The Oakland Athletics this afternoon showed why this year’s team is infinitely grittier and more determined than playoff teams of years past. This collection of misfits and guys barely above the legal drinking age simply know how to win. They’ve outplayed and out-executed the Twins in the Metroblob, and showed the baseball world why they’ll go deep into the playoffs. Instead of Frank Thomas hammering the Twins into submission this afternoon, it was the likes of Nick Swisher, Marco Scutaro and Mark Kotsay running the Twins ragged. The 5-2 final score doesn’t reflect the way the A’s controlled this game. Boof Bonser, the Twins starting pitcher, never really had a chance against the highly selective, pitch-conscious A’s batters. They nitpicked the poor guy like vultures picking at an animal carcass.
And in the end it came down to the basics: hitting, pitching, defense and the big play (something the Twins were touted as superior to the A’s). Esteban Loiaza, a man we’ve called out in the past, pitched like he’s been sipping on stud juice—he was simply outstanding before running into a couple of homerun blasts. It was also Swisher making adjustments and not swinging for the fences, but using that crappy dome for less glamorous doubles. Smart move, Swish! And it was Mark Kotsay’s brilliant inside-the-park homerun that sealed the deal on this little affair in Minneapolis.
Reality check A’s Fan: The Athletics are 0-9 in series deciding games since 2000. Before we get giddy about the prospects of taking on the $200 million monstrosity (The New York Yankees), they really need to take care of business at home and shut the mindless experts up…for good!
By SFist Kevin, contributing