A's continue to postpone 'eventually'

August 8, 2012, 5:43 am
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So now the Athletics have only 52 games left to turn into a pumpkin. Clearly, they are cutting this a bit fine.After belt-sanding Los Angeles Tuesday night, the As moved back into a tie for the second wild-card piece, and reminded everyone who knows all the reasons why they wont be there at the end that theres one reason why they will be.Because they dont yet know how not to.Tuesdays 10-4 win over the Angels actually reminded us not so much of the As virtues, however, but the limitations of their opposition. The Angels are short on pitching, the Rangers are shorter still, and the As are, well, the As.We have dissected them as often as can be done since the season turned from blah to yeah, and the answer has always been the same They pitch, they catch, they hit homers, but eventually . . . and the eventually part is at some point going to start irritating the boys.That is, as soon as the national media begins to descend and ask about the eventually part.Tuesdays win, though, was another suggestion that eventually may still be a ways away. Bartolo Colon was wilder than usual, throwing only 77 percent strikes as opposed to his usual 80, but he overmatched the Angels consistently and would be a contender for AL Comeback Player of the Year if they allowed the definition of comeback to extend seven years.But Colon is a lot like the As in that he ranks near the bottom of the American League in quality starts. The As get shut out a lot, and truthfully if they only won half their 13 last at-bat wins, theyd be 11th, and out of the race.But they arent explained by numbers very well. The only team that does less well against the metrics is Baltimore, whose run differential suggests a team that is actually 10 games worse than the Orioles currently are.And therein lies the best thing about the As. They are surrounded by kindred spirits good but limited teams that arent likely to transform themselves into special teams this year. The entire American League is less imposing than normal right now the Rangers are on a pace to win 95 games and have the best record, and 95 has provided the best record only three times in the past 25 years.In short, when we see what the As cant do, we tend to forget all the other teams in the same rickety boat. The As have improved, and the league has moved back toward them, and theres nothing wrong with that if youre an As fan.In short, the As looked vulnerable Monday. Tuesday they looked breathtaking. This is their season, but it is everybodys season. And thats just going to have to do.