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Your New Murderer's Row

The scary-but-cool thing is that the rival Angels--with their equally superlative pitching and inadequate hitting--could have gotten guys like Jack Cust and Chris Snelling for a song too. These are players nobody wants, which is odd because they seem to get on base a lot and not to get out all that often. Somehow, Billy Beane is always the only G.M. who notices that these players are ready, willing, and able to help a major league team right now. Don't release Mike Piazza just yet, but boy has Cust helped take the sting out of that injury, and isn't it great that these guys aren't providing a boost to the Angels' lineup?

To me, tonight's game was perhaps the team's most impressive offensive performance of the year--partly because the A's beat an excellent pitcher, partly because Sabathia definitely had his good stuff tonight, and partly because the contributions were truly up and down the lineup: Chavez had two outstanding base hits to left field, Crosby sustained a solid line drive power stroke throughout all his at-bats, Stewart came up big at the right time, Dan Johnson kept the heat on Rogers Hornsby, and on and on.

So as Joe Blanton and Dan Johnson continue to make believers out of this recovering skeptic, and as Cust and Snelling give me confidence that one way or the other, by hook or by crook, Beane can find a lineup that will neutralize the CF curse, I'm feeling great about a team that has no right to be two games over .500 right now but which appears to be as resilient as its GM is resourceful.

Did I mention that I'm really liking Jack Cust?