Something about Oakland reminds us of Philly

Here's a cautionary tale the Phillies might want to pay attention to: The lowly Athletics are tied with the Atlanta Braves for the best ERA in the majors, a spanking 3.01 runs per game allowed despite playing in the hitter-heavy American League. (The Phils, with a 3.21 ERA, are No. 3.)

But in a stunning display of pitching-to-hitting disparity, Oakland ranks 25th in batting average, 26th in runs scored, and 29th in home runs - a condition that has the A's at the bottom of AL West.

To be fair, the A's can score on occasion. Last weekend, they swept a three-game series from the dismal Orioles, scoring 16 runs along the way. And on occasion, they can't. They followed their sweep of Baltimore by getting swept by the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers outscored the A's, 19-5, in three games. Yikes.

Hmmm. Great pitching. Lousy offense. Hit well against weak teams. Not so well against good teams. It happens.

Twins' luck is nothing to write home about

Things are going from bad to worse for the luckless Twins, who have the worst record in the majors. They have put designated hitters Jim Thome and Jason Kubel on the 15-day disabled list.

Thome, who has 593 career home runs, strained his left quadriceps Wednesday night in a loss at Detroit. Kubel, who also plays outfield and is hitting .310, sprained his left foot Monday in Detroit.

That gives Minnesota eight players on the DL. Ouch.