Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ALCS Game 2: Quick Commentary

The good news: Milton Bradley is on f-i-r-e going 3 for 4 with 2 HR and responsible for 4 of the 5 A's RBIs.

The bad news: Another poor start from an A's starter but not too surprising coming from Loaiza. Everyone points to his incredible August where he really turned things around, but he was hot and cold in September and had a 5.11 ERA for Sept/Oct coming into this game.

The surprise: That Loaiza was left in for so long. Throughout the season Macha has shown a stubbornness to pull his starting pitchers when they run into significant trouble. It is not surprising to see a pitcher give up 3-4 runs in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th inning and then see them right back on the mound the following inning. Macha needs to improve his management of the pitching staff or risk blowing the ALCS, already well on his way.

Problem spots: The entire middle of the order. Thomas, Chavez, Payton, and Swisher have been dismal tonight. Thomas has yet to get a hit in the ALCS and Chavez at times has looked ridiculous at the plate. Swisher appears too eager, wanting to swing for the fences, he needs to settle down and take his pitches. Payton had a good night last night, but so far has done nothing. If the heart of the order can't move runners around the bases, then you have a big problem.

Well, it's bottom of the 8th, Chavez and Payton both struck out swinging and the score is 7 to 5. Hopefully Bradley can single handedly save the night over the next 2 innings or it is going to be a long, thoughtful trip to Detroit.


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