Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CBS MLB Power Rankings

Last night, I watched the Nats pull out a thrilling 8-7 victory over the ChiSox, and then sat up until after midnight watching the A's/Angels tilt from Anaheim.  So far, it looks like it could be another exciting season for our two favorite teams at the Heath Post, and that analysis is supported by CBS's latest power rankings.  Here is the top 10:

1.  Atlanta (7-1)
2.  Cincinnati (5-3)
3.  Washington (5-2)
4.  Oakland (6-2)
5.  Texas (6-2)
6.  Detroit (4-3)
7.  St. Louis (4-4)
8.  San Francisco (5-3)
9.  Boston (5-2)
10.  L.A. Dodgers (4-3)

29 comments:

  1. Oh, it is on!

    By the way, I would urge any sports fan to watch any game where the A's, Angels, and Rangers are playing each other. Those teams have created a great three-way rivalry.

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  2. Is Toronto this years Marlins?

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  3. A lot of folks are optimistic about Toronto's chances, but so far the Red Sox and Yankees are on top of the AL East.

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  4. A's 11 at Angels 5. Oakland took a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat. Los Angeles reeled the score back to 1-1 in the first, 4-2 in the third and 5-4 in the fifth. But then things went nuts for the home team in the sixth. The A's loaded the bases, and then Yoenis C├ęspedes drew a walk to score a run. The Angels changed pitchers, but then the next Oakland batter, Brandon Moss, drew a walk to score another run. A couple more A's singled, and, by the end of Oakland's top half of the sixth, the lead was six runs.

    In addition to drawing a run-scoring walk, Moss tripled, homered and singled in this game. After going hitless in seven at-bats as Oakland opened the season with two losses to Seattle, the 29-year-old first baseman is now hitting .400 (and the A's are 7-2, best in the American League as Texas lost last night).

    Moss played baseball and football for the Loganville (Ga.) High Red Devils. The Red Sox selected him in the eighth round of the 2002 amateur draft. He excelled, being named Boston's minor-league player of the year in 2004 and earning MVP at Pawtucket in 2007. He had a couple of stints with the big-league Red Sox that season, and he was on the opening-day Boston roster that played the A's in Tokyo on March 25, 2008. In the ninth inning of that game, Moss's solo home run off of Huston Street tied the score. Still, the very next day, Moss was sent back to Pawtucket for another month of preparation. Then he had an appendectomy. Then came a callup to Boston, a senddown to Pawtucket and a callup back to Boston. Then came the July 31 trade that sent Manny Ramirez from Boston to the Dodgers, and Brandon Moss ended up a Pirate.

    Moss spent the rest of that 2008 season with Pittsburgh, hitting .222, and he was the Pirates' opening-day rightfielder in 2009. He spent the entire season in the majors, in fact. But he hit only .236 in his 385 at-bats that summer in Pittsburgh, and he was back in Triple A for most of 2010. After hitting .154 in 17 late-season appearances with the big-league Pirates, Moss was with the Phillies' Triple-A team for its entire 2011 season. He returned to the majors with Philadelphia late in the season and went hitless in six at-bats. ...

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  5. ... So then on Nov. 19, 2011, Brandon Moss hooked up a minor-league deal with the A's. He was in Sacramento to start the 2012 season. When Moss went back to Triple A after that full season with Pittsburgh in 2009, he was suddenly a minor-league slugger. He had 22 home runs with 2010 Indianapolis and 23 with 2011 Lehigh Valley. This continued in 2012 at Sacramento. In fact, by early June, he wasn't hitting much else but home runs. After batting .318 through May 23 that season, Moss had only six hits in 39 at-bats over his next 11 games with Sacramento--but five were homers. He ranked second in the Pacific Coast League and sixth in all of minor-league baseball in home runs as of June 6. That day, Oakland promoted him to the big-league A's.

    Moss had played first base only twice his entire career before that day, but on June 6, 2012, against the Rangers, the day of his callup from Sacramento, Moss was Oakland's starting first baseman. He homered the next day. He hit two more homers June 12, the first of a three-game series with Colorado, and then he homered again in each of the next two games. Then the next day against the Padres, he homered again. In six games June 11-17, Moss had five homers (and hit .348), and he was named A.L. player of the week. He got to 10 home runs in his 24th game as an Athletic--it was the fastest any A got to 10 since Dave Kingman got there in 19 games in 1984. That wasn't Moss's only entry in team history, however; on June 23, he became the first A's first baseman to commit three errors in the same game since Lou Limmer in 1954.

    But who cares? The A's just kept on playing Moss--some in the outfield, some as designated hitter, mostly at first base--and Moss just kept on homering. Way back in 1950, Ted Williams hit 28 home runs in 89 games for the Red Sox. Back in 2003, Juan Gonzalez hit 24 in 82 games for the Rangers. Kevin Maas got 21 in 79 for the 1990 Yankees. Last season, Moss hit 21 homers in 84 games with the big-league A's. Those are the four highest home-run totals in A.L. history by a player with fewer than 90 games played.

    In the A's final 33 games, as Oakland completed a surge from 13 games behind Texas and overtake the Rangers on the last day of the regular season, Moss homered nine times and batted .372 with 27 runs batted in.

    Moss struggled in the first-round playoffs loss (.133 with no homers as Oakland was eliminated in five games by the Tigers), and he still has his doubters. But, so far this year, Moss has started at first base in seven of Oakland's nine games. He has no errors.

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  6. 12 innings ... A's 5, Tigers 4 in Oakland ... Jake Donaldson ends it with a walk-off home run ... Detroit ended Oakland's season in the first round of the playoffs last season ... #GreenCollar!

    Meanwhile, here's a fantastic picture of Josh Reddick, the A's rightfielder, with his parents, who had gotten into town just in time after some flight problems from Savannah, Ga., after he received his Golden Glove award last night. Reddick, a rookie last season, earned the first Golden Glove by an Oakland outfielder since Dwayne Murphy did it in 1985. Per the A's media guide, which I was able to download in full for free because The Internet Is Amazing™, ...

    MOST ASSISTS, OAKLAND A’S OUTFIELDER
    Tony Armas, 1980, 17
    Mike Davis, 1983, 16
    Josh Reddick, 2012, 15
    Rickey Henderson, 1980, 15
    Reggie Jackson, 1971,15

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  7. Urgh ... Verlander! Tigers 7 at A's 3 on Saturday.

    Series rubber game this afternoon. Oakland's 9-3 and one game up on Texas in the American League West.

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  8. Hurrah! Astros 2 at A's 11! 10-4, 1.5 up on Texas in the A.L. West.

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  9. A's come from behind, 2-0 after three innings, to beat visiting Houston again, 4-3. Jake Donaldson, with his only hit of the night, triples in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth, and then Grant Balfour comes on for just Oakland's (and his) second save of the 11-4 start.

    Brandon Moss is on paternity leave. The AP reports that his wife is due with the couple's second son.

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    1. 1.5 up on Texas in the A.L. West. #GreenCollar!

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    2. It's Josh, not "Jake," Donaldson. Sorry.

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  10. 5-1, A's in the bottom of the first against Houston. Rookie Shane Peterson just came up for the first at-bat of his major-league career, but he still doesn't have one--he walked, with the bases loaded. There's one out, and Oakland is back to the top of the order.

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    1. Astros within 7-4 in top of the seventh, with two men on and two out ...

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    2. A's reliever Ryan Cook comes on and yields a double steal--but strikes out the Houston batter. Oakland lead remains 7-4 at the seventh-inning stretch ...

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    3. Top of the ninth, and Rick Ankiel leads off with a homer off Oakland's closer, Grant Balfour ... 7-5 ...

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    4. Still no out, and Houston singles ... tying run now at the plate ...

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    5. Grounder ... runner thrown out at second ... one out ... man on first ...

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    6. DOUBLE PLAY! #GREENCOLLAR! 7-5, A'S! SAFE TRAVELS, ASTROS! COME BACK ANY TIME!

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  11. Oakland is off today. The A's are 12-4 and two games ahead of Texas in the American League West. After (nearly) the first 10th of the season, Oakland is on pace to win 120 games and win the division by 20. #GreenCollar! A's start a series in Tampa tomorrow night.

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  12. The second 10th is not off to a good start. Tampa swept Oakland, and the A's are now in second place--a half game behind Texas in the A.L. West.

    Oakland this season is 2-2 against the Mariners, 6-0 against the Astros, 3-0 against the Angels, 1-2 against the Tigers and 0-3 against the Rays.

    The A's open in Boston this evening.

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  13. Urgh. A's 6 at Red Sox 9. Oakland is 12-8.

    Baseball ... so hard.

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  14. A's up, 12-0, in the sixth at Boston!

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  15. Meanwhile, the Nats are flailing. They dropped 2 out of 3 in New York, they lost last night to the Cardinals, and they look terrible tonight. They have scored 2 runs in their last 23 innings, and they are digging themselves a huge hole in the National League East.

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  16. Bartolo Colon ended up throwing a three-hitter, and the A's won, 13-0, in a game shortened to seven innings because of rain. Oakland is 13-8 and a half game out of the A.L. West lead, behind Texas.

    This picture of Bartolo Colon in his hometown after winning the Cy Young Award several years ago is one of my all-time favorites.

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