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Dead But Not Barryed

The A's finally found a closer who won't blow the lead: Adding on. It seems Zito's return to the Coliseum was marred by the fact that he temporarily forgot to be aggressive and pound the strike zone--I hate it when that happens. Ironically Zito, who was the A's #3 starter when he won the Cy Young award, is already looking like the Giants' #3 starter behind Cain and Lincecum. Zito is still a good pitcher, but the A's can do a lot with 126 million dollars. And against it, for that matter.

Credit Geren with putting three lefties in the 3-4-5 spots simply because they are three of the A's best hitters, and credit Eric Chavez with solid ABs to fuel A's rallies in the first, third, and fifth against a lefty, Dan Johnson for continuing to prove that vision is actually important, and Jack Cust for continuing to live up to his initials.

If you're one of those many fans who have reached the end of their rope with Chavez' apparent inability to step up and be that scary RBI guy who relishes the spotlight, the A's may have found that guy in Nick Swisher. Swisher appears to have matured, quickly, past the hitter who struggled with RISP his first two seasons. He looks, acts, and produces, like "the man" and it's part of why the A's are over .500 when they have no business being there.

Tonight, the A's beat an old rival in the Giants and an old friend in Zito. Tomorrow, the A's send the American League's ERA leader to the mound. And the New York Yankees are 10 games out of first place. Works for me.

Private memo to Steve Kline: There is an option B--you can just take responsibility for the fact that you're now a lousy pitcher.