So the A's and the Giants end their respective series up by one game and both look good going into the final sprint for the playoffs. Just a few notes:
The Dodgers won a must-win game. And Odalis Perez, who has been very impressive this year, pitched like a big-game pitcher. The Giants' weaknesses were all too apparent: Livan Hernandez's inconsistency and their offensive weakness beyond Bonds, Kent, and Aurlia (David Bell and his .328 on-base percentage led off while Kenny Lofton's lefty bat was taken out of the lineup-by the way, Lofton's 2002 on-base percentage vs. lefties is .319 almost as high as Bell's and at least he can run). The Giants have to know that they could have knocked the Dodgers out and didn't. However, the Giants leave town having held their own in LA (2-2) and now control their own destiny. The schedule would seem to favor LA (9 games, 6 at home & 3 away-3@ San Diego, 2 vs. Colorado, 4 vs. San Diego) over SF (8 games, 5 at home & 3 on the reoad-3 @ Milwaukee, 2 vs. San Diego, and 3 vs. Houston), but San Diego always seems to give the Dodgers fits and Houston will likely be eliminated from the playoffs by their series with the Giants. (Note: the Giants have that tie sgame from August 15 at Atlanta that they will have to make up if it matters.)
The A's took three of four and seemed to have a different hero in each game, even though that was supposed to be the Angels' strength. In the last game the last four positions in the batting order carried the offense (the top five collected 1 hit in total). Their bullpen (except for game 2) was held the Angels scoreless. Their starters pitched well. Now the schedule favors Oakland (9 games, 3 home & 6 road-3 vs. Texas, 3 @ Seattle, 3 @ Texas) over Anaheim (9 games, 3 home & 6 road-3 @Seattle, 3@Texas, 3 vs. Seattle). The press likes to point to the injuries in LA devastating the Dodgers while the so-so Aaron Sele's loss has been just as devastating to the Angels (Mickey Calloway just doesn't cut it). Oh, and the A's now have the head-to-head lead (11-9) which would act as the tie breaker (right before a coin toss) should they end up tied for the division lead, with the loser inheriting the wild card.