Monday, April 24, 2006

4-24-2006: vs Texas Rangers

Had to take care of jr. while my wife was at the store so I couldn't post any pre-game comments.

This game should have been a slugfest. Instead it was yet another 1 run squeaker. Both pitchers were extremely lucky to have exited the game relatively unscathed:

Blanton: 6 IP, 8 Hits, 1 BB, 1 HR
Millwood: 5 IP, 4 Hits, 6 BB

Oakland LOB (left on base): 12
Texas LOB: 10

Twice, in back to back innings, the A's loaded the bases and failed to score. Texas also failed to make headway with runners on base and in scoring position.

In fact, 4 out of 5 of the total runs scored were due to home runs. Thankfully, Swisher and Chavez stayed hot, with Swisher hitting his 9th HR of the season, a 2-run shot, and Chavez also hit a solo shot and walked 3 times.

Bradley went a disappointing 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts, not his normal self, I guess. It was nice to see Ellis get a couple of hits, hopefully he can get himself back on track soon. Dan Johnson looked just desperate, every hit was just weak. He just seems to be trying too hard at this point.

The A's offense continues to sputter with only Chavez and Swisher making a contribution. For a breakdown of the team's offense, check this post on OPS over at Athletics Nation:
When only 4 regulars are above 700 in OPS you've got problems.

Blez also chimes in on the A's consistently slow Aprils over the years:
Regardless, it's more of the same so far from the A's. Thankfully, none of the division opponents are performing that much better. The A's are still only two games out at this early stage whereas in years past, they were already four or five back. It's also early to say the team is having a slow start, but it doesn't seem to be getting easier just yet. This week the A's begin a big series with AL West co-leader Texas in the nightmare of a ballpark known as Ameriquest Field, where the A's have been known to struggle in the past. And we all know where patterns have gotten the A's so far this year.
Inevitably, I tell myself, "Maybe I should just start watching in June?" Nah, because when the team eventually comes around I can say, see I knew it all along. The only problem is that one of these years, the team is going to bury itself so deep that it will never see the light of day again.

And Elephants in Oakland comments on the Kendall quandry:
At some point the rest of A's fandom will have to realize that the A's employ beyond a weak-hitting catcher behind the plate. They essentially employ a pitcher as their catcher. Surely no pitcher can hit 'as well' as Kendall. Then again, Kendall has the advantage of a few thousand more at-bats than the average National League pitcher who hits every few days.

The A's can place all the puff pieces they want about Kendall and his leadership and handling of pitchers, if they are so sold on his traits in that area, then make the guy the pitching coach. He doesn't get paid, and paid very well, to be a partially catcher. If he doesn't hit enough to keep his job, how does he keep his job?

Let's hope the A's offense can pull it together sooner rather than later and the bullpen stays strong. Hats off to The Duke for his first save of the season.


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