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A's 4, O's 2: Goodbye, .500

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CaptLet's let the face of Kevin Millar tell the story. The days of the Orioles playing .500 ball in 2008 have come and gone, and more likely than not, this is just the beginning.

I'd like to expand on something I said yesterday, too, because discussing the weaknesses is just not something I'm up for this morning.

Aubrey Huff has been hitting, and I say hats off to him. Huff's line is now .277/.353/.471, which makes him the team's second-best hitter, behind Markakis, who is still slumping badly. Diamond Dave even went back to Nick in the three-hole and Mora at No. 2 yesterday, and it made no difference. Markakis still went 0-for-3, but he did take another walk, his 24th of the year.

I have my doubts that this is the case, but has the idea of Markakis pressing to get hits been brought up yet? He was taking a ton of walks early on, but we had Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer and Jim Hunter and Buck Martinez yammering on about how you don't want your three-hitter taking walks -- actually, to be fair, Palmer seemed to understand why he was taking the walks, and summed it up with, "And good for him."

Look, obviously it'd be great if Markakis got to HIT more. But did anyone not see this coming? Putting Huff behind him instead of Millar (.213/.297/.336) is a good start. And more likely than not it's just a slump. Every player has them. But if someone decided to tell Nick he needs to be more aggressive, then that is simply typical Baltimore Orioles, and would be horribly distressing.

But let's talk about the A's. First of all, I want to apologize for dissing Emil Brown and his stupid RBI totals the other day, because he's making me pay for it. Some of you Papa Shango lunatics that believe in voodoo magic via the power of web logs or TV commentators saying "no-hitter" think it's my fault, but credit where it's due, Brown is making the most of an opportunity this season. That said, dude's OPS is still .725, and the Oakland commentators going bananas about "magic stick" and "RBI machine" have killed me for two days. They're actually an enjoyable commentary team in a lot of ways, though. They aren't overbearing, but aren't dull either.

He's still Emil Brown, and that'll catch up with the A's at some point this year.

We've got one more at Oakland, then head out to Kansas City for four games, then back home against the Red Sox. Win or lose, gotta play the games.

Before we close this out, let's give props again to the pitching. Burres did his job, and then Matt Albers finished it out with another strong performance. How they can let Albers sit in the bullpen while Steve Trachsel rots away in the rotation is beyond me. Take a cue from the Tigers, Andy.