I spent a week in Ireland, northwest of Galway, since my last post. That area around Lough Corrib is truly beautiful... and there are plenty of pubs. It was my second trip to the Emerald Isle, and both times have been very relaxing. The only downside is losing touch with the A's.
Fortunately the A's went 4-2, winning series in Toronto and Texas and extending their lead in the AL West to 6.5 games. Since then, the A's have gone only 5-3 and have given a game back to the Angels, who now trail the A's by 5.5 games. With 23 games left on the schedule, the A's magic number is 18.
Here's how the rest of the season looks for the A's:
3 gms at TB
3 gms at MIN
3 gms vs CWS
4 gms vs CLE
3 gms vs LAA (or ANA, if you're old school)
3 gms at SEA
4 gms at LAA
I would love to be further ahead, but I'm happy with where we are. We, er... the A's control their own destiny, and have a great shot at winning the division - hopeful the A's can clinch before that last 4-game trip to Anaheim. I'd like to save my angst and misery for the postseason...
Just for comparison sake, here's how the AL West looked at this time over the last couple years. Final result in parantheses:
2005: A's 0.5 games behind the Angels (Angels won the division by 7 games)
2004: A's 1.5 games ahead of the Angels (Angels won the division by 1 game)
2003: A's 2 games ahead of the Angels (A's won the division by 3 games)
2002: A's 2 games ahead of the Angels (A's won the division by 4 games)
(Old standings are available on ESPN's MLB Standings page - just change the date drop-downs)