A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Cy Young watch

Mark Mulder became the first pitcher this year to score up his 15th win of the season yesterday when the A's bats erupted for 13 runs off Jon Leiber and the Yankees. Mulder's season record now stands at 15-3 (including 12 wins in his last 13 decisions), with a 3.50 ERA, good for sixth in the American League. He's allowed 145 hits, 52 walks and 15 homers while striking out 110 in a league-leading 162 innings pitched, also with a league-best 5 complete games. So as you might expect, Mulder is a top candidate for the AL Cy Young Award to this point in the season.

For right now, though, I personally would view Mulder as a distant #2 choice. The top pitcher? Twins lefty Johan Santana, who has accumulated the following stat line:

10-6, 3.30 ERA, 152.2 IP, 109 H, 41 BB, 173 K

The only reason his ERA isn't microscopic is that he's allowed 22 home runs. Even so, Santana has been so dominant that I think he's head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Consider especially the following: On June 3, Santana allowed four runs in seven innings in suffering a loss that dropped his record to 2-4, with a 5.50 ERA. In his 11 starts since then, the results have been just sick: 84 IP, 33 hits allowed (!), 18 walks, 114 strikeouts, and a measly 14 earned runs allowed (1.50 ERA). He's "only" 8-2 over those 11 starts, but in the three starts he didn't win (two losses and a no-decision), he pitched a total of 23 innings, allowed 5 runs on 8 hits, and struck out 33.

Johan Santana is the hottest pitcher in baseball. In fact, he's the hottest pitcher I've seen in baseball since Pedro Martinez's historic 2000 season. It's been two months since any team has managed more than four hits or two earned runs off of Santana. And the A's will face him on Friday in the Metrodome. Good luck, boys.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Barry Zito on MLB.com

Barry Zito will be appearing live on MLB.com's "The Show To Be Named Later" Wednesday, August 4th. The show airs from 1-2 pm ET and Barry will be here live to talk about this season and answer a ton of emails that can be sent to radio@mlb.com.


Mike Dillon

The Road Warriors

I thought I was the only one getting too excited about the A's this week. In today's Chronicle, the headline of the sports sections reads, "The Road Warriors", in big-ass font. It is hard not to jump wholeheartedly onto the band wagon and shout the greatness of the A's to the world. The A's road troubles seem like a distant memory.

To extend the Tour de France analogy, if the A's are Lance Armstrong, each series is a stage of the Tour, and the 3 series on this trip are 3 mountain stages. So this Texas Series was the Plateau de Beille. Just like Lance won that stage, the A's won this stage convincingly. Without a big 8th on Friday night, it would have been a sweep. Today is a rest day, and tomorrow starts the time trial of L'Alpe d'Huez. Straight up the mountain. The Yankees ARE the mountain. Everyone knows that. And it looks like the A's are going: Mulder, Harden, Hudson. Of course if the A's win, Torre will say something about it not mattering much at this point in the season. He is the master of spin. But this is the time the A's dominate. No one really understands it, and there is no reason to think it will happen again this year, but the calendar turns to August, and the A's get really really hot, and it happens every year.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

A good start

The A's have just finished taking three out of four from Texas, giving the team a 1.5-game cushion in the AL West standings. In fact, as Ken Korach pointed out today, since the Rangers beat Mulder last Friday, the A's have gained six games in the standings by winning 8 of their last 9 games (including five of six head-to-head) while the Rangers have gone 2-7 in that span. The team is getting hot at the right time, just as they usually do.

After a Monday off for Oakland, the team heads to the Bronx to face Jon Leiber, newly-acquired Esteban Loaiza, and Kevin Brown. The A's counter with Mulder, Harden and Hudson, making his first start off the DL. It should be a great series; let's hope it goes better than the last time the A's visited New York.

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