Uh, so maybe I was wrong about Dan Johnson. I was thoroughly convinced that he would wind up being a AAAA player because he never seemed to know how to go the other way when he was pitched away with a slider. But there can be no argument that DJ is the best A's hitter right now. And it isn't even really close. Course you're helped when you have a day like today where you have 4 official ABs, 4 hits, 4 runs and 4 RBIs as well as two long balls and two walks. It's not the kind of day that Johnson will likely ever forget. You rarely get a game like this. DJ now has a 1.223 OPS for the season and a 1.464 OPS for May.
As for Jack Cust, he can obviously hit a fastball with the best of them, taking two inside fastballs into the drink a long way away from home plate. If I'm the opposition, I would throw basically nothing but sliders to the outside corner to DJ and change ups and other offspeed pitches to Cust. But I'm pretty sure they're going to figure that out soon enough.
I view today's game as kind of like a wedding ritual. The A's had something old...a player go down with an injury (supposedly Snelling is day-to-day with a knee contusion, but you know that means that he's going to have to have his leg amputated), something new in that they scored a lot of runs, something borrowed in basically that they borrowed the Yankees bats for the day and something blue in Jason Kendall's mood as I'm pretty sure that he's gotta be angry that he wasn't in the lineup when the A's bats finally woke up.
Kennedy pitched well in basically no-hitting the Royals for the first four innings until he seemed to hit a wall and got whacked around. The A's ended the road trip 5-3, going 1-1 in Boston, 2-1 in Tampa Bay and 2-1 in Kansas City. Given that the team is a team of mostly substitute players right now, you've got to think that it's a huge success. The A's now come home to take on a prolific offense in the Cleveland Indians. The A's starting pitching gets one of their toughest tests of the season.
Oh and in case people haven't realized it, Shannon Stewart has actually been a good leadoff hitter in May. And it's understandable that he needed some time to recover given his injury issues last year. I just hope that the team can springboard off this to feel good about themselves. Granted, a lot of today was because Hudson and company were centering pitches right in the middle of the plate, but it'd be nice if it gave the A's some confidence going forward. Six home runs should help in that department (congrats to Putnam on his first!).
And just do me a favor and pray for Doyle! tonight. It would be a shame if he finally was being given a regular shot and he went down to the injury plague that's following the A's. But knowing the A's luck this year, that's probably what's going to happen.
Until then though, Hey Mr. DJ, put on a record, I want to dance with my baby after 17 runs today.
UPDATE: The A's announced that they've completed the land part of the deal for Cisco Field. That's a pretty big step in the process.