The A's are a great story this season, regardless of what happens the rest of the way. Expected to be a flopping non-factor in the American League West, the A's instead became one of the American League's better teams.
They hit in the clutch, won 52 games by rookie pitchers, displayed immense character with numerous comebacks and a major league best 14 walk-off victories, and have been guided by the apparently steady and wise hand of manager Bob Melvin.
Most eye-catching has been their consistency. They grew from an uncertain team-wide adolescence during the first two months of the season into a mature, confident grown-up of a club, with a little hint of swagger to go with success-born exuberance.
Check the numbers. The A's were 22-30 in April and May combined ending with a nine-game May-June losing streak then started to click in June. From then on, the team has not lost more than three games in a row, while building winning streaks of five, four, seven, nine and six games.
Like every team, Oakland had setbacks. Losing third baseman Brandon Inge and pitcher Brett Anderson to injury, as well as losing pitcher Bartolo Colon to a performance-enhancing drug bust was not insignificant. The winning, nevertheless, continued.
They play in a ratty ballpark that is seldom filled, but the A's forced themselves into relevancy this season.
It will be fun to see how far they can go.
What to watch
Baseball, A's vs. Rangers, 12:35 p.m., CSNCA: Amazing A's conclude regular season before heading into playoffs.
How do you characterize the Oakland A's?
Potential World Series champions
Improving, but not among the best
Mediocre, but got hot and lucky
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Will late-season stress-free games hurt Giants?
Yes, hard to recharge: 22%
No, rest will help: 78%
Total votes: 107
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Read more articles by Brian Blomster
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