Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MLB Tuesday Oakland A's at Detroit Tigers: Start Time, Odds, Free Pick -


Tuesday night baseball and we will see the Oakland A's travel to the Motor City take on the Detroit Tigers in game 1 of their 3 game series. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on the MLB Network. Currently the ODDS have Detroit favored at -152, while Oakland is dogs of +143. The total for the game sits at 7.5 runs. 69% of the Public is currently on Oakland, while 75% is on the UNDER. Get all the Public's action by clicking HERE.

Free Analysis: The Oakland Athletics are in much better shape than the Detroit Tigers in regards to the postseason race, though that easily could change considering each team's schedule over the final two weeks. Oakland will face three playoff contenders during a 10-game road trip that begins Tuesday night in Detroit, while the Tigers seemingly have a much easier road ahead. The A's (84-62) lead the AL wild-card race by 4 1/2 games over third-place Los Angeles after Sunday's 9-5 loss to Baltimore, which holds the second wild-card berth. The A's will face the Rangers seven times in their final 16 games that will be played without a day off. Detroit, which is beginning a 10-game homestand, enters having lost four straight contests and six of its last seven. The Tigers fell three games behind Chicago in the AL Central after dropping a 5-4 decision at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday. A division title may be Detroit's best bet for a playoff berth as it trails Baltimore by 5 1/2 games for the second wild-card spot with two other teams between them. The Tigers' schedule seems favorable the rest of the way. After this series, they'll play six games with AL-worst Minnesota and face Kansas City seven times.  A.J. Griffin has been a major reason A's starting pitchers rank second in the AL with a 3.69 ERA, and the rookie will look to stay hot Tuesday.  Griffin (6-0, 1.94 ERA) won his third straight start after tossing eight scoreless innings in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the Angels. Griffin has been fantastic on the road, going 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings over five starts. The A's offense, though, likely will get a tough test from major league strikeout leader Max Scherzer, who is 6-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last seven starts. Scherzer (16-6, 3.77), who has struck out 60 in 49 innings during that stretch, gave up one run and fanned seven in six innings of Wednesday's 8-6 win over the White Sox. Pitching in crucial games only seems to motivate him more. "I love being in this situation," said Scherzer, who has 220 strikeouts. "I want to have all the marbles on the line in a pennant race, where these games mean everything. I love having the ball in this situation." 

Free Pick: I will look to the Under in this one. Both of these pitchers are hot right now and should how down a couple of solid offenses in this one. AJ Griffin has been special for Oakland thus far as he is 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA overall. On the road he has a 1.15 ERA, while in his last 3 overall that ERA is just 0.89, while his WHIP is 0.79 over the same stretch. Griffin has allowed 2 ER's or less in 9 of his 11 starts and will be taking on a Detroit offense that is averaging just 3.8 rpg in this last 10 games. Granted those games were on the road, but this offense doesn't seem right at the moment. Max Scherzer has been dynamite of late, allowing 2 ER's or less in his last 7 starts, while posting a 1.28 ERA over that stretch. His WHIP in his last 3 starts is a skinny 0.64. Max has faced Oakland once this year and allowed just 2 ER's in 6.1 Innings. He should be able to contain this Oakland offense that comes in hitting just .227 and scoring 3.4 rpg in their last 5 games. The Pens come in struggling, but not sure we'll see much of them as these two starters dominate a couple of struggling offenses. 

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Live Blog: Oakland A's rookie AJ Griffin could be tough matchup for Detroit ... -

AJ-Griffin-Athletics.jpgOakland A's rookie A.J. Griffin is 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 11 career starts.

Max Scherzer is having an excellent season. But so is A.J. Griffin.

Those two pitchers will square off Tuesday night when the Detroit Tigers open a key three-game series at Comerica Park against the Oakland A's, the hottest team in the American League.

Griffin is 6-0 with a 1.94 and has not allowed more than three runs in any of his 11 career starts for the A's, who are 22-7 since Aug. 16 and have the second-best record in the American League.

It's not as if Griffin has been piling up good numbers against American League bottom-feeders either. The right-hander has a 1.36 ERA in five starts against the top four offensive teams in the American League (Rangers, Yankees, Angels, Red Sox).

Griffin threw eight shutout innings against the Angels in his most recent start. He has allowed two runs over 22 innings pitched in his most recent four outings.

The A's are 9-2 in games started by Griffin.

Scherzer (16-6, 3.77 ERA) will start for the Tigers. He is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in three career starts against the A's and earned the victory in his only start against them this season.

Here are the starting lineups:

Oakland A's: 1. Coco Crisp, CF; 2. Seth Smith, LF; 3. Josh Reddick, RF; 4. Yoenis Cespedes, DH; 5. Brandon Moss, 1B; 6. Stephen Drew, SS; 7. Josh Donaldson, 3B; 8. George Kottaras, C; 9. Cliff Pennington, 2B.

Detroit Tigers: 1. Austin Jackson, CF; 2. Quintin Berry, LF; 3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B; 4. Prince Fielder, 1B; 5. Delmon Young, DH; 6. Andy Dirks, RF; 7. Jhonny Peralta, SS; 8. Omar Infante, 2B; 9. Gerald Laird, C.

Follow along during the game and post your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- View the Tigers Twitter updates on a mobile device

-- Download the "Detroit Tigers on MLive app" for your iPhone or Android and follow Chris Iott and James Schmehl on Twitter to keep up with news on the Tigers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants top Colorado Rockies - San Jose Mercury News

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San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey (28) waits his turn to bat against the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum continues to inch closer to becoming the premier pitcher the Giants have been missing much of the season.

Lincecum delivered his fourth straight solid pitching effort of at least six innings Tuesday night, and as a fresh bonus to his late-season surge, he didn't allow a run this time as the Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3 at AT&T Park.

Lincecum (10-14) allowed just five hits and two walks over 61/3 innings while striking out six, and he lowered his ERA under 5 for the first time this season to 4.91.

The Giants, who lead the N.L. West by 81/2 games and reduced their magic number to clinch the division to seven, have won Lincecum's last four starts, with the right-hander himself earning the victory in three of them.

Lincecum retired 11 straight batters at one point and departed the game to a rousing ovation. He faced just one jam early on when the Rockies put a pair of runners on with one out in the second, but retired Jonathan Herrera on a grounder to second and struck out opposing pitcher Jeff Francis.

Lincecum might have gone longer had it not been for a weird seventh inning. Tyler Colvin appeared to have been retired for the first out on a Pablo Sandoval diving stop and throw to first, but Colvin was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call against Hector Sanchez.

After a Chris Nelson single put runners at first and second with nobody out, Lincecum

struck out D.J. LeMahieu and appeared to get the second out on a weak grounder by pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge, but Buster Posey juggled the ball and all three runners were safe.

Jeremy Affeldt was called in to face pinch-hitter Jason Giambi with the bases loaded, and on the first pitch, Giambi hit a grounder to second that Marco Scutaro and Brandon Crawford turned into an inning-ending double play.

Offensively, the Giants staged mini-rallies much of the night. They went ahead 1-0 in the second inning with two outs when Sanchez lined a double into the left field corner against Francis (5-6) and came around to score on Xavier Nady's single into right-center.

San Francisco added a run in the third when Scutaro lined a one-out single to right, advanced to third on a Sandoval double down the line in left, and after Posey was intentionally walked, Hunter Pence hit a sacrifice fly to deep center.

In the sixth, the Giants went up 3-0 against Rockies reliever Carlos Torres. Pence opened the inning with a walk, advanced to third on a Sanchez single to right and scored on a Nady single to left. The Giants added one more in the seventh when Scutaro singled and ultimately wound up scoring by virtue of two wild pitches.

Colorado finally got on the board in the top of the eighth on Wilin Rosario's 25th homer of the year, a two-run shot to left-center off Santiago Casilla. But San Francisco countered with two of its own when Gregor Blanco led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, scored on Angel Pagan's 14th triple of the year, and Pagan scored on Scutaro's third single of the night.

The Rockies scored a run in the top of the ninth, but Sergio Romo got the final two outs.

  • The Giants may still have a bullpen by committee, but there is little question the committee has come to order under manager Bruce Bochy for the better part of the last month.

    Casilla, the first-half closer, has settled back into his more familiar role as the seventh, and eighth-inning hold master. Affeldt and Javier Lopez are used in key situations against left-handed hitters, and Romo has become the primary closer unless Lopez is needed to get a particularly tough left-handed final out.

    The statistics back it up. Of Romo's 12 saves, seven have come since Aug. 23. Casilla doesn't have a save since July 21, but has 10 holds and three wins. Affeldt hasn't saved a game since Aug 7, but has five holds. Lopez, meanwhile, is the one "float" guy he has four holds and five saves since Aug. 17.


    Colorado (Tyler Chatwood 4-4) at Giants (Matt Cain 14-5), 7:15 p.m. CSNBA

    N.L. WEST race

    W L Pct. GB
    Giants 85 63 .574 --
    Dodgers 76 71 .517 81/2

    Scan: Use your smartphone to access a photo gallery from Tuesday's game, or visit

    Magic number

    Combination of Giants wins and Dodgers losses to clinch N.L. West title.


California-Southern Cal Preview -

Miami Dolphins - Oakland Raiders Game Observations - PhinPhanatic (blog)

What a game this past Sunday down in the “Sun Shine State”, huh? The Miami Dolphins picked up their first win of the season against the Oakland Raiders â€" 35-13.

Miami was able to pull together after a 10-7 deficit at half-time and put together a well rounded effort to earn themselves a big “W”.

The squad was able to do many great things â€" but of course there were some “not so good” plays or instances in the game. Here are some thoughts and observations I was able to pick up on:


-Ryan Tannehill â€" What a day for this young gun, huh? Completing 18 of 30 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown. Did I mention that he also rushed 3 times for 14 yards and a score? The “Tan-chise” scored his first passing touchdown of his career and his first rushing touchdown of his career in the same game! Mike Sherman helped Tannehill cut down on tipped passes at the line of scrimmage by moving the pocket and utilizing Tannehill’s unique athletic ability.

-Reggie Bush had a spectacular day â€" If Bush is not the player of the week than I will be upset. Bush had a career high 26 carries on the day for 172 yards and two touchdowns (3 receptions for 25 yards also). Bush scored on a long run of 65 yards, but the play of the day was easily his electric 23 yard scamper for a score. Reggie took the ball up the middle, yes between the tackles, and was able to fend off would-be tacklers for the score. Bush easily deserves the game ball for his heroic performance.

Sept. 16, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26) runs for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

-Lamar Miller â€" The rookie was able to step in for the injured Daniel Thomas (concussion) and perform at the highest level possible. Miller, a former Miami Hurricane, was given 10 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown in his home opener. Miller was also in on pass protection on many occasions and was able to hold his own against on coming rushers.

-Brian Hartline looked like Tannehill’s favorite target on the day â€" early and often. Hartline finished the day with 9 receptions for 111 yards. Hartline was even double covered in some instances and was still able to find an opening in the defense to give his rookie quarterback a target. Welcome back, Brian.

-Legadu Naanee â€" Did you even play? Where were you? Why is this guy still on the team? Why is he even starting…?

-The offensive line struggled to open the game, quite a bit. Jake Long looked sluggish during the first half â€" easily the worst first half of his career (Giving up one sack and numerous pressures). Rookie right tackle, Jonathan Martin, actually impressed me quite a bit in this contest. Martin held his own against a strong Oakland defensive line. Kudos to the rookie. John Jerry was easily the best run blocker of the day â€" although I noticed on one run up the middle Jerry missed a key block (if he had hit the backer, Bush would have been gone). In the long run, the offensive line turned it all around in the second half, helping the offense score 4 touchdowns in the second half to just one Oakland field goal.

-Overall, (per the team ran 43 running plays for 263 rushing yards good for a 6.1 yard per carry average â€" DOMINANCE!



-The front seven played their butts off once again. The team has yet to allow a 100 yard rusher in 16 consecutive regular season games. Impressive? Want something even more impressive? So far this season Miami has faced Arian Foster â€" Houston, and Darren McFadden â€" Oakland â€" Miami is fourth in the league in rushing defense allowing 53.0 yards per game on the ground (those are two all-pro running backs). That’s impressive!

-Thanks to the great play of Miami’s front seven, Darren McFadden was not able to get anything going on the ground â€" 11 carries for 22 yards â€" and Oakland as a team was only able to muster 23 yards on 14 carries for the day. That’s a great game for Miami’s front seven.

Sept 16 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a pass as Miami Dolphins linebacker Cameron Wake (91) tries for the sack in the fourth quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

-Koa Misi has seemed to find a new life in Miami’s new scheme on defense. Although Misi only recorded 3 tackles on the day, all three were huge stops. Hopefully Misi can keep this up.

-Carson Palmer was able to find success against our secondary â€" surprise, surprise! Miami really needs to upgrade this unit during the offseason.

-Chris Clemons played well at times, and other times he played horrendous. That’s all I’ve got.

-Reshad Jones actually played well Sunday. Jones stuck his head in there on 3 occasions for the tackle and was able to intercept a Carson Palmer pass (although he should have had another). If we put aside his dropped interception, Jones played great.

-Karlos Dansby had 8 combined tackles (7 solo, 1 assist) but actually did not impress me. Dansby looked great last week against Houston in coverage but was beat at least three times by Oakland tight end â€" Brandon Myers. Dansby needs to be the leader of this great defense â€" hopefully he steps up his game during the next few days or Dustin Keller will shred this team.

Special Teams:

-Marcus Thigpen had a few nice returns this week against Oakland (5 returns for 14 yard per return average). Is it just me, or do you also get really excited whenever this kid fields a punt?

-Davone Bess was back to return punts when Oakland was punting near mid-field. It seems as though the staff cherishes Bess’ sure hands.

Sept 8, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Marcus Thigpen (34) returns a kick against the Houston Texans during the first half at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

-Brandon Fields continues to impress, of course. Fields is a freak of nature with a boot!

-Dan Carpenter was able to go 5/5 on extra points and gave us a little “pooch punt” on a long field goal attempt.

-Olivier Vernon , a former Miami Hurricane, dished out one of the hardest hits I’ve seen in awhile on kick coverage. Vernon is quickly playing himself into a role on this Miami Dolphins team.


-Miami played excellent in the second half, earning themselves a victory. If Miami is able to pull off an upset over the rival New York Jets this Sunday, the Dolphins will have quite a foundation to build on this season. Expect a hard fought game â€" especially if Jets’ star corner Darrelle Revis cannot go.

As always, Keep your Fins up!!!

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @PhinPhanatic and on FaceBook at PhinPhanatic.

Tags: Karlos Dansby, Miami Dolphins, Reggie Bush, Ryan Tannehill

Oakland Raiders bring in four cornerbacks for workouts in wake of ugly loss to ... - San Jose Mercury News

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders had four cornerbacks in for workouts Tuesday, in addition to a defensive end and an offensive tackle, in the wake of their Week 2 loss in Miami.

Having lost starting cornerback Ron Bartell in the opener and likely losing Shawntae Spencer in Week 2 to a foot injury, cornerbacks Darius Butler, Cletis Gordon, Antwaun Molden and Kevin Thomas were evaluated by the personnel staff.

Also in town were former Cal star Andre Carter and offensive tackle Patrick Brown. Carter got a look during training camp also as the club monitors how he has progressed from a torn quadriceps which ended his season with the New England Patriots in 2011.

Butler, originally a second-round draft pick by the New England Patriots in 2009 and a college teammate of Tyvon Branch, was last with the Carolina Panthers. Gordon has played for six different teams after starting with San Diego in 2006, while Molden and Thomas were last with New England and Indianapolis, respectively.

Molden was a third-round draft pick by Houston out of Eastern Kentucky in 2008.

With Khalif Barnes sideline for an indefinite period with a groin injury, Brown was brought in for evaluation. He most recently was with the Minnesota Vikings but also spent time with Carolina and the New York Jets.

Oakland has an open spot on the 53-man roster after waiving Nick Guess, the long-snapper signed last week as an emergency snapper in case Jon Condo couldn't face Miami.

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