I don't know about league MVPs, but I felt like the A's clear team MVPs were on display today: Frank Thomas, a true one-man wrecking crew the likes of which we haven't seen in Oakland for a while, and Justin Duchscherer, the Duke-of-all-trades who can slide in seamlessly to make a Street day off a ho-hum experience. It's no wonder that the A's struggles this year coincided with The Big Hurt's "extended spring training" and Duchscherer's extended absence--and no wonder that with those two anchoring the lineup and the bullpen, the A's have been a legitimate .667 team for quite some time now.
So the AL West lead is now seven, the A's Magic Number is now seven, the playoffs are looking downright imminent, but a possible A's opponent? That's getting murkier, as the Twins pulled to within a single game of the Tigers today. Meanwhile, the A's might have just knocked Chicago, the one team they wouldn't mind playing, too far back.
So two main orders of business remain while the A's watch the AL Central teams duke it out for division and wild card honors. One is wrapping up a division against an Angels team that still has as many head-to-head games with the A's (that would be seven) as they have games to make up in the standings. The other is the scheduled return to the mound of Rich Harden on Thursday afternoon.
Until we see how those two bits play out, just sit back, relax (yeah right) and enjoy a typical day of A's baseball: A Kendall multi-hit game, a Kotsay outfield assist, a Frank Thomas HR, lights-out bullpen work, and just enough to win by a single run. Works for me.