Chili Davis liked to play mind games when he was a player, and that hasn’t changed since he’s become a coach.
Asked what it was that his hitters have done to win four of five decisions against Texas ace Yu Darvish, Davis just smiled.
“I think we’re in his mind more than he’s in our minds,’’ Davis said.
Well that may be part of it. Or it may be that Brandon Moss and John Jaso now both have two homers off Darvish. Seth Smith is 5-for-14 off him. And the A’s seem to come up with big hits when needed.
Back on May 21, Yoenis Cespedes homered with two out in the third inning and that was enough. The A’s won that one 1-0 with Dan Straily and the bullpen doing the rest.
“We make him throw all his pitches,’’ Davis said. “We swing the bats aggressively against him.’’
Gee, it seems simple when you put it like that.
–Moss was talking before the game about how much better he was feeling at the plate.
Then he went out and showed it wasn’t just talk.
Moss homered off Darvish in the second inning, the first of five A’s runs off Darvish. Moss later tripled and scored the last run of a 6-2 Oakland win over the Rangers.
It’s not exactly a new story, but it’s certainly refreshing for Moss, who had a long dry spell for 10-for-28 (.357) in his last six games, four of the 10 hits being homers.
Moss said he’s incorporating his legs into his swing now in a way he wasn’t earlier in the year, even when he was hitting well. He average .299 in his first 29 games, but somehow he knew things weren’t right.
“Back in spring training, I could feel that I was just using my upper body,’’ he said. “I got off to a good start, but I could tell from the way I was swinging that it wasn’t something I could sustain. I knew it would go bad, and it did because I was in a bad place mechanically.
“When we were facing all those left-handers (10 of 17 at one point) and I was sitting a lot, that turned out to be a blessing. I could work on the side, then I could reinforce it and work on getting it really right. Now I feel I’m where I want to be.’’