Friday, March 09, 2007

A's beat SF 5-3

Harden is looking downright dominant so far this Spring. Today he pitched 3 strong innings, giving up 3 hits, no walks, and striking out 4 with zero runs earned. So far he has not allowed an earned run and has struck out 9.

Another hot hand for the A's? Milton Bradley: 1 double, 2 triples, 3 BB to 1 K, and a line of 0.571 / 0.647 / 0.929. Now it's only been 14 AB and as I have said so many times before, I don't put much stock into Spring Training stats, but it's nice to see Bradley keep up the hot hitting he displayed in the playoffs.

Glad to see Piazza bouncing back so quickly from being hit in the arm earlier this week. He was 2 for 3 with a double.

Bad news (depending on how you look at it): Loaiza left the game with tightness in his shoulder and said he didn't feel good out there. If serious, someone else on the A's roster would need to step in. Everyone knows how I feel about Loaiza, where I gave him an "F" in my season review:

Tossing your fastball in the low 80's when you normally hit the low-mid 90's enroute to an ERA of 8.35 with ZERO wins in April does not endear you to the fans as a new player. No one forgot his dismal performance either, even when he pitched an outstanding August amidst a bunch of sub-standard or downright terrible months:
April: 8.35 ERA
June: 4.91 ERA
July: 7.26 ERA
Aug: 1.48 ERA
Sept: 5.11 ERA

Take out that August, which was CLEARLY an anomaly, and you have a 2006 ERA above 6.00.

Loaiza's entire career is a bunch of sub-par performances with the occasional diamond in the rough - he has had only 2 full seasons with an ERA under 4.00 and his career WHIP is 1.42. I don't know what kind of numbers the A's were looking at when they decided to sign Loaiza, because everything I saw said this was a disaster in the making.

So if Loaiza doesn't start opening day, I won't lose any sleep over it. And looking at his numbers just about anyone can fill in for him and not have to worry about meeting any high expectations - just give us 5-6 innings of batting practice and you'll be just fine.


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