These games worry me. Three games against the Minnesota Twins. Indoors. Against Justin Morneau, A's killer extraordinaire and Francisco Liriano, bat killer extraordinaire.
The A's didn't play their best baseball against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. And while I don't buy into the stats saying that the Rays are the worst team in the league offensively (they've been existing much of the season without names like Baldelli and Young in the lineup), the A's lack of pitching adjustment was frightening. Every game the team grooved fastballs to a team that looks for anything out over the plate. Do that against the Angels and you just may lose seven straight.
Still, the A's traditionally have strange games in the Metrodome. Heck, the A's were swept there earlier this season when the Twins didn't look anything like a contender. And yes, the carpet does scare me to death considering the A's tendency to hurt themselves with alarm clocks and other items that aren't green-tinted concrete.
Now the Angels get the White Sox while the A's play the Twins, and then they have four games in the swelter of Arlington where I'm pretty sure that Captain Mike Albano will be throwing down at some point with Hulk Showalter. So while the Angels would need to have a historic comeback in order to defend their AL West crown, I'm not so sure that it can't be done. Especially if the A's starters continue to look like Royals starters.
The A's pitching has been the worst in the American League over the past seven days. 6.28 ERA versus the Angels 1.96 ERA over that same time frame. 39 runs allowed over 53 innings for the A's, 12 runs allowed over 55 innings for the Angels. The only reason the A's have been holding on is because of their resurgent offense and the very Large Ouch (aka Big Hurt). But you combine the A's bad pitching with the Angels amazing pitching as well as hitting (they have the highest batting average since the ASB) and that could spell a recipe for collapse.
Now the beauty about baseball is that pitching goes into slumps just like hitting does and it can turn around very quickly. I'm just worried that the Metrodome isn't the place for that to happen. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but the A's lead doesn't feel as safe as it should with 20 games to play.