Their current win streak at four, the 2012
Oakland Athletics are a long way from matching the accomplishment of the 2002
A's who reeled off 20 consecutive victories. Heck, if they can just reach the halfway point of that stretch, it will
be big news.
Ten years later, some of the details are beginning to fade
though memories of Oakland's
amazing streak in '02 remain. Helping revive them is the present squad that
doesn't seem to understand it isn't supposed to be this good, and certainly
isn't meant to be on the verge of sweeping a 4-game series from the mighty New
From the SBR 'Ooops, They Did It Again' Department comes an
update on Saturday's contest in Oakland where the A's posted their fourth
straight win overall, and third in a row vs. New York who entered this series
on a 9-game win streak at the Coliseum.
All four triumphs have been by a single run, two via walk-off hits to go
with last night's when the winning tally wasn't plated until the bottom of the
Bob Melvin and the A's will now turn to a veteran pitcher to
finish the job after leaving it up to the kids in the first three games. Bartolo Colon gets the ball for Oakland, and the beefy
Dominican will be out to avenge one of his worst starts of an otherwise decent
season. The fine folks who determine the
MLB odds don't seem to like his or Athletics' chances of completing the sweep
as New York
is consensus -180 chalk to avoid the brooms.
That is because Joe Girardi is sending his own veteran out
to the mound for the Sunday matinee. C.C. Sabathia will make his second start since a brief stint on the disabled list for
a groin injury just before the all-star break, and the husky southpaw from
nearby Vallejo, California,
is aiming to repeat his fine effort in the same contest that saw Colon slapped around.
In a series of streaks and streak-busting, the same 7.5 run
total that we've seen in the first three games is also on tap for Sunday's
Now 7-1 since the All-Star Game, and 13-2 for the month, Oakland has bolted to
within a half-game behind the Los Angeles Angels for second place in the AL
West. The A's are also tied with the
Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox for the final American League wild card
spot. Like the O's and ChiSox, Oakland isn't supposed to
be in the thick of things as we head into the final full week of July.
has seen its double-digit lead over the Orioles in the AL East shrink, though
it remains a comfortable seven games. The
3-game skid is their sixth of its kind for the Yankees in 2012, and for those
who may be wondering, they haven't lost four consecutive games since the final
four contests on the 2011 regular season slate.
When Colon and Sabathia met
May 26 in Oakland, New York's
lineup was cooking right along and scored nine runs (six off Colon) to cash as a -155 favorite. Sabathia had his usual yeoman showing with
seven good innings in the 9-2 victory and is more than capable of the same
effort and results. But are the Yankee
hitters going to show up after plating just six runs in the first three games
combined? We've seen New York's scoring streak of 43-straight
games with at least three runs end, and Saturday saw Robinson Cano's 23-game
hitting streak die.
Those stats stand out, but they also distract from one of
the most glaring shortcomings for New York in this series: Yankee hitters have
managed to draw just one walk in this series, and they'll be without one of
their most patient hitters Sunday in former-A Nick Swisher who is sitting out
with a strained flexor in his left hip.
It has been almost 11 years since the A's swept New York in Oakland,
and they did it twice during that 2001 season.
But those were 3-game series, and the Athletics have never taken a full
4-game set from the Yankees since Charlie Finley moved the club west from Kansas City in 1968. With CC dealing for New
York and Colon
struggling against the Yankees throughout his career, it's hard to imagine the
A's pulling off their first 4-game sweep against the Bronx Bombers today.
But I'm not about to bet against this Oakland bunch right now. My play today will be the A's +165.