Notes: Crisp in shades, Inge on the way?

Notes: Crisp in shades, Inge on the way?
September 18, 2012, 10:16 pm
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DETROIT -- Still recovering from a case of allergic conjunctivitis in both of his eyes, Coco Crisp sat in the clubhouse with his sunglasses on playing cards. He is in the lineup batting first and playing centerfield. Aside from the occasional ribbing from his teammates, it appears he is just fine after suffering from what is more commonly called pink eye. "He's probably a little bit better than yesterday," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "As we know Coco, if he can play he's going to do everything he can to play." Crisp was forced to miss Sunday's game with the eye issue and had to take a separate flight to join the team in Detroit. Melvin said he wanted to see how Crisp was doing after batting practice, but with the rain it looks like no one will be hitting on the field before the game. "It's an inconvenience and it is somewhat bothersome, but we certainly wouldn't put him in a position where he was at risk," Melvin said. "Earlier in the day it was good enough to make the lineup out." -- The A's are in Brandon Inge's hometown. There was a contingent of Detroit area reporters hovering around the A's clubhouse anticipating his arrival. Inside the clubhouse there is a stall set aside with his name on it. According to the A's, Inge's season-ending shoulder surgery was performed last Thursday in Detroit by Dr. Stephen Lemos, who is the Tigers' orthopedic surgeon. Inge wants to dress and travel with the team as soon as he is recovered enough from the surgery. It looks like he will show up at some point during this series, but no one seems to know when, yet.
"I'm not sure as far as he's a few days after the surgery," Melvin said. "He doesn't sit still for long I know that, so there is no telling where he is right now." -- The A's don't appear to be nervous as they begin what could be a road trip that decides the fate of their season. While the A's are an American League-best 40-31 on the road, they will be put to the test. The three teams that Oakland plays on this trip are the top three teams in the league in home winning percentage (Texas .635, Detroit .606, New York .597)."When you get ahead of yourself and look at the schedule on this 10-game road trip it can be kind of daunting," first baseman Brandon Moss said. "You know it's going to be a fight but if you take it one game at a time, anyone can win one game." While the "one game at a time" talk sounds cliche it has served the A's well this year. They embrace the mentality. "You look at the road trip as a whole and start worrying about going this and this, or blah blah blah, then you completely lose focus on today's game," Moss said. The A's hold the top spot in the A.L. Wild Card race and are in striking distance of the Rangers in the division. Catching Texas is still the A's top priority. "I don't think it's ever not been the focus," Melvin said. "For any team that still has a chance to win the division that's what you look at first and foremost." The A's still have seven games against the Rangers this season, four of them come on this road trip. Worrying about the Wild Card is an unnecessary distraction for more than one reason."For me the whole Wild Card thing is way too confusing to try and follow too much," Melvin said. "I look at one number behind us and then another, and you've got to do math to add it up. We're just looking at right now winning on a particular day." -- Rookie A.J. Griffin takes the mound for Oakland in the series opener. His 6-0 record to start his career is an Oakland record for a starting pitcher. Griffin is certainly turning heads in the baseball stratosphere. With the A's entrenched in their own October Quest there has been a lot of national media around lately and they all seem to ask about Griffin. "He's got good stuff, he believes in his teammates behind him, and to this point he's had a tremendous amount of success," Melvin said of the pitcher with a quirky and upbeat personality. "I wouldn't say he is one of those fierce-eyed competitors that's grinding out there. It's not like he's got Roger Clemens face when he is out there on the mound, but it works for him." Griffin will be opposed by right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer, who leads the American League with 220 strikeouts. The A's lineup is stacked with five lefties and two switch hitters.