On days like today, I catch my self salivating uncontrollably. Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson are ridiculous. Today it was Gonzalez on the bump looking like a Cy Young candidate. I know, I know... Don't get ahead of ourselves, but wow. If these 5 guys (add Dallas Braden and Vin Mazzaro to the list) can all stay healthy the next few seasons are going to be very, very exciting for us A's fans.
Now about that run scoring deficiency...
Despite two home runs, the Texas Rangers defense was perhaps the biggest contributor to the explosion of runs today. The A's offense was really helped out by boneheaded plays and brutally butchered bounding balls. But I saw the shimmer of potential, anyway.
It occurred to me, whilst we were all watching Gio dazzle, that Jeff Larish might turn out to be someone the Tigers really regret letting go. Not to mention Kevin Kouzmanoff, despite great defense and occasional power, might be mad at the Tigers for setting him free.
Larish has been outstanding in the minors. His offensive production would, more than likely, be an upgrade on Kouzmanoff. His defense would require quite a lot of work, but he appears capable of league average defense at 3rd.
I know, Kouzmanoff went deep today and has been on a hot streak (Heck, he was AMPM Player of the Game per Ken Korach). I'd just say that the at bat Larish took in the second is the kind of at bat we rarely see from any A's hitter not named Pennington, Barton, Cust or Sweeney. He saw 5 pitches, took 3 balls before getting a strike and letting it rip on a 3 and 1 count. It is the kind of at bat the A's need out of their hitters more often than not. Larish has taken more of these at bats in the past two weeks than Kouzmanoff has the entire season, or so it seems.
To continue the theme from earlier, The A's have picked off the probe droid, defeated the wampa and are now head to New York in an attempt to stave of an invasion from the Galactic Empire. Even if the A's are pretty much out of the race, which they are, it is nice to actually be paying close attention to the standings as we turn towards September. It is even nicer to know that the plan for contention appears to be right on schedule.