This season has been composed of two distinct eras: The Dark Ages (17-32) and The Renaissance Period, which began on May 30th. The Renaissance Period has been, essentially, a Jason Kendall sandwich. On May 30th, the A's were about to plunge to yet new depths of despair. They were going to surpass their earlier 8-game losing streak with a 9-gamer, and they were going to do it by losing at home to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Then, with 2 outs in the 9th and the A's trailing, Kendall, his average still mired in the .220s, singled off Danys Baez. Suddenly, The Renaissance Period began, and it has continued through last night, when the Rangers were on the verge of completing a 9th inning comeback and turning an A's win into Yabu vs. The Ballpark in Arlington, a case even Johnnie Cochran probably couldn't win. So on behalf of all of us who have, at times, muttered things like "try throwing left-handed--it couldn't be any worse," thank you, Jason Kendall, for being the bread in one of the most delicious sandwiches there is: an A's run of success.
Check out tonight's starting lineups, in this matchup of right-handers Kirk Saarloos and Ricardo Rodriguez: