Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend round up

Hello all, we were out of town for the weekend up in the mountains and had no access to a computer, internet, or even radio coverage for that matter, and therefore were unable to update the blog, not to mention the pain of baseball withdrawal.

And my, what a weekend we missed! :
4-7-2006 vs Seattle: Beat Seattle 5 to zero.
- A's pitchers worked 9 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits
- Joe Blanton pitched 8 full innings, striking out 6. (only starter on the A's staff to emerge unscathed from his first start of the season!)

4-8-2006 vs Seattle: Beat Seattle 3 to zero
- A's pitchers again worked 9 scoreless innings, allowing only 1 hit!
- Zito bounced back from his horrible first start to pitch 6 solid innings with 6 strikeouts.
- Kotsay hit his first HR of the season

4-9-2006 vs Seattle: Beat Seattle 6 to 4
- Harden pitched 7 strong innings, striking out 8. It should be noted that the lone run attributed to Harden was due to Duchscherer allowing one of his inherited runners to score in the 8th.
- Chavez hit is 3rd HR of the season.
- Street managed to save the game, working out of a troublesome 9th inning.

Until the 8th inning, it looked like the A's were going to shut out the Mariners for the third straight day.

I gotta give props to Joe Blanton, who managed to be the only A's starter to turn in a good first start. Good? It was damn brilliant. It was as if Blanton picked up right where he left off in 2005. Post All Star break 2005, Blanton was downright unhittable:
ERA 2.65, 102 IP, 69 K, 33 BB, WHIP 1.16, OpBA 0.226

But the real ace of the A's staff, and my personal favorite, is Rich Harden. Just how good is Rich Harden?
If a typical ace makes 35 starts in a season, here's a set of remarkable full-year numbers:

18-7 record, 3.03 ERA, 1.139 WHIP, 225.2 IP, 199 K

Those numbers belong to Oakland right-hander Rich Harden, in his last 35 regular-season starts dating back to July 20, 2004. He's a pitcher for whom many fantasy owners forecasted a breakout year, coming off a stunning 2005 in which he won 10 times in 19 starts, posting a 2.53 ERA and .201 opponents batting average. Remarkably, Harden did all that before he even reached his 25th birthday (which occurred last November).

'Nuff said.


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