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Okay, now is the time to jump up and down and cheer, and celebrate the fact that even though the Angels so far have taken 2 out of 3 at Yankee Stadium, we still hold a 4.5 lead in the West.

Kudos to Esteban Loaiza, who pitched a HELL of a game today--hitting his spots while throwing in the mid-nineties, going eight strong innings; three hits, one run. He pitched one of the best games by an A's pitcher all year, and just flat-out bested Corcoran.

As it so often happens in this 2006 season, the A's offense took advantage of the D-rays' defensive miscues, while the A's defense (Call me, Milton!), remained rock-solid from the first out of the game, to the last, even in the tough sun.

And don't look now, but our franchise player hit his first homerun in nearly a month, and it absolutely could not have come at a better time, sending the A's from a disheartening 1-0 loss, to a win, and a series sweep.

However, some credit is due for the managing today. When your team doesn't hit well (and we don't), it is vital to pick up some bases in other ways. The A's used walks, errors, steals, and even bunt attempts, to try to manufacture some runs, and they were finally rewarded in the bottom of the eighth with the insurance run. From top to bottom, the A's offense was stifled, stymied, and shut-down for most of the afternoon, with the exception of two back-to-back hits from Thomas and Chavez in the bottom of the seventh. When you get a pitching performance like Loaiza turned in today, sometimes two well-timed hits are all it takes, which is a good sign for our offensively-challenged Oakland Athletics.

Huge win today, preserving the 4.5 lead over the Halos, and doing what we have to do to win it all--beating the teams we are supposed to beat.

Some upcoming A's dilemmas:

-What to do about Bobby Crosby when he comes off the DL?
-Do we see Dan Johnson up again soon? (maybe sooner if Swish is still hurting)
-How do we successfully play the game of 'shuffle the pitchers'?
-<whispers> Rich Harden?

Until then, enjoy this moment. The A's could not have had a better weekend, and are now playing better than any team in baseball right now. Take that, Dodgers!