At the halfway point of the season, several things are clear about the Oakland A’s.
1.) Last year was no fluke. They are for real.
2.) Bartolo Colon, at 40, must be an All-Star. Age and size mean virtually nothing when it comes to the A’s portly right-hander, who allowed just one run in eight innings in the A’s 6-1 victory over one of the National League’s best teams, the Cardinals. Oakland improved to 47-34, the team’s best record at the midpoint since 1992 (48-33).
– Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
This no longer is about injuries. Yes, the Giants miss Angel Pagan, and Marco Scutaro confided that he still does not feel comfortable holding a bat while wearing a splint on his left pinkie.
Still, the Giants should be able to score more then they have during a true June swoon, which continued Friday night when Jhoulys Chacin (eight shutout innings) and Rex Brothers held them to four hits in Colorado’s 4-1, series-opening win at Coors Field.
– Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
How will the revamped defense fare? After ranking 28th in points allowed per game (27.7) last season, changes were in order.
Well, how about nine of them? That’s how many new starters could line up on defense in 2013.
Last season, the Raiders weren’t particularly good against the run or the pass. But the unit’s biggest weakness, without question, was the secondary’s inability to prevent big gains through the air and keep receivers out of the end zone (28 passing touchdowns allowed, tied for 23rd most). Opposing quarterbacks completed 66-percent of their passes against Oakland; only three teams were worse.
– Tarik El-Bashir, CSN Washington