A's Insider notes: Anderson breaks through

May 26, 2011, 11:01 pm
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May 26, 2011

Paul Gutierrez

Anderson breaks through - That's how you get off the schneid. Brett Anderson, winless in five career starts against the Los Angeles Angels in going 0-2 with a 4.55 ERA, kept Halos hitters off balance all day and kept runners from crossing home plate in his eight innings of work. Anderson, whose numbers in Anaheim were even worse (5.84 ERA), threw eight innings of shutout ball while allowing just three hits. The left-hander also struck out four and walked three in his 105 pitches, 72 strikes. He retired the first 10 batters he faced. Most impressive - the way Anderson got out of jams in the sixth - runners at second and third with one out - and seventh - runners at first and second, none out - unscathed.

RECAP: Anderson brilliant, A's gain split with Angels
Balfour, it's Australian for A's new closer, mate - OK, so, technically, it was not a save situation when Grant Balfour entered in the ninth with a four-run lead. But he walked the tight-rope like one in taking the role vacated by Brian Fuentes and before Andrew Bailey returns. Balfour gave up a two-out, three-run home run to Mark Trumbo. Balfour kicked the mound in frustration. One pitch later, new Angel Russell Branyan took Balfour to the warning track in dead center, where Coco Crisp caught the ball to end the game, and Balfour's adventure.Gerenball equals Moneyball? - Geren and the A's are roundly and routinely criticized for not bunting enough. Not taking enough chances. Well, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington dropped a couple of beauties down the third-base line that hugged the chalk and stayed in play for singles that looked like line drives in the scorebook.Geren, the comic - In his pregame meeting with the media, Geren was asked if he saw highlights of Wednesday night's 19-inning marathon between Philadelphia and Cincinnati, when Phillies second baseman position Wilson Valdez became the first position payer since 2000 to pitch and get the victory. Geren was also asked ho he thought could do it for the A's. He said he thought outfielder Ryan Sweeney had the arm for it. When jokingly asked if Hideki Matsui could do it, another reporter asked if Geren had, ahem, communicated such plans. "Have I talked with him?" Geren mused, with a huge grin on his face. "That's awesome."Of catchers and collisions - News of Giants catcher Buster Posey's potential season-ending injuries were also a pregame topic of discussion in both managers meetings, with with both Geren and Angels skipper Mike Scioscia former big league backstops. "It's very unfortunate. hate to see anybody on any team get injured like that," Geren said. "He's a special playerI don't know the kid, never met himbut I wish him the best." I asked Geren if it hit closer to home for him because it was his position. "Yeah, and I have a young catcher myself (in Kurt Suzuki). My two kids catch. I know its a dangerous position. It's part of the job. It's a tough position." Geren also talked about his most violent collision as a player, with Ken Caminiti. "That was a bad one," he said. "Had a bad neck for a while, whiplash. Tried to play through it. I dropped a nice 0-fer after that. Then again, I could have done that with a good neck." Ba-dum-dum. After mentioning another bad dust-up with Rob Deer, green pointed to the Angels dugout and Scioscia. "He was the most amazing plate-blocking, collision-taking catcher of all time, in my mind," Geren said. "A very tough guy back there." Scioiscia, meanwhile, told reporters that such collisions are "99 percent of the time" the result of adrenaline. He was also not sure about calls from the Bay Area to look into changing rules. "When something like this happens, it's unfortunate," Scioscia said. "But I don't know if there's enough there to re-write the rulebook."