Generally it feels good when your favorite team goes 4-2 in a week, winning series against two division rivals and extending their ownership of the best record in Major League Baseball to a mind-blowing 40th straight day. The last team to have a better record than the A’s? The Giants in the middle of June. Just sit on that for a moment and enjoy it. This Athletics team is something special, and they are playing incredibly well, but there’s an irritating little problem.
Those pesky Angels just sit there in the rear-view mirror riding our tail. The A’s are two games up on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but as this moment those same LAAoA are up by five games on the next best record in the majors.
So while the Athletics won two series against teams from Texas, it’s hard not to feel like every game we play is against a team that shares the Californian delegate of the Junior Circuit. But for a moment, leave the sock monkeys and mouse ears out of mind and think about longhorns.
Record for the Week: 4-2
Overall Record: 65-39
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The series started with a bummer of game on Tuesday that ended in the 12th inning after a big fly from Astros left-fielder LJ Hoes off of Fernando Abad. Scott Kazmir was sharp, but the offense couldn’t solve Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer.
The Wednesday game was a blowout through seven. Yoenis Cespedes launched two homers, Lowrie added one and it was smooth sailing. Things were looking so good that Bob Melvin saw fit to give Jim Johnson a change to get some work in. By the end of the 8th inning, after Johnson was unable to retire any of the four batters he faced and Dan Otero struggled in his relief, the Astros had closed to within two runs. The next day Jim Johnson was DFA’d after every attempt was made to get anything in return. Also, the A’s destroyed the Astros 13-1 in the rubber game featuring a Brandon Moss grand slam and a gem from Jeff Samardzija.
Going from Oakland to Texas didn’t change the story much in playing the team from Texas. A’s lose a tough one to start the series against Jerome Williams, not scoring enough to back Jason Hammel’s attempt to right the ship in his early career in Oakland.
The rest of the series? There was plenty of offense to go around. On Saturday night, the A’s hit four homers in six plate appearances and that was enough to come away with a 5-1 win. On Sunday, the boys didn’t need any long balls to finish off the series with a victory, hitting four doubles out of their 11 hits (plus 5 walks) en route to scoring nine runs.
Tweet of the Week: I was on vacation this week and didn’t get a lot of Twitter in. So read this Fangraph’s article by Jeff Sullivan instead. You will thank me. You’re welcome.
The Week Ahead:
The A’s head to Houston to play the Astros again before heading home to Oakland to play the Kansas City Royals. The Angels head to the East coast to face the Orioles and the resurgent Rays. Let’s hope they have a rough trip! Let’s Go Oak-Land!!