A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The End of an Era?

So far Zito has had 2 bad outings. The A's haven't scored much. Juan Cruz hasn't pitched well. The offense isn't really firing. The end of the A's greatness is at hand? No way. Blanton has had 2 strong starts. Swisher has 3 bombs, the A's totally pounced on 2 mistakes in the past week, when a fan touched a ball when Ruby was at bat in Tampa on Sunday the floodgates opened. Same thing again last night. The Jays pitcher gets a little confused on an easy double play ball and the A's strike for 4 in the bottom of the 8th to break open a 2-2 game.

The A's are 4-5 and I would say so far they really aren't missing Hudson and Mulder all that much. If Haren outperforms Mulder in the next 2 years, that means Colero and Barton were free, well more than free, free plus a savings of about 10 million dollars over the next 2 years. All I ever want out of the A's is get to the all-star break at .500. Then play as good as you can the rest of the way. So far so good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Even on the bad days there is something good about the A's

As far as watching blowouts go, I enjoyed yesterday's game. Huston Street pitched 2 perfect innings. I half expected him to give up a bomb to Hinske because I thought he was cruising so much, he might get a little cocky and groove one but he never did. So far so good with Huston Street. Also I saw Yabu pitch for the first time. He looked good out there too. I had high hopes for Saarloos yesterday but I could see quickly that his pitches didn't seem to have the bite they had in Baltimore. Everything tailed just a little more gently. And his pitches that tailed against lefties were all hit hard to the opposite field. That was smart hitting by the Jays, gotta give them credit.

How about Eric Byrnes? It appears he has a swagger now. He's always had tons of energy, but it was kind of manic I-gotta-hustle-or-they-might-bench-me energy. Now he just looks great at the plate and in the field. In his last AB I said, "here we go, 3-1 he's gonna hit one hard. He proceeded to hit 2 hard, but they were both foul, one down the left field line, then one down the right field line. Maybe all the talk of trading Eric has given him a sense that he is valuable, or maybe he's just happy to not have been traded. I think 30 bombs from Byrnes is doable.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

A sigh of relief

Rich Harden's start this afternoon against Tampa Bay went very well, as he pitched five scoreless innings before leaving in the sixth with a 5-1 lead. The bullpen mostly slammed the door, and the A's escaped Tampa without being swept, and return from their season-opening road trip with a 3-3 mark. This is a very good thing, since any lasting injury to Harden would severly weaken the rotation. Also, it would have been embarrassing to be swept by the Devil Fishies.

A disturbing stat: The A's have allowed 20 runs in 6 games, which is an excellent mark. Unfortunately, 15 of those runs were allowed by staff ace Barry Zito, including 11 in the nightmare game yesterday. The other four starters and the bullpen have all been outstanding, which is definitely not a bad thing; one timely hit basically at any point on Friday and the team would be 4-0 in games not started by Zito.

The home opener is tomorrow night against the Blue Jays. Kirk Saarloos, who pitched so well on Wednesday filling in for Harden, will get the start against Gustavo Chacin of Toronto.

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