Quick news out of the A’s clubhouse before their series finale against Toronto. Third baseman Eric Chavez has been activated from the disabled list, and designated hitter Frank Thomas has gone on it.
Archive for May, 2008
I don’t understand baseball anymore.
Most of you have probably seen the ball Emil Brown failed to catch in the eighth inning of the A’s loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday. If you haven’t, here’s the short version: Brown lost a ball in the lights, and instead of an inning-ending flyout, Dioner Navarro’s ball went for a game-winning double.
Not sure how many of you regular blog-readers are familiar with the famous Wendy’s ad campaign from a couple of decades ago (and I’m dating myself with this entry), but I’m thinking the same line can apply to the seats at McAfee Coliseum.
As beat writer Joe Stiglich put it in Monday’s recap, the A’s encouraging season took a wrong turn during their just completed road trip to Texas, Cleveland and Atlanta. Two wins in nine games isn’t gonna get you much.
Wrote in Tuesday’s blog that the A’s were catching a break not seeing Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona in their three-game series against the Indians. Who knew the rest of the Indians rotation was channeling Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Early Wynn.
The result was a three-game sweep (at least the A’s finally scored a run, unearned though it was), and the first adversity this group has faced. The A’s hadn’t been swept in a series this season, and their three-game skid matches their longest.
It’ll be interesting to see how they respond. They go to Atlanta now, and the Braves have been baseball’s best home team. They’ve got a .400 hitter in Chipper Jones, and Tim Hudson has been dynamite. Should be a very tough series.
Most good teams keep losing streaks to a minimum, and the A’s have the pitching to keep losing streaks short. That said, don’t panic if the Braves add to their troubles. There’s still a long season ahead, no matter what, and another rough series doesn’t mean the A’s early-season success was a fluke.
As for the start of interleague, hard to tell how that will or will not benefit the A’s. They’re 18-18 against NL teams the past two seasons. They took two of three from the Braves in 2005 in their only other visit to Atlanta.
Cool story about the A’s DH situation by our own Joe Stiglich this morning. Too bad Mike Sweeney, Frank Thomas and Jack Cust aren’t that fast; otherwise, the A’s could use them as designated runners.
I mean, am I the only guy who doesn’t recognize what I’m seeing with this team? Look under “SB’s” in Sunday’s box score, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The A’s ran their way to three runs in the series finale in Texas, and on one particularl double-steal _ Bobby Crosby came home when Mark Ellis took off early for second _ I thought I was watching Billy-Ball again.
Not sure if this is a new Moneyball-type exploitation of the market, but I love watching it. The A’s are playing with an energy and excitement on offense that’s been missing for years. Speed has created some life, and it’s become as much a part of this team’s personality as anything.
Don’t get me wrong. They’ll have to start hitting home runs eventually. But it is nice to see that they don’t need the three-run home run to pump life into the offense.
I’m not a huge one for rankings, but for what it’s worth, the A’s are on top of the ESPN Poll.
Gotta say, that’s a bit much. Top 5 perhaps. We’ll see how their spot holds when June commences and they embark on a murderous schedule.
In the meantime, let’s hope they get the same love from the Bowl Championship Series.
The A’s already started tweaking things in anticipation of getting Rich Harden back in the rotation this weekend. Here’s a look at that move and some of the others that could be coming: