Next 17 Games Provide Tough Test For Young A's
The Oakland A's will begin a nine game homestand tomorrow when the Florida Marlins come to town for a three game series. This three game series will also be the start of three weeks of games that could decide the fate of you're 2011 Oakland A's.
And the reason why this series is so important is for the A's to get their confidence running against a team that has had one of the worst months of baseball I can think of. The Marlins were sitting pretty at 30-20 on May 28th, but have gone 4-24 since that victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Marlins have been a mess. Poor offense and inconsistent pitching have been a recipe for disaster in Miami.
The A's are 8-8 since Bob Melvin replaced Bob Geren on June 9th and have made drastic changes to the starting line-up. With rookie Jemile Weeks earning his keep since making his debut June 7th in Baltimore. Scott Sizemore has been the everyday third baseman since Kevin Kouzmanoff was designated outright. And first base has been a platoon since the struggling Daric Barton was optioned to Sacramento last week.
Here's how the schedule looks over the next three weeks:
June 28-30: vs. Florida (34-44 Last NL East)
July 1-3: vs. Arizona D-Backs (43-36 2nd NL West)
July 4-6: vs Seattle Mariners (39-39 2nd AL West)
July 7-10: @ Texas Rangers (41-38 1st AL West)
July 15-17: vs Los Angeles Angels (Double Header July 16th) (39-40 3rd AL West)
Outside of six interleague games the A's have 11 of 17 against the AL West. Which will be an important stretch of games for the A's to catch up to Texas being only 6 games back. The A's will have 7 of those 11 games in the coziness of the Oakland Coliseum (I still dont like O.co. Maybe call it the Big O). These games aren't must win, but they are pretty darn close for a team who cant fall back any further.
The A's can still win the AL West this season. They have to go out and do work the next 17 games in order for them to contend. A losing record in the next 17 games is not an option! It will be a tough test for the youngsters who started in Sacramento. But I believe these guys can pass this test with flying Green and Gold!!