A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Another start, another gem...

... for both Rich Harden and Barry Zito, the co-aces of the 2005 A's. Harden came within one out of back-to-back complete game shutouts, settling for 8.2 innings of four-hit ball against the AL West-leading Angels. Zito was also outstanding tonight, pitching zeroes for seven innings before giving way to Duke and Street to close out a 3-0 win. These two guys have been on fire recently, and have been leading the way for the A's charge into playoff contention. Since July 21, when Harden came off the DL:

Harden: 5-1 in 6 starts, 40.1 IP, 18 H, 6 ER, 1.34 ERA, 12 BB, 32 K, 0.74 WHIP
Zito: 5-0 in 6 starts, 44.1 IP, 25 H, 6 ER, 1.22 ERA, 12 BB, 27 K, 0.83 WHIP

That's just sensational. The A's have gone 18-6 over that span to move to 49-45, second place in the division and just 6.5 games back of Anaheim (2.5 back of the Yankees and Twins for the wild card). Keep on rolling.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Goodbye Ruby

Erubiel Durazo will have Tommy John surgery; he is out for the year. This likely draws to a close his tenure with the A's, as Durazo is a free agent and is unlikely to be back before the middle of next year; I would guess therefore that he will sign a multi-year contract for a small amount of money (a la Jon Lieber) with some team, presumably not the A's, who have Johnson ready to step in at 1B/DH and Daric Barton tearing up the minors and certainly on pace to be in Oakland by 2007 if not sooner, in the other spot.

Ruby was the herald of Moneyball, Billy Beane's "great white whale," who he finally freed from the confines of Arizona. I will remember Durazo's tenure with the A's fondly, most notably the game in Baltimore where he basically single-handedly won it, hitting two two-run homers and a third solo shot off lefty-killer B.J. Ryan to give the A's a 5-4 victory.

As for this season, this probably means that Hatteberg sticks around as a 1B/DH against righties. One could do worse... I guess.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Zito Matches Harden

Rich Harden's outing Thursday lived as the most dominant pitching performance of the season for the A's for about 20 hours until Zito matched him Friday night. Two nights in a row of 7 and a 1/2 innings of no-hit baseball. I thought Zito's curveball had more bite than usual. It appeared to not start out so high and be diving down right at the plate. It is an embarassment of riches right now as they win today in 14 innings. 7 road games against the Angels and Rangers oughta be a good challenge for them right now. I am just starting to hear playoff talk. It is time to break out the yellow jerseys.

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