By Jason Wojciechowski on April 6, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Oakland picked up its first win of the year on the strength of a four-run seventh inning predicated on Mariner wildness, along with a lot of ball-in-play luck from a Gio Gonzalez that, yes, I'm still not ready to believe in.
Offensive player of the game: Coco Crisp hit the ball well twice, used his legs to get a triple where most players have a double, and got lucky with a ball in the sun. (I'm not a big fan of congratulating people for what they should do, but he did run out the routine fly ball that ended up dropping, so he didn't end up with the embarrassing and possibly damaging situation of standing on first base when he should be on second.)
Offensive goat of the game: Cliff Pennington, for being the only player not to reach base.
Pitcher of the game: Jerry Blevins. Gio Gonzalez gave up too many walks and
also allowed a no-doubt homer onto the concrete steps in right field to Ryan
Langerhans. When you're giving up no-doubt shots to Ryan Langerhans, you don't
get pitcher of the game, even if you do only give up one run in seven innings.
(Blevins, by contrast, gave up just one hard-hit ball in his seven batters faced, and even that was hit on the ground.)
More importantly, as I mentioned above, I'm worried about Gonzalez for the same reasons I mentioned in the season preview -- I have no idea how he's going to pitch, either descriptively or in terms of value. If he pitches like this all year, missing the strike zone, walking hitters, not missing bats, giving up hard-hit balls, he won't live up to the expectations that've been set for him.
ripped single and triple; got a double because of the sun ↩
robbed of a bloop single into left; nice long at-bat in the third, only result a hot-shot lineout to Smoak ↩
smashed a ball hard at Brendan Ryan that ate him up; double into right-center was well struck ↩
knocked a classic Matsui double down the left-field line; robbed on a right-center liner by Langerhans; revenge with a no-man's-land popup single ↩
single was a seeing-eye grounder ↩
a couple of solid singles ↩