THE NEWBERG REPORT — SEPTEMBER 6, 2006
The A’s had won 10 of their last 11 series coming into this three-game set, tying the other one. This series loss to Texas is Oakland’s first since July 24-26. The Rangers go for the sweep this afternoon, which comes too late to mean a whole lot but would feel **** good.
Mark Teixeira already has a career high in a walks with 82 (in fact, he exceeded his previous best on August 16, when the season was three-fourths complete — think about that), good for sixth in the American League. His next double will equal his career high of 41. He leads the Rangers with a .374 on-base percentage. His home runs are down due to an uncharacteristic first half, but look at what he’s done in the second half. He’s one homer and one walk short of the league lead in those categories. It’s not hard to imagine that Teixeira is going to have a huge 2007.
While Teixeira leads Texas in reaching base, Gerald Laird has the club’s highest batting average (.337) and highest slugging percentage (.558). On top of that, plenty of catchers don’t throw as well as Laird does, and almost none run as well or bunt as well.
Michael Young plays every game like it’s Opening Day, or October 10th. Vocal or not, he’s a pure leader, and tough as ****.
Adam Eaton was dangerously close to recording his first no-decision of the season last night. For the most part, he’s been really bad or really good every time out. In Eaton’s five wins, he has an ERA of 2.73 (it was 1.88 before last night) and an opponents’ batting average of .202. In his four losses, he has an ERA of 10.22 and an opponents’ batting average of .370.
Robinson Tejeda has three Quality Starts in his last four outings, including at Detroit and at Oakland. In his three worst outings this year (five runs or more), he has 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings (and a .426 opponents’ average, with four home runs in 9.1 frames). In his five really good ones (two runs or less), it’s 3.8 strikeouts per nine (and a .226 opponents’ average, with two home runs in 31 frames). Trust the stuff.
I like Nick Swisher almost as much as I hate him.
Only three pitchers in the American League have more Quality Starts than Kevin Millwood’s and Vicente Padilla’s 18.
Padilla goes for number 19 this afternoon, not to mention win number 14, which would equal Millwood’s team lead and draw to within three of the league lead.
I refuse to jinx today’s outcome by referring to the Rangers’ series finale streak.