09/09/12 5:00 PM ET
Drew getting comfortable with Athletics
By Taylor Soper / Special to MLB.com
Anderson's early results exceed expectations
SEATTLE -- Coming back from Tommy John surgery is not a simple task, but A's pitcher Brett Anderson is making it seem like it is.The lefty has been nothing short of brilliant since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 20. He's 4-0 in four starts, giving up just two runs while maintaining a blistering 0.69 ERA. Even Anderson didn't expect this much success so soon. "It's exceeded my expectations a little bit, but you have to be confident in your abilities," Anderson said. "I knew if I came back and was healthy and the arm felt good that I would have good results -- not quite this good -- but I'll take it, obviously." A's skipper Bob Melvin agreed. "It's been more than we could ever have expected," Melvin said. Anderson picked up his fourth win in Saturday's 6-1 win over Seattle, giving up just six hits and no runs in six innings. But the soft-spoken 24-year-old allowed runners on base every inning and called the start his "most grinding" yet. "I know I'll be in those situations at the end of the season against teams that will put pressure on you," he said. "To be able to get out of those situations was good and hopefully I won't be in too many of those, but getting out of those situations was a plus." Anderson's recent surge comes at a good time for the American League Wild Card-leading A's, especially with fellow starter Brandon McCarthy out indefinitely as he recovers from a head injury sustained when he was struck with a batted ball on Wednesday. "It's not like I'm coming up and throwing meaningless innings, prepping myself for next year," Anderson said. "I have to come out and produce because we're in the playoff race and we need to win ballgames."
There were no new updates on the recovery of McCarthy, just four days after the starter was hit in the head by a batted ball Wednesday night. Oakland trainer Nick Paparesta said on Saturday that McCarthy was improving, but added that he was not completely out of the "critical" stage of recovery. Backup catcher George Kottaras has 13 RBIs and four home runs in his past five games. He started both Friday and Saturday, but Melvin put Derek Norris back behind the plate on Sunday with Mariners lefty Jason Vargas on the mound. The A's extended their road winning streak to eight games with Saturday's 6-1 win over Seattle, which ties the club's sixth longest winning streak in history.
Taylor Soper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.