By Jason Wojciechowski on August 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Starting pitchers: Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Dan Straily
First pitch: 6:05 PT
A's in the West: 1/2 game behind Texas
A's in the Wild Card: Leaders for second Wild Card, 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay for first
Baseball Prospectus playoff odds: 38 percent division, 43 percent Wild Card
I didn't get to watch yesterday's game, unfortunately, because I got home from work quite late and then recorded a podcast with Matt Kory, the latter of which I do most weeks. (It's a general baseball jawn and this week's topics were the forthcoming instant replay rules and the Phillies' firing of Charlie Manuel.)
I'm excited by the win nonetheless because the Masterson-Griffin pitching matchup was the one that had me the most worried of the three games and indeed, Masterson pitched well (three runs in 7 2/3) and Griffin seems to have lost the one thing that made him any good (five walks in five innings), but that third run from Masterson was a crucial one in the bottom of the seventh after the Clevelands had tied the contest at two in the top of the frame and despite all those walks on top of four hits (nine baserunners allowed, in other words), Griffin gave up just one run. Like I said, I didn't see the game, so I can't speak to whether Griffin really bore down with runners on base or whether, as is frequently the case when someone strands a whole boat-ton of runners, he just got a little lucky on balls in play at the right time.
There aren't any guarantees, of course, but I'm much more excited about the A's facing Jimenez today and Kazmir tomorrow than I was about Masterson yesterday.
Roster news is that Hiro Nakajima has been outrighted off the 40-man. The chart at Baseball Prospectus says the A's have 38 on the roster right now and comparing it to the official list, I think that's right. Thus I don't think Paul Gutierrez's post or Susan Slusser's tweet suggesting that the move was made to clear room for a catcher because all the A's backstops are dinged up is correct. Well, it's correct in that everybody's hurt—Derek Norris is still dealing with back issues (which seems like they have a tendency to linger), John Jaso will miss at least a few more weeks with his concussion, and Luke Montz is on the minor-league disabled list, but the A's had 39 on the roster before the outright and thus had room to add someone to the 40-man either from inside the organization (David Freitas or Ryan Ortiz) or outside (who knows who, but probably far more likely than throwing Freitas or Ortiz into a pennant race).
I don't know what kind of contract Nakajima had. My understanding of MLB's "split contracts" (though please correct me if I'm wrong) is that they pay players at a higher rate when the player is in the majors and a lower rate when they're in the minors, not a rate based on whether they're on or off the 40-man roster. If I am wrong, this could be an explanation—the A's just don't see a possibility of using Nakajima this year, so they're not interested in paying him at the higher rate. It seems penny-pinching, but hey, they're still charging a buck for sodas.
Link: Cespedes Family BBQ explains the stairs in left field in Oakland.
The Coco Crisp Watch continues, as is the way of things with cortisone injections. We'll see him when we see him. miss u coco
Prediction: A's win.