OAKLAND – Life is one big party for the A’s right now, and it’s seeping into every aspect of their daily baseball experience.
Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick talked about how much they enjoy the unseasonably warm weather that’s causing balls to rocket over the Coliseum fences. Manager Bob Melvin talked about the offensive contributions coming from all parts of the batting order. And everyone is talking about “Careless Whisper,” Reddick’s offbeat choice for walk-up music that has taken on a life of its own.
It’s not one thing that’s clicking for the A’s during this current six-game winning streak. It’s everything. Exhibit A was Tuesday’s 11-0 dismantling of the Chicago White Sox.
The A’s bashed out 17 hits. Moss had a five-RBI night. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz continued to reward Oakland’s brain trust for putting him in the starting rotation, and the bullpen did its part to bring home the A’s fifth shutout of the season.
“Those kinds of nights are fun,” Moss said. “They’re fun for everybody on our team.”
Remember when runs were so few and far between for the A’s? They’ve scored 37 over the past five games, an average of 7.4 per game. And as is usually the case when the A’s are scoring in bunches, it’s a group effort.
Moss took the lead role Tuesday, notching the fifth multi-homer game of his career. He sent a two-run homer into the right-field seats in the sixth, then added a mammoth two-run blast deep into the seats in right-center in the eighth. He’s hitting .365 (15 for 41) with four homers and 12 RBI over his last 10 games.
Yes, his mechanics are dialed in. But Moss also finds the warm air very much to his liking. The temperature was 82 degrees at first pitch Tuesday. That’s what really got Moss going during his postgame interview.
“Sometimes, for no apparent reason in July, you’ll get cold nights, and that marine layer comes in and just knocks everything down,” Moss said. “But the warmer air definitely makes (the Coliseum) a much better place to hit. There’s some balls this series that did go out, that if they were hit two weeks ago, they don’t go out.”
Yoenis Cespedes is 15 for 48 (.312) with 13 runs scored over his last 14 contests. John Jaso, who served as DH on Tuesday and hit leadoff with Coco Crisp out, had three hits and continues his recent tear. Derek Norris had an RBI double to stay hot.
But no one is providing more entertainment per at-bat than Reddick. He began using “Careless Whisper” -- the slow jam by George Michael’s 1980’s band, Wham! – as his walk-up music during his second at-bat Monday. With that song playing, Reddick is 3 for 6 with a two-run homer and four runs scored.
It’s quirky. It’s mellow. It’s out of place. And it’s perfect.
“I don’t know if there was any inspiration for it,” Reddick said. “It just came on in the clubhouse two or three days ago and I said, “’What if?’ … I just tried it out. There really was no reason. It’s escalated a lot more than I ever thought it would.”
“I was like, ‘Dude, I am diggin’ that song,’” Moss said. “It’s a great song, and he can pull that one off. I don’t know why, but it suits him very well.”
Melvin noted how fans started booing during the eighth when Reddick came up for the last time and “Careless Whisper” didn’t play for unknown reasons.
“You know our fans, they’re always paying attention,” he said.
There’s a lot to smile about when you’re 10 games above .500 and leading your division by four games. And when you’re rolling as the A’s are, there’s a lot of credit to spread around too.