Assorted thoughts from the A’s 5-2 victory over Baltimore, their 17th win in the past 21 games.
–I’m not sure how long the A’s can keep their head in the sand (or at least pretend to) in regards to the whole postseason picture, but the approach is sure working right now. They have crept to within two games of Texas in the A.L. West, and they’ve opened up a three-game lead over Baltimore for the top wild card spot. The next team behind the Orioles is the Angels, who are 5 1/2 behind Oakland. If A’s manager Bob Melvin could stuff his players in one giant cocoon to keep them from reading any standings, I have no doubt he would. His don’t-look-past-today method of thinking is sinking in with his players.
“we know that stuff’s going on,” right-hander Jarrod Parker said in relation to the division race and how the A’s fit in it. “We just want to win. We control our own destiny. If we take care of our business, good things are gonna happen.”
It all sounds phony and cliche, but you get the feeling that this team really is buying into the “one day at a time” theory.
–Think Stephen Drew considers himself a lucky guy? He was traded from the Diamondbacks to the A’s on Aug. 20. From that day forward, Arizona has gone 9-15. The A’s? 19-6. They are a major league-best 41-18 since the All-Star break, and Drew is fitting in as a complementary piece to the well-oiled machine. His home run and fine defensive work Saturday night stood out, but really, he’s just another of many different players who have taken turns playing hero on any given night.
“It’s been fun being here,” Drew said. “It’s kind of crazy how this team works sometimes … This team, anybody, any time (can produce). It works out well.”
–Chris Carter’s two-run double in the third snapped his 0 for 14 streak and he also drew two walks among his four plate appearances. That had to feel good for the guy. Brandon Moss has been commanding most of the playing time at first base lately, and Carter went 0 for 3 in Friday’s series opener. He might get another start Sunday with the Orioles throwing lefty Randy Wolf. It would be big for the A’s to get his bat going again in the platoon with Moss.
One thing about Carter’s defense Saturday: I think he cost Parker an error. The pitcher made a low pickoff throw to first and the ball skipped past Carter. It wasn’t a real tough throw to handle, and though it was accurately ruled an “E-1,” that ball should have been caught.
–It wasn’t a great night offensively for catcher Derek Norris, who went 0 for 4 and saw his average fall to .195. On the other hand, he made a great tag on a 7-6-2 putout in the fourth, taking Drew’s relay throw and putting a swipe tag on Adam Jones all in the same motion. Pretty finish to a pretty play.
–That’s all for now. You’ll have Carl Steward back in the saddle Sunday while I gear up for that three-city, 10-game journey that begins Tuesday in Detroit.
Pressure-packed A’s games in September. Who saw this coming back in spring training???