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A’s Pound Sox to Kick Off Playoff Push
Posted By Josh Muller On Sep 1 2012 @ 9:20 pm In Oakland A's | No Comments
There is nothing like a good old-fashioned 20-2 beat down to start off the final month of the regular season. The Oakland A’s  absolutely demolished the unrecognizable Boston Red Sox Friday night, beating them by 18 runs. Wow.
It was only the fourth time in Oakland history that the A’s scored 20 or more runs and it was done with authority. The A’s hit five home runs: Josh Donaldson continued his ridiculous hot pace (does anyone remember Brandon Inge) hitting a three run bomb, Brandon Moss hit a second deck shot, Josh Reddick hit his 28th and his first career grand slam, and George Kottaras hit two as a backup catcher.
I was in the stands and it was some of the most fun I’ve had at the ballpark in a while. Obviously, everyone likes a little drama, and the walk-off wins have been great. But sometimes it’s nice to not have to worry about the game and enjoy a stress-less victory. It was awesome.
I’m also going to give some credit to the fans. It wasn’t the largest crowd I’ve ever seen, but they were certainly into the game. Often, especially with a team like the Sox or the Yankees , A’s fans will be overwhelmed and drowned out by the opposing team’s fans. Not this time. Chalk it up to the Sox waiving the white flag and/or the recent trades but I’m just excited to see A’s fans getting out and cheering for their team in a loud and rambunctious manner.
The A’s however, can’t get too comfortable even if they double their margin of victory tonight. While it’s fun to pound the other team into submission, the A’s have a very tough road ahead of them to finish their playoff push. Sitting only four games behind the Rangers for the division lead, the A’s currently hold the top wild card spot. However, the Angels , Tigers , Rays  and Orioles  are all within 4.5 games of the A’s so Oakland is anything but guaranteed a post-season bid. And everyone should realize this considering the historic runs both the Rays and Braves  went on last year to propel them into the playoffs.
But this is a fun time and I certainly don’t want to overlook that fact. Even though it isn’t over, and the A’s have a lot of work to do, it’s damn fun to watch this team play. I want to convey the gravity of the situation, but I also don’t want it to take away from the excitement surrounding this team. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but who would have seen this coming into the season?
Considering where most saw the A’s finishing at the end of the year, it is borderline unbelievable they’ve been so good, and it seems as if they are getting better. Oakland has one 8 in a row outscoring their opponents 79-20 in that span. That’s almost a difference of sixty runs in less than three full series.
But as I said before, September will be tough. In the final month (and three days as the A’s play their last series in October) the A’s play the seven against the Angels, seven against the Rangers, six against the Mariners, and three against each of the Yankees, Orioles, and Tigers. Those are some formidable opponents and each of those games will have playoff implications. Their only opponent out of the running is the Mariners and they’ve been playing much better ball since the All-Star break.
There is a lot of baseball yet to be played. If you are an A’s fan, get out there and support your team. We should consider ourselves lucky that this team is this good; this is the most fun I’ve had watching baseball in years and they deserve a few more butts in the seats to cheer them on. Something special is happening in Oakland and you won’t want to miss it. Let’s keep it up and GO A’s!
September Call Ups: There are usually two rounds of September call-ups. Once on the first of the month and then another when the minor leagues finish their season. Today, the A’s reinstated A.J. Griffin and Brandon Inge from the disabled list and called up infielder Brandon Hicks and outfielder Collin Cowgil for some depth. That puts the roster at 29. I’d be surprised if they didn’t get some more pitching depth up here sooner rather than later too.
I really like Cowgil. He plays hard and seems to do a lot of things well on the field. I’m not the biggest fan of Hicks but he can play a bunch of positions and has some pop in his bad. I am a bit surprised that Jemile Weeks wasn’t recalled. I still think he might, but even if you don’t play the guy every day, you can still use him as a pinch runner. A speedster like Weeks can be valuable down the stretch. I guess they want him t get regular at-bat for now.
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