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Eight Is Enough, And Eight More Is Plenty

The problem with the A's is that they can't hit. Something sure turned things around in a hurry...Was it Scutaro's dramatic homerun, this year's version of the Kendall homerun (note the singular) which jumpstarted the A's offense last Summer? Was it the chance to face what the Rangers call pitching--throwing very few strikes and regretting the ones that are thrown? Or was it patience? Time. Progression to the mean.

Mark Ellis, Bobby Crosby, Shannon Stewart, and Jason Kendall all got off to slow starts whose upside was "hey, nowhere to go but up". And up they went tonight, with Ellis and Crosby rediscovering their doubles stroke, Stewart unloading his first A's homerun in a two-hit, four RBI performance, and Kendall getting back to doing what he does best: getting hit by pitches and hitting dribblers to third base he can beat out. Mix in a first-major-league-HR, 5-RBI night from the kid-who-keeps-creeping-up-higher-in-the-batting-order, and the rout is on. So as initially torrid hitters like Piazza regress to the mean, the progressors are far outweighing the regressors and the result is baserunners everywhere, with many coming around to touch the pointy pentagon base that gives you points.

Just as failure breeds failure, hopefully success will breed success in the form of a more confident and relaxed hitting team. Which is good, because after 16 games, the A's have yet to get a bad start from a pitcher. That can't last--but if the offense heats up, the A's might be in pretty good shape in the early going.