When last we met, I was comparing the A's then future, now current, road trip to the Empire Strikes Back. Let's catch up with that real quick, shall we? The A's picked off that probe droid, in Cleveland, with ease. Today they have an opportunity to beat back the Wampa before he eats their Tauntaun and set up a chance to go stave off an invasion, of Hoth, by the Galactic Empire (sometimes referred to as the New York Yankees). These are all good developments made lukewarm by the fact that to really turn the AL West back into a race the team needed to sweep at least one of the past two series.
Which is not to say all is lost for our rag tag band of rebels. There is still the chance that they win the series later today, play well in New York and end the road trip better off than they were when the 10 game swing started. Stranger things have happened, right?
Some random observations, and maybe Jawas, live below the fold.
- The A's starting pitching staff is arguably the best staff in what has been called, the Year of the Pitcher (as long as I subjectively pick "ERA" as the ultimate measure of a pitching staff). But, who has been the best individual pitcher in each league? It's safe to say no one has dominated the bump like Tim Lincecum and Zack Grienke did in 2009. Award season should make for interesting shouting on sports talk radio!
- Speaking of the Year of the Pitcher, is it really true? The median team FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching > Earned Run Average) as of this morning is 4.07. Last year, the median FIP was 4.35. It was 4.31 in 2008. Barring a league wide offensive explosion, using FIP as a barometer, this is indeed the Year of the Pitcher. At least the most recent year of the pitcher.
- As Taj so masterfully wrote, 2011 is a huge year for the A's in a lot of ways. One of the big questions (Where will the A's play in a few years?) got some pretty drawings instead of an answer.
- Ford C. Frick Award fan voting starts on September 1st, via the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's facebook profile page. A Public Service Announcement for those of you wondering who to vote for:
BKPSA (via Quasicousin)
See you at game time...