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Open Thread: Game 111 - A's at Seattle

It's official. My Giants' fan father has officially given up on the season and is throwing all his bandwagon support behind the Oakland A's. I suspect he's not the only one. He was there in person for Milton Bradley's walk-off homerun last week, and I think he's made it a point to watch every game since. He called me last night after the game with this gem:

"You know, Oakland isn't the best team in the world. They don't have a superstar; their hitting..."

", Dad. They're last in the league in just about everything."

"But there's something about this team. It's like the only thing they know how to do is win."

I had to laugh, considering all the ups and downs we've had with this team this year, but he's right. There's just something about this team. Call it heart, call it grit, call it Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley, stellar defense, a kick-ass bullpen, or pretty good starting pitching, but there's something there.

Of course, that 'something' is not always the offense. As reported by MLB, when Chavvy was asked about the team's seeming inability to break games open:

"We've been doing that a lot," said Eric Chavez, who went 0-for-5 and struck out with the bases loaded to end the second. "It's frustrating, but we're used to it. ... We don't score six, seven, eight runs a game. We score three, four or five, play good defense and pitch."

Yep, yep, and yep. That about sums up the 2006 Oakland Athletics. Take it or leave it.

But of course, playing the Mariners doesn't hurt the team, either.

From the hopelessly awesome Jeff from Lookout Landing who really should just come root for the A's already:

Now that's funny. And the Mariners have no easier time of it today; Joe Blanton is a big part of why the A's have owned Seattle this year. In three starts against them, he's held the Mariners to two runs on fourteen hits for a 0.78 ERA.

But to appease those who hate `woofing', this is a very tough Seattle team and today will be a hard-fought battle. That's not sarcastic. Our offense is capable of throwing up a zero against any pitcher, and no baseball game is ever won or lost before it is actually played.

Interesting read yesterday about our seldom-seen backup catcher in What about Melhuse?

And lest I forget, with Chavez's errorless streak coming to an end in yesterday's game, may I just take this opportunity to publicly state that he is the best defensive third baseman I have ever seen. He's something special to watch, and I suspect we'll be talking about his defense years and years after he's left the game of baseball.

Starting Lineups - thanks jlaff


J Kendall, C
M Kotsay, CF
M Bradley, RF
F Thomas, DH
E Chavez, 3B
J Payton, LF
N Swisher, 1B
M Scutaro, SS
M Ellis, 2B

SP: Joe Blanton (11-9, 4.61)


I Suzuki, RF
J Lopez, 2B
A Beltre, 3B
R Ibanez, LF
R Sexson, 1B
B Broussard, DH
K Johjima, C
Y Betancourt, SS
A Jones, CF

SP: Gil Meche (9-5, 4.24)