I'm delighted by the A's taking 3 out of 4 in the last week, but I have to say I can't really understand why the Tigers and the Angels have issued so many walks to the team with the lowest batting average in the American League. I'm delighted, but it's strange. You walk Barry Bonds or Jason Giambi and people can say good idea, bad idea, whatever. You walk Jason Kendall and you're clearly an idiot. What are you worried about? That he might hit a single instead?
Look at the recent winning streak.
In the first game against the Tigers, the A's scored in two innings: two runs in an inning in which they got two walks (why anyone EVER walks Kendall, who got one of them, is a subject for a PhD. dissertation in psychology), and three runs in an inning in which they got one walk.
In the second game against the Tigers, the A's again scored in just two innings: they got one in the first after two walks, and they got one in the 10th after two more walks. Absent the walks, the A's probably don't score in the whole game.
Finally, in the third game against the Tigers, the A's against scored in just two innings, although here, up 7-0, the Tiger pitchers didn't walk guys. As they should, and with the big lead, they threw strikes and the A's hit several balls hard - though 4 runs doesn't win many games against the Tigers, and indeed it didn't here.
Then of all teams the Angels did it, too, last night: the A's got two in the first after two walks (and an error), the A's got two in the fourth (no walks!), and they got two in the ninth, after one walk. Ixnay the first inning walks and K-Rod is on the hill in the ninth with a 2-run lead (yes, I know, all else being equal...)
If you were pitching against the A's, wouldn't you just throw balls down the middle of the plate as soon as you got behind 2-0? Yeah, you'd give up a few more hits, a few more home runs, but you'd still improve your chances of winning. Isn't that one of the main reasons why the A's struggle so much against guys like Kenny Rogers and Brad Radke (the whole Twins staff, really) - because if you don't walk the A's, you beat them?