A's look to keep it going behind Cahill


A's look to keep it going behind Cahill

May 25, 2011

A's (23-26) vs.
LA ANGELS (25-25)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

ANAHEIM (AP) -- Trevor Cahill continues to prove his stellar 2010 season was no fluke, boasting the second-best ERA in the AL. His recent statistics against the Los Angeles Angels are even more impressive.

Cahill looks to continue his mastery of the Angels on Wednesday night when the visiting Oakland Athletics hope to build off their first victory in nearly a week.

The A's (23-26) ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday after scoring 10 runs total during their skid. Oakland's only three victories in the last 10 games have come against the Angels (25-25), a team Cahill (6-1, 1.79 ERA) has dominated recently.

GUTIERREZ: A's snap skid, but tension lingers

The 23-year-old right-hander has allowed one earned run over 21 innings while winning his last three starts against Los Angeles.

Cahill, who went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in his second major-league season of 2010, has picked up right where he left off, giving up two earned runs or fewer in nine of 10 starts. His ERA trails only Josh Beckett (1.69) among AL pitchers.

He allowed one run in six innings Friday before Oakland fell 2-1 in 10 innings against San Francisco.

Though Cahill has been stingy on the mound, the A's offense hasn't exactly been scoring at a rapid pace. They finally broke out of their funk Tuesday, as David DeJesus went 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBIs. Josh Willingham added a two-run double.

Oakland ranks 12th in the AL with a .236 batting average.

"After six losses in a row, we needed that kind of game," manager Bob Geren said. "That's the team that we can be."

DeJesus is 12 for 28 lifetime against Angels starter Ervin Santana (2-4, 4.18 ERA), who is coming off his first shutout of the season.

The right-hander allowed four hits and struck out seven in Friday's 9-0 rout of Atlanta. The victory began a stretch of three wins in four games for the Angels prior to Tuesday's defeat.

"We just have to keep doing our job and stay positive. When the run support is like that, you have to feel comfortable," Santana said after Friday's contest.

Santana is 12-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 21 career appearances versus Oakland, but 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA in his last five starts against the A's.

Though Santana will be hoping for similar run support to what he got in his most recent outing, Los Angeles reverted back to it's low-scoring ways Tuesday. The Angels have lost four of their last five meetings with Oakland, getting outscored 27-6 in the defeats.

"When (the starters) are pitching well, they don't need a lot of support," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "But the operative word is obviously the difference between a lot and none, and we've been on that thin side in supporting these guys a lot this last month."

Torii Hunter is 3 for 15 with five strikeouts in his last five games against the A's and 3 for 14 lifetime against Cahill.

GMs have taken all the fun out of Trade Deadline day


GMs have taken all the fun out of Trade Deadline day

The NHL trade deadline came and went Monday night when the Washington Capitals went chips-in on St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

(For the record, the actual details of the trade are so absurdly complicated that all you will be permitted to know here is that the Caps got Shattenkirk).

But the fact is that, yet again, all the air rushed out of Wednesday’s trade deadline balloon for the hockey media, and the poor sods on set to babysit all the deal-lets and non-deals will weep bitterly as their phones spit out hour after hour of non-information.

At least that’s the way it is playing now. Maybe Pittsburgh will finally close that long-rumored (well, by me, anyway) Sidney Crosby-for-Phil Di Giuseppe deal, but that’s not the way to bet.

But the trade deadline has been slowly but surely dying as general managers find far greater advantage in making their deals away from the time crunch and the persistent phone calls from other general manager, agents and worst of all, media weasels.

For example, the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans broke the NBA trade deadline as well as the All-Star Game by doing the DeMarcus Cousins deal four days early and midway through the first half, in that order.

And though this wasn’t actually a trade, the Golden State Warriors broke the market back in July by maneuvering their way for the prize of the summer – Zaza Pachulia.

Oh, and the other guy.

In short, the general managers seem to have figured out the simplest way to foil the pressures of the trade deadline – by ignoring the deadline and acting ahead of time, creating their own spoiler alerts by spoiling everyone’s fun before they were fully alerted.

And that leaves the rest of us faced with an empty day of blather after we’ve all gone to the trouble of doubling down on beer and chips.

Ultimately the idea behind the coverage of a trade is to break the news of the trade whenever it happens. And the idea of the trade from the general manager’s view is to better the team and minimize the chance of being fired.

All laudable goals, by and large.

But a trade deadline without some recognizable trades is just another day when you can’t fake working, and who needs that?

What’s needed here then is a trade deadline with teeth and real tangible punishments for everyone involved. I mean, we have chips and guacamole to think of.

For instance, there is no reason why the leagues couldn’t install rules that say that no trade can be announced even to any of the principals (players, agents, medioids, et. al.) except on the day of the deadline. Any teams involved in a deal that breaks the embargo is fined a massive amount of the owners’ (as in both teams’ owners) money.

To make this work, the teams would have to agree no trade could be made between, say, Thanksgiving and the deadline. Or Christmas, depending on how you feel about tryptophan overdosing. But the point is, nothing could get done until the agreed-upon deadline, and it could only be announced to anyone on the day of the deadline.

This is profoundly unfair to the players, of course, but that little issue has never bothered management before when the alternative was money.

It is also not much fun for the media, which has to twiddle its opposables floating rumors that can’t be proven or disproven except on that one day when everyone works from midnight to midnight, wired to the eyelids on six-buck coffee and enough green tea to turn a gall bladder into a souvenir ash tray.

No, this is about making a worthwhile and ironclad trade deadline for the good of the sport, and the business.

Okay, this is about our amusement.

We all like trade deadlines. It gives order to the market, and it centers everyone’s focus on one hyper-adrenalized day to watch out for double-, triple- and quadruple-crosses from general managers wanting to jump each others’ action in search of their own personal Shattenkirks.

It spikes Verizon stock, it makes lots of business for movers and real estate vultures, it provides cheap and disposable fame for about two-thirds of the players in the league, and it makes everyone involved look like twitchy red-eyed zombies on television.

It beats the Bachelorette every time, because among other things it looks a lot more like parents do when they’ve been up all day and night with the colic farms.

In short, a trade deadline is a precious thing not to be discarded just because it’s inconvenient for a few suits and about-to-be-moved employees.

So yeah, Kevin Shattenkirk could have held another day or so. You know, for the good of the game.


Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

In the wake of a 119-108 Warriors win over the 76ers Monday night in Philadelphia, Stephen Curry had a ready explanation for his 0-of-11 shooting 3-point distance.

He didn’t properly account for the change in weather.

“The weatherman said it’s like a low-pressure system that was coming in (and) I forgot to adjust to the thickness of the air,” he told reporters at Wells Fargo Center.

Curry’s comment may open to interpretation, but it was clear his sense of humor remained intact even after a career-worst shooting night beyond the arc.

He wasn’t the only Warrior finding it difficult to score from deep. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green combined to go 5-of-20. The Warriors were 6-of-29 from deep, their second-lowest total of the season.

“It’s weird,” he said. “Not to discredit anything they did. The first half we had a lot of open looks that didn’t go in. Klay made a couple down the stretch. KD made one. Draymond made one from the corner.

“Other than that we still took really good shots that didn’t go in. But for us to still have moxie to withstand that and still pretty much have the lead the whole game and allow our defense to get us a win tonight was kind of our M.O.”

Given that Curry owns the single-game record for triples (13) as well as the single-season record (402), it was most alarming that he couldn’t find at least one. And he had opportunities.

“It happens but you have to try and find other ways to impact the game,” he said. “I was trying to get to the paint a little bit more and just try to make plays. One thing is I don’t get down on myself. Obviously, that’s why I got 11 of them up. I still have confidence the next one is going in and that will stay the same tomorrow.”

The Warriors face the Wizards Tuesday in Washington. In Curry’s last appearance at the Verizon Center, last Feb. 3, he went for 51 points. He was 11-of-15 from deep.

“What I love about Steph is he went 0-11 tonight from three but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at his face,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He never loses confidence; he never hangs his head. It is a sign of a guy with ultimate confidence in his ability and the awareness that it is one of those nights.

“He is likely to come out tomorrow and make about seven in a row at some point. So that’s what I love about Steph. He keeps playing.”