September 20, 2006

A's Reduce Magic Number to Five

It's looking more and more like the A's will have an opportunity to clinch the American League West division title against their rival Los Angeles Angels this upcoming weekend when they come to Oakland to take on the surging green and gold crew. Tonight, like yesterday, the A's fell behind early 2-0, closed to within a run on a home run (tonight it was Milton Bradley, yesterday Eric Chavez), and opened up the game in the later innings. As with yesterday's ballgame, a starter who has given us scares earlier in the season came up big - as Esteban Loaiza went into the eighth inning and gave the A's the chance for the victory, as Kirk Saarloos did yesterday when he battled through five innings and garnered 11 strikeouts.

With the victory, the A's reduce the "magic number" to claim the division title to five, as any combination of A's wins and Angels losses totaling five will mathematically clinch their first-place position and make our playoff tickets worth something more than the paper they are printed on.

Aside from the strong pitching, team MVP Frank Thomas continues to hit at a torrid pace. With the game tied, the Big Hurt came up with two runners on and clubbed a double to deep center field, giving the A's a 4-2 lead, all they would need in the eventual 4-3 victory. In a year when we thought it would be amazing for him to reach triple digits in games, Frank has realistically thrown his name into the ring as a legitimate league MVP candidate by powering the A's with 38 home runs and well over 100 RBI. Every time he steps to the plate, time stops and waits for him to inflict serious damage. It is a joy to watch him hit.

We're getting oh so close to October. I can almost taste it. Go A's!

Listening to ''Block Rockin' Beats'', by The Chemical Brothers (Play Count: 4)