The A’s opened up their season with nearly every expert picking them to finish dead last in the AL West. I personally have VERY low expectations going into this season, and since they usually struggle out the gate, I figured this April would be just as rough as years past. Even back when they were winning the division crowns, they were always dubbed a second half team. Another reason for pessimism for my beloved A’s was that they are the youngest roster in the league, which usually calls for lots of growing pains. I’m not going to say that this 6-2 start makes them a lock to win the west or even a .500 ballclub, but I know that they have the potential to stay out of the cellar. A lot of the “experts” picked the Mariners and Angels to win the West. Most liked the M’s because of the big off season moves, and the Angels because they are always there over the last decade. They still could be right, but after watching both the first series between the two teams, I have to say I’m impressed with the grittiness that this years’ A’s squad has. If chicks dig the long ball, then there won’t be many in the A’s clubhouse, but if chicks dig good pitching and defense we could have the next Playboy mansion in the works.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably way too overly excited about the 5-2 start, but it finally got me inspired enough to write a late preview about the club. The A’s easily could’ve swept the Mariners in their opening series, if they hadn’t committed four errors in that first game they could’ve beaten Seattle’s best pitcher, King Felix. The most inspiring part about watching them so far, sans game 1, is their ability to continue to put up runs during the game. They’ve scored in nearly 30% of their innings this year, which is a good way to win. They are supposed to have a good defense, and have played pretty good aside from opening nights four error performance. Pennington and Kouzmanoff are much better defensively than I thought they were, and now that our outfield is Cust free (I’ll get back to Cust getting cut later), we don’t have to give up an out a game wherever he happened to be. This is a grind it out team, and even this early in the year it feels like they are never out of a game. They have been behind in five of their eight games and comeback to win four of them. Continue reading