Sogard: 'It was a whole team effort'
OAKLAND -- It's called 'Nerd Power," and it's meant as a compliment. Really.
And the object of such, well, affection, the A's bespectacled second baseman, takes it all in stride.
"It's fun," Eric Sogard said with a chuckle. "I enjoy all the little nicknames. Obviously, wearing the glasses, kind of attracts a little attention there, but it's exciting to have those fans out there. They're the best fans."
And they had fun with Sogard and the A's Sunday as Oakland came back from a five-run deficit to beat the Los Angeles Angels, 10-6, to take three of four from their American League West division rivals and open up a six-game lead in the standings.
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In the middle of it all was Sogard, who went three for four to extend his career-best hitting streak to seven games with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Ten of his last 18 hits have been for extra bases and since the All-Star break, he is 11-27 with four doubles, a home run and four RBI.
"It's not only today, but always," A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes said in Spanish of Sogard. "He's always ready to play and he produces."
"Over the break, I just kind of wanted to hit that reset button and just kind of go back to finding that spring training swing that I had," Sogard said. "Not trying to do too much and from the first at-bat I felt really comfortable out there, been seeing the ball really well and just having fun."
The left handed-hitting Sogard had been platooning at second, playing against right-handed pitchers. And many fans are hungry for the A's to trade for an established power-hitting second baseman like Philadelphia's Chase Utley.
But while Utley's resume would no doubt make him an upgrade offensively, the job Sogard has done of late has been more than acceptable. You could make a case that Sogard's bat has carried the A's offense since the Midsummer Classic.
In fact, his success has spawned said "Nerd Power," a burgeoning cottage industry at the Coliseum.
You've heard of the "Lo Viste" popularized by the Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez, in which he makes circles with his thumb and fingers and puts them to his eyes to pantomime, "I see you?" The A's have started making the same motion with their hands in the dugout and directing them at Sogard after a big hit.
Nerd Power? Indeed.
"We take it out of context, but he's a fairly intelligent man and he wears glasses," said A's catcher Derek Norris. "It just became a thing. Nerd Power, like anything else in baseball, we don't know how it comes about, it's just usually random."
And fitting. Even if he has more athletic skills than Lewis, Gilbert, Poindexter, Booger and the rest of the Tri-Lambs combined from that cult classic 'Revenge of the Nerds." Sogard, though, might be just as popular to this new breed of fans.
"From playing with him now for over a year, through Sacramento and everything, it was just a matter of time before they gave him a chance to play for a full season," Norris added. "Everyone knows his capabilities and he's a very good player defensively, offensively, he's a great guy in the clubhouse. Great attitude and he always tries to get better and it only benefits our ballclub."
To the tune of the A's suddenly being 19 games over .500 with a record of 62-43.
"It feels great," Sogard said. "We're going to continue to look at it one game at a time, continue to put wins under our belt and just keep going at it."