The Giants and the Mariners are bad this year. Here at A's Brand Baseball, we take no special pleasure in writing that, nor do we do so in order to taunt the other baseball fans and writers on SFist. (OK, maybe a little of the latter.) Rather, we simply want to point out that when the A's won nine of ten games against those two sorry-a$$ teams at the end of June, it didn't necessarily mean much. The home nine continued its hot streak, though, and took two out of three at home from the Chicago White Sox, who still carry the best record in the majors. After Tuesday night's eleven-inning victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto, the A's find themselves with forty-one wins and forty-one losses.

When we wrote that the A's

would need to win 15 of their next 19 just to have a .500 record at the All-Star break, and even we don't expect that,

we weren't trying to work some kind of reverse jinx; it just didn't seem very likely. We were writing about a 29-39 team that had been, on May 29, a 17-32 team and is now, and here's the important part, a 41-41 team on July 6. We didn't expect Rich Harden (1 ER in 19 2/3 innings since returning from the DL) and Bobby Crosby (batting .339 with 5 HR since his return) to rehab with Wilford Brimley and Steve Guttenberg and come back stronger than before. We didn't expect Huston Street to fill in as capably as he has for Octavio Dotel, and we didn't expect Justin Duchscherer--uh, that's 2005 AL All-Star Justin Duchscherer--to fill in as capably as he did for Street. We are happy to have been wrong.