Friday, April 07, 2006

Thoughts on the first 4 days

Well, Esteban Loaiza continued the trend of A’s starters stumbling out of the gate as he gave up 5 runs in less than 5 innings. I know it is only the first week of the season and this is the first start of the season for each of our starters, but I certainly didn’t expect that every first start would be so bad. Just look at these numbers:

Barry Zito - 1 and 1/3 innings pitched:
47.25 ERA
4 Hits
4 Walks
3 Strikeouts
7 Earned Runs
1 HR
6.00 WHIP
0.500 Opponents BA
44.25 Pitches per Inning

Rich Harden – 5 and 2/3 innings pitched:
4.76 ERA
7 Hits
4 Walks
4 Strikeouts
3 Earned Runs
0 HR
1.94 WHIP
0.318 Opponents BA
18.18 Pitches per inning

Danny Haren – 6 innings pitched
6.00 ERA
7 Hits
0 Walks
8 Strikeouts
4 Earned Runs
2 HR
1.17 WHIP
0.292 Opponents BA
16.67 Pitches per inning

Esteban Loaiza – 4 and 2/3 innings pitched:
9.64 ERA
9 Hits
3 Walks
1 Strikeout
5 Earned Runs
1 HR
2.57 WHIP
0.409 Opponents BA
21 Pitches per inning

Those are some ugly starts. Again, I know this is a ridiculously low sample size and only the first start of the season for each of our starters, but if you had told me before the season started that the first week Zito would pitch less than 2 innings and give up 7 runs, Harden would give up 7 hits, walk 4, and allow 3 runs, Haren would give up 2 HR and allow 4 runs, and Loaiza wouldn’t make it past 5 innings, giving up 9 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, I would have told you you were crazy.

It would have been unreasonable to expect that every starter would be perfect their first start of the season, but to have all of them turning in terrible to sub-par performances is not much fun to watch.

Luckily our bullpen, for the most part, has been steady. Duchscherer, Calero, Kennedy, and Street have been stellar. Watching Halsey pitch on Monday was terrifying, but he turned in a fairly good performance last night. The only 2 bullpen pitchers who make me nervous right now are Saarloos and Witasick, and anyone who knows me knows I am big on Saarloos, his performance Monday was unsettling. I am convinced Witasick is our new “Fear Mecir”. He got lucky last night. His pitches were mostly up and his speed was down.

For once in his career, Chavez is off to a good start, Bradley had a big game the other day, The Big Hurt has turned in some big hits, Scutaro (Crosby who?) has been unbelievable, and Kotsay has been consistent. Unfortunately, Dan Johnson still hasn’t got a hit, Kendall has done nothing to justify his bloated salary, Payton looks lost at the plate, and will the 2005 Mark Ellis please stand up? It also can’t help that Macha has changed the batting order every night so far. I don’t believe you should rigidly stick to a batting order, but some consistency in a batter’s role is a good thing.

Anyways, just some thoughts and comments over the past 4 days. I am sure our starters will get much better, particularly Zito and Harden, but it is disappointing to see so many first starts go so badly.


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