They can come from behind early or they can rally late.
They can win a pitcher's duel or they can win a slugfest.
They can either close you down with ease or absorb a late punch and still find a way to win even later.
I speak of the Oakland Athletics, the team that resides at the top of this week's Power Rankings -- and a team that can never, ever be counted out. Well, unless we're talking about facing Justin Verlander in a deciding game in the playoffs … but we are here to sing the A's praises, not talk trash.
I was all prepared to pick the A's to win the AL West with ease back in early March when I started doing something that is never a good idea. I started thinking.
I started thinking that with veteran Bartolo Colon gone, Jarrod Parker going under the knife and A.J. Griffin starting the season on the shelf that the rotation would be an issue. I started thinking that I didn't like Jim Johnson as a reliable closing option. I started thinking that the offense wouldn't be consistent enough to overcome all this.
And since there are only 14 games in the books, some of these things could well prove to be true and the A's very well could miss the playoffs. I doubt it, though.
The Johnson thing actually was true very early on, but the A's reacted swiftly and started using others in closing situations. They have also battled back offensively a few times to cover up late-inning bullpen blowouts.
Overall, some players are outplaying expectations while some are falling short. It doesn't matter who slots where in that equation because this is a team, through and through. If someone falls short, someone else picks up the slack. Even with Johnson's third meltdown, the club found a way to win the game -- just as it did Tuesday night in Anaheim when Sean Doolittle was touched up.
That's all they ever do. They just find ways to win. Expect it to continue.
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