Staff aces collide as A's open series in Texas


Staff aces collide as A's open series in Texas

May 9, 2011

A's (18-17) vs.
TEXAS (18-17)

Coverage begins at 4:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

TEXAS (AP) -- For the second time in less than two weeks, Oakland's Trevor Cahill and Texas' C.J. Wilson will square off in a matchup of staff aces and they're coming off dominating performances.

Cahill will try to become the second six-game winner in the majors and Wilson looks to avenge his lone loss of the year Monday night when the Athletics travel to begin a three-game set with the Rangers.

On April 29 in Oakland, Cahill (5-0, 1.79 ERA) outpitched Wilson (4-1, 2.92) in the Athletics' 3-1 win. That opened a four-game set with the A's taking three in the teams' only series so far this year.

REWIND: Cahill leads A's over Wilson, Rangers in series-opener

Each pitcher went seven innings, but while Cahill overcame three walks in the first and allowed only seven hits, Wilson was tagged for three runs and nine hits.

"Trevor Cahill's always tough on us," left fielder David Murphy said. "I don't even think he had his best stuff tonight."

Cahill has more career wins over Texas than any other opponent, going 7-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 10 starts.

The right-hander will try to join Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels with six wins, and reduce the second-lowest ERA in the majors behind Florida's Josh Johnson (1.68).

Oakland (18-17) and Texas (18-17) are tied for second in the AL West, two games behind Los Angeles. Last-place Seattle, with reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez and budding rookie Michael Pineda, is just four games back.

"Because there is so much pitching in the division, anyone can have an opportunity," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the team's official website.

Following the initial meeting, Cahill snapped Cleveland's seven-game winning streak by allowing a run and five hits over seven innings in a 3-1 victory Wednesday.

Later that night, Wilson tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in a six-hitter as Texas topped Seattle 5-2.

"For me it's more surgical. That's the way I try to pitch. That's the way I always try to pitch," the left-hander said.

Wilson is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two career home starts against Oakland.

Texas, which is continuing a nine-game homestand, lost two of three to the New York Yankees, including a 12-5 defeat Sunday. The Rangers have gone 4-10 since sweeping the Royals from April 22-24.

"We're in a little grind right now, but we have to keep battling and get out there and make a change," first baseman Mike Napoli said. "We come out to win every series. We're not playing good ball right now. We know it. We need to get out there and have good energy and make plays."

Designated hitter Michael Young went 0 for 3 Sunday after a four-hit game in the Rangers' 7-5 win the previous night. Young still leads the AL with 47 hits and is batting .341.

He's also batting .360 (9 for 25) with two homers and nine RBIs in a six-game hitting streak against Oakland, and is 6 for 21 against Cahill.

The A's opened a six-game swing by taking two of three from Kansas City, winning 5-2 Sunday. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki each homered and Conor Jackson had three hits.

Notes: Raiders must turn the page quickly, avoid Washington hangover


Notes: Raiders must turn the page quickly, avoid Washington hangover

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio gives his players Monday off. Tuesday is generally an in-season rest day, but the Silver and Black get the day after a game to be away from the facility.

“There’s some raw emotion on the day after the game, so I think that helps you maybe teach a little better,” Del Rio said in his Monday press conference. Things need to be taught. That’s one of the biggest benefits to the structure.”

Del Rio called this a "miserable Monday," where his team will be widely criticized for a disatrous 27-10 loss to Washington. 

They’ll spend on more day reviewing it during what Del Rio dubs “Tell the Truth Tuesday." It won't be terribly fun, especially after getting outplayed and outcoached.

It’s a day for corrections, development and one last look back before pouring focus forward the Denver Broncos.

The Washington loss only counts as one. It can become two if that game’s hangover lasts all week. Del Rio is good keeping his players locked on the next task.

He’ll also have to keep them from pressing like they did in Washington.

“We were really looking for that spark, probably pressing early in the game,” Del Rio said. “Offensively, we got out of rhythm. We threw, in the first four drives, two picks and two three-and-outs. We weren’t in rhythm, obviously. They executed. It really wasn’t anything overwhelming. They played some solid, basic coverage and we didn’t execute and they did. It’s just one of those days. It’s an opportunity to learn. Recognize what went wrong.”

Explaining what went awry will be key this Tuesday. There was a lot. Quarterback Derek Carr tried to put the team on his back, to no avail. Carr had a rare dud, and took full responsibility for the loss after the game.

“That’s good for all of us,” Del Rio said. “To me, that’s what we need to do. It starts with me, obviously there are a lot of things that each guy can look at and say ‘this is what I can do better.’ That’s what I want. I want us to reflect inward and see how we can do things ourselves better and then pull together as a team. Stick together, pull together and go forward. That’s what you do.”

Keeping an eye on Crabtree

Receiver Michael Crabtree took a big hit to the chest from Montae Nicholson on Sunday night and did not return to the game. That leaves his availability in some question.

“We’ll take a close look at him and make sure there’s nothing significant going on,” Del Rio said. “I know the doctors cleared for him to travel with us coming back which was good. He took a good shot. It was a clean hit, a good shot. Crab’s a tough guy so I’m sure he’ll bounce back.”

More Marshawn?

Raiders lead running back Marshawn Lynch only touched the ball seven times at Washington. He had six carries for 18 yards and an eight-yard catch. That isn’t enough for this Raiders offense to function well, but Sunday was a unique circumstance. The Raiders fell behind early and couldn’t sustain drives.

“When you have as many three-and-outs and you only take 50 snaps of offense, you can talk about all the things that you left on the drawing board that you would have liked to have gotten to,” Del Rio said. “Certainly, there was a lot of offense that we had designed to get to, including touches for him, but 0-for-11 on third down says all you need to know. When you’re talking about, does your running back get a chance to run it as much as you’d like, when you’re 0-for-11 on third down you’re not going to get a lot of opportunities anywhere with your offense.”

For Draymond Green, protests can't be short-lived: 'We're screwed' if they end soon

For Draymond Green, protests can't be short-lived: 'We're screwed' if they end soon

OAKLAND -- Easing into a seat for an interview a half hour after the Warriors finished practice Monday, Draymond Green responded to the first six questions at decibels barely above a whisper.

There was candor on basketball matters, because there always is with Green, but the power forward’s tone was relatively relaxed.

Not until the next several questions, all related to America’s polarizing sociopolitical climate, did Green’s heart and mind lock into rhythm. Asked if he believes the current wave of protests against inequality will go away soon, his voice picked up volume and conviction.

“I hope not,” Green said. “If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it’s not going away in a few weeks. Then we’ve missed the message again.

“So, no, I don’t think it’ll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it’s not, because it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn’t be gone in a few weeks.”

Green acknowledged that he did not see the demonstrations that were spread across the NFL landscape on Sunday. He was, he said, out shopping and enjoying the day with his children.

He was aware that some teams stayed in the locker room during the anthem, that others knelt on the sidelines and that some linked arms. Being aware was not enough for Green to feel comfortable addressing that aspect.

But he’s very familiar with the subject matter.

“You just have to stand for what you believe in,” Green said during an answer than lasted more than two full minutes. “What everyone else may believe in, you may not believe in.”

Articulating the difference between the life of the athlete and that of a soldier, Green explaining that he has the “utmost respect” for those in the military.

“I just hope that there can be an understanding that this isn’t against the military,” he said. “It’s not to disrespect anything they do. Because I think everyone respects what they do . . . I appreciate everything they do.”

It was evident, however, that Green is on the same page as those pushing for the progress that would make America great, allowing the country to live up to its pledges stated in the constitution and elsewhere.

That’s why he hopes this activism is not a trend but a movement.

“I’m not saying kneeling shouldn’t be gone,” Green said. “But this conversation, trying to make these changes, absolutely not. If it’s gone in a few weeks, we’re screwed.”