September 20, 2012
Painting the Black
Attention Hollywood: The A's Bullpen Is Pretty Interesting
I write from the year 2012, 10 years ahead of your time. Much has changed about the world, as expected, but one thing should remain familiar to you: the Oakland Athletics are a good ballclub. They seem destined to make the postseason, and their bullpen leads the American League in ERA. If you think that’s incredible, just wait until you see who they’re winning with. I’ll let you find out for yourself, but let’s just say Billy Beane still has it. Now, about the purpose of this message: Only you can save our beloved planet. The first thing I need from you is…
- A letter from an Athletics fan to his past self. Probably.
Oakland’s rotation took another hit on Wednesday night, as Brett Anderson left his start with an apparent oblique injury. Anderson’s injury comes on the heels of Brandon McCarthy’s season-ending brain surgery and Bartolo Colon’s regular season-ending suspension. The A’s are dependent on young starting pitching. Preventing abuse of those young arms means relying even more on the bullpen. This is typically a bad thing, and true, it could spell the end of the A’s Cinderella run. All season long, the A’s bullpen has been there to pick up the slack when asked. They are, if not the driving force, at least a large reason as to why the A’s have won 59 percent of their one-run games.
This group of A’s relievers may remind some Oakland loyalists of the Moneyball Athletics, who employed Billy Koch, Chad Bradford, and Jim Mecir. The quartet of Grant Balfour, Ryan Cook, Jerry Blevins, and Sean Doolittle has stories worth knowing, even if they have not appeared on the silver screen—yet.