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ALDS Game 5 pressure on shoulders of Oakland organization given its history, not the A’s players

The A’s have been very good at deflecting pressure, putting one foot in front of the other and moving on a very orderly path through the 2013 season.

Does all that change now, with the season down to one game?

They won’t want to admit it, but yes it does.

Just not so much for the players. Most of them went through the disappointment of losing in Game 5 of the 2012 playoffs to Detroit and Justin Verlander, and they know the obstacle the Tigers are.

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12

Comparing stats of the ‘Big Three’

In light of reports that former A’s pitcher Mark Mulder is retiring, I thought it’d be fun to compare the stats of the Big Three (Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito) from their Oakland careers. These are solely the numbers they compiled with the A’s, not counting their time w/other teams.

Tell us which guy you would have chosen if you needed to win one game …

Career games started
Zito 222 (4th on Oakland list)
Hudson 183 (7th)
Mulder 150

Career wins
Zito 102 (4th on Oakland list)
Hudson 92 (6th)
Mulder 81 (7th)

Career strikeouts
Zito 1,096 (4th on Oakland list)
Hudson 899 (5th)
Mulder 668 (9th)

Career ERA
Hudson 3.30 (10th on Oakland list, min. 400 innings pitched)
Zito 3.55
Mulder 3.92

Career shutouts
Hudson 8
Mulder 8 (both tied for 8th on Oakland list)
Zito 4

Career won-loss pct.
Hudson 92-39, .702 (1st on Oakland list)
Mulder 81-42, .659 (2nd)
Zito 102-63, .618 (6th)

Career Cy Young Awards
Zito 1 (2002)
Hudson 0 (finished 2nd in 2000)
Mulder 0 (finished 2nd in 2001)

3

Scratch Adrian Beltre off A’s list of third base candidates

47 days and counting until A’s pitchers and catchers report … Here’s a few baseball tidbits in case you’re suffering bowl-game overload …

–Numerous outlets have reported details of Adrian Beltre’s deal with the Boston Red Sox. Looks like he’s getting a one-year contract for $9 million, with a $5 million player option for 2011. I don’t think he was a realistic option for the A’s at that price, but regardless, that’s one less free agent third baseman available. The A’s still want to find an insurance plan at third in case Eric Chavez isn’t healthy. What would you like to see them do? Dip into their past and sign Miguel Tejada, as they did last winter w/Jason Giambi? Give prospect Adrian Cardenas a crack at third? See if Adam Kennedy, still unsigned, would re-consider playing third again? None of the above?

–Speaking of former Athletics: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Mark Mulder is close to signing with the Brewers.

–Speaking of a much lower-profile former Athletic: right-hander Colby Lewis is looking for a major league job after two fine seasons as a starter for the Hiroshima Carp in Japan. You might remember Lewis’ time with Oakland in 2007. He got hammered for 10 earned runs in his first appearance — and only start — against the White Sox, then worked out of the bullpen much of the season. Even with Justin Duchscherer back in the fold, I could see the A’s bringing another veteran to spring training, to at least provide some competition for a rotation spot. Lewis seems like a decent, low-cost option to me, although the above story quotes Lewis’ agent as saying six teams are “aggressively bidding” for him.

Check back w/you soon …