I've been working late a lot these days, trying to meet a deadline, so I didn't have full attention on last night's A's-Mariners game. Which was fine, because it was the perfect kind of game to only kinda pay attention to. The A's took a big lead early on a grand slam by DH Adam Melhuse, and then cruised to a 12-6 victory. That, coupled with the Rangers' crazy loss last night to the Yankees, brought the A's to within a game of first place in the AL West.
There was something about this game, though, that just felt right. As if in this game, for the first time all year, the A's felt like the A's team I had been expecting all year. Perhaps it was because this lineup consisted only of players who were on the team last year, during the A's hot streak. It also lacked anybody who was in the midst of a profound slump.
That not-slumping group even includes Jason Kendall, who had two hits, a couple of line drive outs, and yet again, no grounders to third. Kendall's OBP is now .381, which means he isn't killing the offense with his mere existence anymore. Still, I'd still like to see Melhuse play more. Melhuse was finally been given a chance to play regularly this week, and he's responded with three home runs. How can you keep that kind of production on the bench?
Finally, it was really weird seeing Steve Karsay back in an A's uniform. I remember Karsay as a skinny little kid wearing his A's gear, and now--well, if Barry Bonds wants to use the "people fill out when they get older" excuse, he can run some side-by-side pictures of Karsay as evidence. But once I got over that little shock, it was quite fun to see him again. He looked like he had good stuff--hit 95mph on the gun--and had an easy 1-2-3 inning in the ninth. If he's back to the old Steve Karsay again (plus those few extra pounds), this could be a really nice pickup for Billy Beane.