Dan Straily says there’s a reason the A’s starting pitching keeps getting better.
With Straily throwing seven one-run innings Thursday in a 6-1 win over the Twins, Oakland starters have allowed three runs or fewer in all nine of their games this year. The last time they did that, 1990, they wound up in the World Series.
It’s way too early to be thinking such lofty thoughts now, but the fact is that while pitching is a very individual pursuit, the A’s starting corps of Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez and Straily – No. 5 starter Tommy Milone makes his debut Friday in Seattle – have a nice bond.
“We have something pretty special,’’ Straily said. “We’re always looking out for each other. I had a couple of guys come up to me today and say `you’re doing this,’ … `you’re doing that.’ We watch each other and we look out for each other.
“We have a brotherhood mentality. We are five guys, but we really are one unit.’’
As a group the A’s starters have a 1.93 earned run average in nine starts, one reason Oakland has the best team ERA (2.30) in the American League.
“It is something to watch what they’re doing,’’ shortstop Jed Lowrie said. “It’s still early, but they go out there every day and give us a chance to win. And that’s what any club wants from the rotation. It’s very encouraging.’’
And it’s not entirely unexpected, although the A’s have lost two of their original starters. Jarrod Parker is out for the year after having Tommy John surgery and A.J. Griffin is just now starting to get back into baseball-specific work after needing three weeks to rest an ailing elbow.
“What they’re doing allows us to go out there (offensively) and do what we want,’’ Lowrie said. “They’re out there, and they’re always throwing strikes.’’