On The Weekend and the Upcoming Road Trip

Well, the weekend series with the O’s is done and the A’s came out on top, taking two out of three. Sure, we would have all liked a sweep, but winning a mid-September series against a team as hot as the O’s were is great for the A’s. It was also disappointing to lose that game in the A.L. West that we gained after Saturday’s win, but the A’s are no worse off in the West than they were going into Friday, and they tightened their grip on the home Wild Card spot.

One thing I have seen some A’s fans complaining about on Twitter and on other blogs is Bob Melvin’s use of guys like Jesse Chavez and Tyson Ross in yesterday’s game, as well as the final game of the Angels series. He brought in these guys to eat some innings in a game in which the A’s were already trailing, yet some complained that they shouldn’t even be on a team that is in the playoff ┬áhunt and are mad that Melvin even used them.

Well, what do these people suggest? Bringing in Jerry Blevins or Ryan Cook in a meaningless situation? I understand that they want to see the manager try to win, but I think Melvin has done a great job at picking his spots with the bullpen usage. Sometimes you just need a Chavez or Ross to give you some innings and keep the important guys fresh. That is the beauty of roster expansion. Chavez may not be a very good pitcher, but it’s important that he’s here to be an innings eater.

Now, the Road Trip of Doom awaits. Beginning Tuesday, we’ve got three games in Detroit, three games in New York, and then four games in Texas. There has been much talk about how the A’s have a really tough schedule down the stretch. I don’t disagree, but here are some things to note about the next six games:

– The A’s are 84-62, while the Yankees are 83-63. The Tigers are 77-68.
– The A’s are 15-5 in their last 20 games. Both the Tigers and Yankees are 10-10 in their last 20.
– The A’s are 12-1 in their last 13 road games.

Sure, this is a tough schedule for the A’s. But couldn’t you also argue that this is a tougher schedule for the Tigers and Yankees, having to play the A’s? None of the national pundits want to look at it that way, but oh well.

The A’s head to Detroit and will face baseball’s top two strikeout leaders in the first two games – Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. The A’s as a team lead all of baseball in striking out. So, it’s safe to say there is going to be a lot of whiffing in the first two games. Not that that has ever stopped the A’s from winning. Go A’s!!!

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