A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Thursday, June 16, 2005

10-5 in their Last 15 Games

Since the fateful Memorial Day when the A's were down 4-1 in the 8th staring at their 9th loss in a row, they have won 10 of 15. Including that big comeback. 10-5 is not really that amazing, but it is good, and they've also won 2 series in a row against the Braves and the Mets.

If Harden comes back and is as good as he can be, the future looks bright. I am not talking about the future as in 2006 or 2007, I am talking about July this year. Like in 2 weeks the A's could again be the juggernaut moving up the standings in the AL West just the way I always thought they'd be. In a few weeks the media will catch on and start talking about their amazing recovery and point out all the differences, having Crosby back, having Harden back, Chavvy's reemergence. I haven't really heard any of that kind of talk yet. The Elephant stampede is still a ways off, but you can see the dust starting to kick up on the horizon. Will we really be surprised? This is what the A's do. They stumble in the spring and then they heat up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How to Beat Tom Glavine

I have been watching Tom Glavine fairly closely for about 14 years. When the Twins were in the WS in 91, that would be when I first really heard his name. He is a crafty lefty with not a lot of velocity, but good control. When he was pitching against the Yankees in the WS in 96 and 99, he would use this pattern, which maybe he always uses:

First pitch away, a little off the plate.

If first pitch was a swinging strike or a called strike, next one would be a little further off the plate away. If first pitch was a ball, next one is a little closer to the plate, but also away.

If now count is 0-2, next pitch could be in on the hands or in the dirt.

Eventually there is a pitch away which is swung at for strike 3 or pulled weakly somewhere. The inside pitches are almost never strikes.

Tom Glavine is the 3rd winningest pitcher in the bigs, and his pattern is amazingly predictable. From the first inning last night I was yelling at the TV, "Go the other way with those pitches." I'd like to think they could hear me, because the A's put on a clinic on how to beat Tom Glavine, with like 8 of their first 9 hits going to the opposite field. The opposite field gap is a great place to put his pitches and the A's did just that, repeatedly. It was beautiful.

Now my question is, who told the A's to take those pitches the other way? I believe someone in the organization specifically told them, because that was quite a few hard hits to the opposite field. Maybe Wash, maybe Kotsay, maybe Kendall. Maybe they all know that just from watching him in the playoffs every year for so many years. Great win. And my boy, Blanton, got another win and a great performance. The dude is gonna make it as a starter in the bigs.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Zito Gets a Win, A's Win a Road Series

Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down. Zito did his weeble impression and the A's won a road series against the Braves. Not too shabby. I keep telling everyone that the A's will see .500 this year. Why must I try to force my prognostications on everyone? I guess that would be a good question for a shrink. But here it is again, the A's will see .500 this year, and from .500 you can see a playoff spot and from there you can see champaign and that trophy with all the little flags on it. Not that I am saying the WS is their destiny, that's what I said last year, but that it isn't out of the question. Chavvy going 5 for 5 with two bombs doesn't hurt.

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