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Southern Comfort in Atlanta

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When I reflect on today's game, two thoughts immediately come to mind. One is a comment that was made during yesterday's Chez Nico: "It seems like when Chavez hits, the A's win and when he doesn't hit, the A's lose." If you just looked at the Atlanta series, who could argue that point? The other thought is that just as in a given at bat, a hitter usually gets one really good pitch to hit, in a given game a team often gets at least one at bat where they can "get the job done for the day." Yesterday, Hatteberg couldn't get that job done; Andruw Jones could. Today, Chavez, Scutaro, Kotsay--take your pick. There are many, many facets to the game, but hitting with RISP: has any single stat really guided the A's success or failure more over the past few years?

And even though Chavez will, deservedly, draw the headlines, let's not overlook Jason Kendall's contribution to the A's first road series win in over two months. Given the assignment to set the table, as busboy Kendall earned far more than the customary 15% tip by getting on base four times. If he's not leading off on Tuesday, you have my blessing to throw one of those popular "rip Macha" logs onto the fire.

As for today's "special fun fact," Barry Zito walked 6 batters in 5 innings today. In the Twins' rotation, Brad Radke and Carlos Silva have combined to pitch 161 innings so far this year. They've also walked 6. But for all the gems Zito has walked away from with a loss or a no-decision, it's about time he wobbled around--and got a win.