Programming note: A's-Angels coverage kicks off at 6:30 p.m. tonight with A's Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California!
ANAHEIM -- The A's have won three in a row. The Angels have won six in a row, and three of those wins came in Oakland. The A's lead the American League Wild Card standings and are two and a half games ahead of the Angels. Starting Monday two of the hottest teams in baseball will clash in a pivotal four-game divisional series with a lot on the line.
RELATED: Division standings Wild Card standings
"We could talk about that pretty much every series," A's outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "We're not looking at it like that. We are just game to game. Really just flat out game to game, try and win each inning. The second we look up and look ahead that might harm us a bit."As the A's chase their first postseason berth since 2006, they have to keep things in perspective. They have faced many obstacles along the way. Keeping it simple and not overthinking things has been their motto all year long, and it is working. At 79-60 they have the second-best record in the American League."I don't think you have to do a character check on this team anymore," Gomes said. "Whether it was injuries, we had some adversity with some of key guys getting sent out and getting traded, we had the issue with Bartolo Colon, these guys are doing a great job just keeping their head down and going to battle with the guys we have in the clubhouse."It would have been easy for the A's to feel sorry for themselves after losing their opening day starter, pitching rotation leader, and friend Brandon McCarthy to a frightening injury last Wednesday. It would have been easy for them to fold when, veteran Bartolo Colon got suspended for 50 games after violating MLB's drug policy. Sure, the A's could have shut it down when veteran third baseman Brandon Inge underwent season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, or when a team leader like catcher Kurt Suzuki got traded, but they kept battling. For these guys getting swept at home against the Angels is merely a hiccup. They proved it by rebounding and taking out their aggressions on the Mariners in Seattle with a three-game sweep. "We got swept at home and we came back and showed some resiliency in these games," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Lets just move on to the next city. It's certainly a better feeling now than when we left."Series Probables:Monday
Jarrod Parker (9-8, 3.67 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (10-10, 4.46 ERA)Tuesday
Dan Straily (1-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (8-11, 5.21 ERA)Wednesday
A.J. Griffin (5-0, 2.21 ERA) vs. TBDThursday
Brett Anderson (4-0, 0.69 ERA) vs. CJ Wilson (12-9, 3.69 ERA)