Those Jellin' A's Just Served the Astros
His two-RBI single thus completed a come-from-behind effort that produced a 6-4 victory.
It's the MLB-leading eighth time dudes have done that after trailing in the seventh inning this season, one of those red-headed stepchild stats that can warm the left cockle of a seamhead's heart.
Almost a month ago, the A's were where MBL observers thought they'd be, near the end of a so-so home stand -- 3-5 to that point -- with a 34-36 record.
This, as usual, would have them eyeing the 31 July non-waiver trade deadline to shed salary and deal for the next batch of prospects that'd ultimately get them to a future season's non-waiver trade deadline.
Then, a strange thing happened.
This collection of soundly skilled ballplayers at Moneyball's Ground Zero. Dudes started acting like they were the 2002 A's. From 15 June to now, Oakland's gone 19-5 and forced their way into the AL Wild Card picture.
Along the way, dudes have collected another redheaded stepchild stat: hitting dingers in 25 straight road games, besting the Yankees' previous record.
Oakland's hot streak hasn't just come from cupcakes. The A's have won two series against AL Central leader Cleveland -- 4 of 6 -- and this 3-of-4 effort against the 'Stros.
Dudes kinda look like the 2002 squad at the plate. They're into plate discipline, big time. As core contributor Jed Lowrie puts it, repeating an old adage:
You can be beat by a pitch, but you're not going to beat yourself on a bad pitch.
Toss in pitching that's firing on all cylinders and a better-than-adequate defense, and that's the A's approach.
The AL West is interesting so far this season:
- Houston is doing what World Series champions do;
- The Seattle Mariners quietly have the league's fifth-best record, 22 games over .500;
- Oakland is moving into being a buyer instead of a seller at the trade deadline;
- The Los Angeles Angels have Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, and that's about it; and
- The real Texas Rangers are out catching criminals.
Despite the club's sad-sack image, Oakland knows its way around the MLB financial world and constantly makes money.
That they are.
The A's still have to show they can keep this up for a full season. If they do, dudes will no doubt have the powers that be shaking their heads even more by making both big bucks and the post-season.