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Thursday, September 13, 2012
The amazing start of A.J. Griffin's career

By David Schoenfield


Oakland A's rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin has made 11 career starts. He hasn't been charged with a loss in any of the games and the A's have won nine of those games, including Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, their third straight in the four-game series. He's a big kid at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds or so, but his fastball isn't all that big, 88 to 90 mph. But he throws strikes, mixes in a curve, slider and changeup, and opponents are hitting .202 off him. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his 11 starts.

It's been a remarkable 11 starts for Griffin: He has had to face Matt Cain, David Price and Felix Hernandez. He beat a pitcher who struck out 15 batters. The A's have now pulled 5.5 games ahead of the deep-pocket Angels in the wild-card race, and Griffin is one big reason why. His 11 starts:

1. Versus Cain -- no-decision but A's win.

2. Versus Matt Harrison -- six scoreless innings, ND, A's lose 4-3.

3. Versus Aaron Cook -- ND, A's win.

4. Versus Francisco Liriano -- Liriano fans 15, but Griffin gets first major league win.

5. Versus Freddy Garcia -- Gets the win in 4-3 victory.

6. Versus Ricky Romero -- A's win 16-0.

7. Versus Price -- ND, but A's win in 15 innings.

8. Versus Romero -- Leaves in second inning with shoulder tightness, A's lose in 11 innings.

9. Versus Felix Doubront -- Gets the win with one run over seven innings.

10. Versus Hernandez -- Gets the win in 6-1 victory.

11. Versus Ervin Santana -- Eight scoreless innings to improve to 6-0, 1.94 ERA.