A's Insider notes: Pennington plays savior for A's

A's Insider notes: Pennington plays savior for A's

May 8, 2011

Paul Gutierrez
Our A's Insider takes a look at Oakland's 5-2 win over the Royals in Kansas City to take the first three on this road trip.

A heads-up Penny - Shortstop Cliff Pennington put a fast end to the sixth inning with a quick-thinking play and nearly saved a run in the process. On Mitch Maier's two-out single to right field, with runners at first and second, Pennington alertly cut off David DeJesus' throw and dived at an over-running Wilson Betemit at second base. He tagged him out to end the inning, a split-second after Eric Hosmer slid across home plate for the Royals' second run of the day. Pennington's tag ended the threat, the inning and was thisclose to costing Kansas City a run. The Royals had cut the A's lead to 3-2 on the play.Coco steps up - It is obvious that Coco Crisp's quad muscle is still hindering him, as evidenced by his dragging his leg. But if the A's dynamic lead off-hitting, center field-playing sparkplug has lost a step, it was one that many others in the game do not possess. He came up huge with a running basket catch of Chris Getz's fly ball in right-center in the seventh inning. Then, flipped to the right side by a left-handed reliever in the eighth, Crisp greeted Tim Collins with a two-out single up the middle on the first pitch he saw to score Mark Ellis and give the A's an insurance run.Suzuki smiles - Yes, it was Mother's Day, not Father's Day, but Kurt Suzuki continued his power surge since the birth of his daughter on April 26. His ninth-inning solo home run with two out and on a full count was his fourth long ball of the season, his third since Malia Suzuki arrived. He also has seven RBI in that span.CoJack just fine, thank you - Two days after a scary-looking collision at first base to end the A's series-opening victory, Conor Jackson was back in the lineup and producing. Jackson had three hits in his first three at-bats and drove in the A's first run with a single to right in the first inning.Pitchers own worst enemies? - The A's defense cost their pitchers in April but the pitchers themselves have made things tough on themselves of late. As pointed out by A's radio announcer Vince Cotroneo, all five of the A's errors in May have been committed by (drum roll, please) pitchers.
-- Paul Gutierrez

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has a torn ligament in his left thumb and will have surgery Wednesday that is expected to sideline him between six to eight weeks.

The Angels put the reigning AL MVP on the disabled list Monday for the first time in his career. The outfielder hurt himself a day earlier making a headfirst slide to steal second base in Miami.

At 25, Trout already is a two-time AL MVP. He is hitting .337 and has 16 home runs, second most in the majors.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said an MRI revealed the tear. Team doctor Steve Shin arrived in Anaheim later Monday night, met with Trout and it was determined surgery was his best option.

"It was news no player wants to hear," Eppler said. "He's been put in a tough spot and it's something he's still digesting."

The Angels lost shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a similar thumb injury last season. He had surgery and was out slightly over five weeks.

Los Angeles was 26-28 going Monday night's game at home against Atlanta, and the lineup recently missed ailing slugger Albert Pujols.

Trout made his major league debut by playing 40 games for the Angels in 2011. Since then, he's been a five-time All-Star and has finished in the top two in the AL MVP all five seasons.

A year after hitting .315 with a .441 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 steals, Trout was off to a dynamic start. He was leading the league in on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.742) when he was hurt.

"It's really hard to quantify (his loss)," Eppler said. "We're going to feel that impact and it's going to require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will fight as it always does. But he's in the heart of the order and a leader in the dugout. Those are tough to absorb."

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.