Bay Area baseball is off to some start this season.
The Oakland Athletics reeled off 13 straight wins and lead the AL West, even after their streak was snapped by Baltimore on Sunday. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have quietly played pretty well themselves. Although the Dodgers and Padres have received more attention in the NL West, the Giants are second in that division at 14-8 — the same record as the A’s.
Oakland actually began the season in ugly fashion, dropping its first six games. Included in that skid were losses of 8-1, 9-1 and 9-2 to Houston and 10-3 to the Dodgers. Those blowouts put the A’s in a substantial hole from a run differential perspective — even now, they’re still at minus-2 for the season.
But Oakland scored at least six runs nine times during its winning streak. Matt Olson has led the way offensively with six home runs and a 1.030 OPS. Ramon Laureano shares the major league lead with eight stolen bases.
For San Francisco, pitching has been the story. The Giants have a team ERA of 2.94, which puts them right between the Padres (2.75) and Dodgers (2.97) at the top of the majors. San Francisco catcher Curt Casali caught shutouts in five straight starts — with five different starting pitchers.
Casali’s streak ended Sunday, but not until the eighth inning of his team’s 4-3 win over Miami.
It was a former San Francisco star, Madison Bumgarner, who started quite a debate Sunday when he held Atlanta without a hit in the second game of a doubleheader.
Bumgarner, who is with Arizona now, only had to pitch seven innings because of baseball’s recent switch to shorter games in doubleheaders. That means his 7-0 victory won’t go into the official list of no-hitters, which requires a game of nine or more innings.
The Braves only managed…