OAKLAND Josh Donaldson, red-hot at the plate of late, has a new lucky bat. It wasnt carved from a tree struck by lightning.Its actually one of teammate Chris Carters batting practice bats.Donaldson, a catcher converted into a third baseman, homeredfor the fourth time in his last five games in Mondays loss to the Angels. Hehas driven in eight over that span. Since he was called up from Triple-A Sacramentofor his third stint with the As on August 14, Donaldson is hitting .338 with seven doubles,five home runs and 15 RBIs in 19 games.I'musing Carters bat so that has something to do with it, Donaldsonsaid.I didn't have any bats when I first came back and picked up one ofCarter's and asked if I could use it.Donaldson said that the barrel on Carters bat is a littlebigger than hes used to. The new bat is also heavier than his normalweight at 34 ounces, but the same length at 32.5 inches.As manager Bob Melvin said that Donaldson crediting the new bat for his hothitting might be a little superstitious, but isnt questioning his hottest hitter's logic.If he thinks ithas something to do with it, then it does, Melvin said. Its such a mental game, that anylittle edge that you can get, you try to get. I hear that people aresuperstitious in this game, too, and you ride those types of things. If thatworks for you, and that type of bat works for you, then Im all for it.Melvin was joking about hearing that people are superstitious. Its no secretthat almost every baseball man, Melvin included, is sensitive to superstition.But Melvin said he never went so far as trying out a teammates bat.I shouldve tried that, Melvin said. I did T-shirts andeverything else but never tried the bat.---The As recalled right-handed reliever Jim Miller before Tuesdays game. Inthree prior stints with the big-league club, Miller went 2-1 with a 2.02 ERAand 32 strikeouts in 35.2 innings.Hes done a good job for us several times this year,Melvin said. Hes been on a little bit of a yo-yo, but hes a guy that hascontributed significantly over the course of the season.---Theres a funny sign hanging in the As clubhouse thats worth sharing. Itreads:Please limit your AAA stories to one per day per person. Sincerely, those notlucky enough to be there this year.Considering how many current As have gone through multiple stints inSacramento, that must be a tough rule to abide by.---Melvins club will face new Angel Zack Greinke, who has a5-1 record and 3.31 ERA against the As. In eight appearances, including fivestarts, at the Coliseum, he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. He allowed four runs infive innings in his only start in Oakland this season on August 8, when hewalked five batters in the second inning.Since then, Greinke has won three of his last four starts and has lasted atleast seven innings in all three wins. Melvin explained what makes Greinke so tough.One, he has plus velocity. Two, he hides the ball pretty well and then he hasa lot of pitches. That makes it a little more difficult to narrow it down andhave a plan against him.One key for the As against Greinke: Score early. The 2009 American League CyYoung Award winner has a 4.93 ERA in the first three innings this season, but a2.82 ERA from the fourth inning on.
Donaldson's 'Wonderboy' borrowed from Carter
September 5, 2012, 12:38 am