Monday, June 8, 2009

Slap Hitter: A's Streak too Good to be True

Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Much as I want to jump on the bandwagon, I think the vehicle needs to be built on a stronger foundation than five pitchers, all minor leaguers this time last year. The past week showed the A's at their best, starting pitching, timely hitting and stellar relief. I think the wheels start coming off tonight. The six game streak runs into the Minnesota Twins tonight at the Coliseum, and if it doesn't have the odor of a 2-1 loss, a 4-0 shutout and maybe a pity win on Wednesday, then I'll eat a Coliseum dog.

Much as I want to jump on the bandwagon, I think the vehicle needs to be built on a stronger foundation than five pitchers who were minor leaguers this time last year. The past week showed the A's at their best, starting pitching, timely hitting and stellar relief. I think the wheels start coming off tonight. The six game streak runs into the Minnesota Twins tonight at the Coliseum, and if it doesn't have the odor of a 2-1 loss, a 4-0 shutout and maybe a pity win on Wednesday, then I'll eat a Coliseum dog.

The offense is barely functional. If the first two guys don't get on, it won't get done. After Cabrera and Kennedy, comes Jack Cust, a power hitter with a bad back. Then comes Matt Holiday who is starting to earn his big next year contract without ever getting a hit after the sixth inning. Then Jason Giambi, whose quick bat is most often on his shoulder while he collects walk. And then it gets bad.

Catcher Suzuki hasn't hit since April, Crosby/Hannahan makes up a platoon that can't hit lefties or righties. Newcomer Aaron Cunningham is a poor man's Travis Buck, and center fielder Rajai Davis makes a fine late inning pinch-runner.

Has a team ever had two hits in a game (only one after the very first batter) and won by three runs? That's not living dangerously, that's falling desperately.

Which is not to say that it hasn't been exciting. For the first time in months it was a pleasure listening to the radio cast over the weekend. (Except the beer commercial). I forgot how many innings can be spent going over the different names you can call a guy named "Vince". But for the first time in '09, A's baseball will be destination radio/television/internet. The Athletics have sliced four games off the lead for first and are within breathing distance of the two clubs above them. Now if they only had a few more clubs in their lineup....— Kibby Kleiman

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