Good morning, Athletics Nation! It turns out that the A's are indeed a good team, and that their recent slump was probably just a slump rather than a return to their true (lack of) talent. However, a successful series against the Tigers has Oakland feeling confident heading into a huge homestand which will feature three games each against Wild Card leader Tampa Bay and AL West frontrunner Texas. Sure, this'll be a tough test, but it'll also be the opportunity of the season for Oakland to make a move in the playoff picture. Can they capitalize on it?
On today's Phil Naessens Show, we discuss the Tigers series, Brandon Moss, the returns of Brett Anderson and Kurt Suzuki and more! Listen to the show right here by using the media player embedded below; my segment starts at 43:10 and goes for about 16 minutes.
Give it a listen and leave your feedback in the comments.
Torrey's Taco Stand:
Cleveland may have an even easier schedule than the A's to close out the season.
Carig Calcaterra has some interesting thoughts on Torii Hunter.
Jeff Sullivan checks in with an excellent piece today regarding the value of getting ahead in the count.
Touted prospect Taijuan Walker will make his big-league debut tonight for the Mariners. Remember, the A's close out the season with a three-game set at Safeco Field, so they could see Walker down the road. Check out some GIFs of his stuff, including a nasty fastball-curveball mix that can keep batters on their toes.
David Laurila asked twelve big-league hitters, ranging from Hank Conger to Joey Votto, which offensive stat is the most important. While he didn't ask any members of the A's, he did ask four players who previously wore the white cleats.
This is way too good.
Chad Dotson breaks down the career of one of our own, Bartolo Colon. He had a walk rate of 4.69 in 2000!
Scherzer: "They beat us three times handedly. That's probably the best baseball I've seen the A's ever play, and that's major kudos to them"— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) August 29, 2013
Around the minor leagues, the River Cats will open up a four-game set to close the season at Tacoma. They currently trail Las Vegas by two games for the division lead. The Ports will take the field tonight at Modesto, and Murphy Smith will toe the rubber for the RockHounds.
On this day a year ago, the A's offense erupted to back a less-than-stellar Jarrod Parker en route to a 12-7 win to finish a four-game sweep at Cleveland.