Even with one obstacle after another, the young and hungry Oakland A’s keep winning
After Thursday night’s 12-4 victory over Detroit, the A’s are 85-64, tied with Baltimore for the top wild card spot and sit four games behind Texas in the American League West.
The club has maintained its winning ways despite losing key starting pitchers Bartolo Colon (who was suspended for the rest of the regular season because of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs), Brandon McCarthy (who suffered a brain injury when he has struck in the head with a line drive) and now Brett Anderson (who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a strained oblique.
Though Oakland’s offense has improved in the second half, pitching is still the key reason why the A’s appear headed for the postseason. They are second in the American League and sixth in the majors in starters’ ERA at 3.75 and second in the AL and fifth in the majors in staff ERA at 3.50.
With Anderson now out, Oakland’s rotation features rookies Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily, and Australian journeyman Travis Blackley, who had appeared in eight Major League games (with Seattle and San Francisco) entering this season.
As FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi pointed out, around last year at this time Straily was working for Dick’s Sporting Goods in Eugene, Ore. and Griffin was employed by Nike Running on the Stanford University campus shopping center.
When October arrives, they will have more pressing responsibilities, like trying to pitch Oakland into the World Series with an all-rookie rotation.