losing key players in your offense it does take control and on Saturday it showed.

It’s not because of all these Georgia players injured is the reason why Missouri won, Missouri went in there and played, Missouri went in there and just controlled that game from the Bulldogs. Missouri played really well on both sides of the ball. Total first downs yards went to Missouri quarterback James Franklin for passing yards at 170 yards and had 12 rushing yards and for Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray he threw for 25-45 for 290 yards, and three touchdowns but lost the game.

Utah 27 Stanford 21: People think just because Utah came out from the Mountain West conference they were a less team. Utah has been showing people that Utah is for real and Utah has had a lot of players who chose not to play in the Pac 12 conference that were recruited by a Pac 12 team. You have a lot of players who played with or on the side a lot of the talent that’s in the Pac 12.

Utah is in it to win it, and as far as expansion it happened to the two teams that were absorbed into the Pac 12 Colorado and Utah. Utah was definitely in the top ten and that’s what they really wanted. The Utes went in there and they were at home and they beat a undefeated Cardinal team. The Utes had 21 first downs in the game, they converted third downs, although they had only one interception Stanford had two but it was a pretty even game.

It was a game of who wanted it more and the Utes wanted it more and the good thing it wasn’t a blow out that’s the thing I love about this game that it wasn’t a blow out it was a hard fought game with Utah quarterback Travis Wilson going 23-24 for 234 yards, and two touchdowns and for Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan 15-27 for 246 yards and one touchdown.

Michelle Richardson does commentary on the NCAA each week for Sportstalk Radio

A’s end regular season versus Texas with sweep

September 15, 2013

By Pearl Allison Lo

With their biggest win margin of the series, Oakland engineered their first season sweep at Arlington in four years with a 4-1 finale.

The A’s magic number to clinch the American League West is now at seven games.

In this game, it was the big bats were the difference, producing four of the five runs. Josh Donaldson’s home run in the top of the first proved to be the game-
winner.

Oakland wasted no time getting runners on base as Coco Crisp and Chris Young got on
base before Jed Lowrie brought in the game’s first run with a double play. Donaldson followed suit with a home run to double the A’s lead and extend his
hitting streak to 11 games, a career-high.

Texas scored in the first inning as well, when A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-out single to bring in Elvis Andrus and slice the lead back down to one.

Chris Young re-doubled Oakland’s lead when he hit a two-out home run in the top of the third.

The Rangers’ best chance came in the bottom of the sixth with runners at the corner and one out. Texas used three pinch hitters in the inning, but only Jurickson Profar was successful.

The game stayed 3-1 from the third inning until Oakland tacked on two more runs
in the top of the ninth. Brandon Moss came in to pinch-hit and was walked and
Josh Reddick brought them both to home plate with a home run. Reddick went 2-
for-4.

Tommy Milone, who filled in after the A’s hot-pitching Jarrod Parker was scratched
from the game due to illness, pitched 5 innings, while Ranger’s starter Martin
Perez pitched 6.1 innings.

Game notes: Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes was also scratched from the game due to a sore shoulder. He would have been the designated hitter. It was a franchise first for Texas to go winless in their six-game homestand. The A’s will continue
Monday with a three-game series versus the Los Angeles Angels, who they face six times in the next 10 games.

A’s vs. Twins Preview

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s are en route to meet the Minnesota Twins for the first time this season. Hard to believe that they haven’t played the Twinkies this year but they will make up for it as the play the Twins seven times in the next 13 days. Three in Minnesota and four at the Coliseum. The last four games will conclude the A’s home season.

The A’s and Twins have had a long rivalry. Before 1994, when baseball created three divisions in each league, there were just two divisions. It was the AL West going up against the AL East to determine the pennant winner. In the years from 1987 to 1991, it was either the Twins or the A’s that won the American League Pennant. The Twins won it in 1987 and the World series,too, beating the St. Louis Cardinals and then they did it again in 1991 beating the Atlanta Braves. What was unique about those series was that the Twins won all four home games and lost on the road but they had home field advantage in each series. The A’s won Pennants three years in a row but just one World Series title as they beat the San Francisco Giants in the Battle of the Bay. The Twins and the A’s met twice in the AL Division series.  The A’s had a great year in 2002, highlighted by the twenty game win streak, but the Twins eliminated them 3 games to 2  in the first round of the playoffs. The A’s garnered a measure of revenge when they eliminated the Twins in 2006. The A’s, unfortunately were swept by the Detroit Tigers and didn’t make it to the World Series that year.

The Twins were good for a long time but starting in 2011 and going right up to the present, the team has had a losing record. The Twins won 94 games in 2010 and their Manager Ron Gardenhire was named Manager of the year. The Twins dropped to 63-99 in 2011 and 66-96 in 2012. Their record as of September 9th is 61-80 and it appears they will have their third consecutive losing season.

The A’s, on the other hand, are in first place in their division, with a record of 83-60 and are in first place a game and a half ahead of the Texas Rangers. The A’s have to be careful as the Twins can now play the role of “spoilers. “ The A’s cannot let down and Manager Bob Melvin will make sure that they don’t. The A’s will have their ace, Jarrod Parker on the mound and he will be opposed by righty Liam Hendricks who will be trying to prove that he can compete on the big league level.

The Twins have many players on their roster that are unknown quantities. They do have a few veterans such as our old friend Josh Willingham. Willingham had a great year last year but has had injury problems this year. Kevin Correia is a former Giant and Pirate and Mike Pelfrey, the former Met are the leaders on the pitching rotation. Joe Mauer, who has won three batting titles and was MVP in 2009, will not be available.

This will be a great opportunity for the A’s too, perhaps, put Texas in the rear view mirror for good this year. After the three game set with the Twins, the A’s head to Arlington to play the last three games of the year with the Rangers. The Rangers have to face the Pittsburgh Pirates before they met the A’s and A’s players and fans  hope the Pirates will make the Rangers walk the plank.

Rangers beat the A’s, back in first place

by Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s squared off against the Texas Rangers Tuesday night at the Coliseum in the battle for first place in the AL West division.  Bartolo Colon was on the hill for the A’s but he did not go past the fifth inning again as the A’s lost to the Rangers 5-1. Colon’s record drops to 14-6 and  he has not won since late July. The Rangers’ starter, left-handed pitcher Martin Perez went 7 innings allowed eight hits but just one run in winning his 9th game of the year. The Rangers are now in first place and the A’s are just a game behind.  The game summary follows.

The A’s took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Coco Crisp doubled and then scored on a single by Yoenis Cespedes. The Rangers tied the score in the third on a home run off the bat of Mitch Moreland.

The Rangers scored three unearned runs in the fifth to take a 4-1. Bartolo  Colon was charged with an error when he couldn’t handle a ball hit right back to him. The Rangers then put together a double and two singles to put the three runs on the board.

The Rangers’ Alex Rios hit his fourteenth home run of the year  to start the eighth inning. Rangers now lead 5-1.

The A’s could do nothing against the Rangers bullpen and the final score was 5-1 in favor of Texas.

Game notes- Josh Donaldson made the defensive play of the year that will be a web gem for sure.

He made a great backhand catch of a foul ball while falling behind the tarp on the third base side of the diamond.  Bob Melvin said “you won’t see a better play than that.” Melvin also commented that he took Colon out of the game after five inning as “he had thrown 80 plus pitches and took a ball off his hand.” He didn’t think Texas knocked Colon around but Colon hit 92 MPH on the radar game just once or twice. Most of his pitches were 87-89 MPH.

The A’s lost for just the third time in their last eleven games and snapped a four game winning streak.

Yoenis Cespedes was 2 for 4 and it was his third straight two hit game. Michael Choice recorded his first Major League hit.

The A’s play the Rangers again Wednesday at 12:35. Sonny Gray will be pitching for the A’s hoping to get his third win of the season and he will be opposed by the Rangers ace, Yu Darvish who has a record of 12-6.

The A’s recalled left handed pitcher Tommy Milone from Single-A Stockton and right-handed pitcher Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento. The A’s also selected right-handed pitcher Pat Neshek from Sacramento. To make room on the 40 man roster, the A’s designated lefty Hideki Okajima for assignment. Luke Montz , who was designated for assignment on Sunday, was released.

 

Attendance was 16,133

The A’s win, back in first place

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s, just a game behind the Rangers, opened a three game series with the Division leaders starting on Labor Day. This is going to be a huge series. The A’s will need to win two out three to be even with Texas for the division lead. The last thing either team wants to be is a Wild Card Entry. The Rangers found that out last year when they lost a one game playoff to the Orioles and were eliminated.

The 23,495 people who were here in attendance were not disappointed as the A’s beat the Rangers 4-2 and  the A’s moved into a first place tie with the Rangers. Dan Straily started for the A’s and went five innings getting credit for his eighth win of the year. The Rangers’ starter, Derek Holland, took the loss. Both teams now have an identical record of 79-58 with 25 games left in the season.

The A’s took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo home run for his 21st home run of the year. Alberto Callaspo doubled and scored on a single by Chris Young.  The Rangers tied the game in the top of the fifth. Straily walked Mitch Moreland to start the inning and Moreland scored when David Murphy homered to tie the score.

The A’s came back to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Choice reached first on a throwing error by Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre. Coco Crisp followed with a home run that barely made it over the left field wall and the umpires called it a home run but decided to review the play. After a minute or two, the umps came back and ruled in the A’s favor. A’s now lead 4-2.

There was no more scoring. Bob Melvin used four relievers to close out the Rangers. The Rangers did threaten a couple of times. Dan Otero worked out of a jam in the sixth and Grant Balfour had men on second and third with two outs in the ninth. Balfour got Beltre to ground out to end the game and earn his 36th save of the year.

Game notes- The A’s have won four straight and seven of the last eight and are in first place since August 9th. Dan Straily is 3-1 with in ERA of 2.63 during day games. Strailly when asked after the game if there was any extra pressure on him for this game replied “Not really, but you understand the magnitude of the situation.”  Coco Crisp hit his 17th home run of the year which is a career high. Crisp has homered 7 times in his last 12 games. Crisp left the game with when he hit a foul ball off his right shin. Bob Melvin said “it is a right shin contusion and we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”  Michael Choice made his Major League debut and walked his first time up and reached on an error. Melvin said Choice reaching on the error”was a huge play in the game.” Melvin used Brett Anderson in relief.  Melvin said that he would keep him there for a while as the starting rotation is ok. Grant Balfour picked up his 36th save of the year but it was not easy. However, Balfour worked out the jam and Melvin commented that “Balfour had to find a little extra will and would have to make a pitch and get out of the game.”

Game two of the three game series will be Tuesday night at the Coliseum. Game time will be 7pm.

Bartolo Colon(14-5) will start for the A’s and the Rangers’ will send  lefty Martin Perez(8-3) to the mound.

Game time 2 hours and 28 minutes.