I would love to say something about "Guillermo Moscoso giveth and Guillermo
Moscoso taketh away" in relation to the pitcher's fly-ball tendencies resulting
in a couple of homers, but what exactly does Guillermo Moscoso give? A strikeout
rate that would be a decent ERA? A straight fastball without much enough
velocity to get away with it? A slider he can't hit the target with?
But hey, I'm bitching about the A's eighth starter, and I imagine Bobby Cramer
is about to make us all pine for the days when Moscoso was on the
mound.1 Plus, Moscoso wasn't exactly the problem in this game. Chris
Jakubauskas, Clay Rapada, and Jeremy Accardo throwing eight shutout innings is
the problem. (Koji Uehara finished things off, but there's no shame in not
scoring against him.) Chris Jakubauskas!
Box & Notes
That was a disappointing debut for Jemile Weeks. First, it turns out I've been
saying his name wrong. Glen 'n' Ray said it "Jeh-mile", while I've been thinking
it was more like "Jeh-meel".
Ok, that's not really the disappointing part. Oh-for-four with a weird
sequence is the disappointing part -- in his first-ever major-league
plate appearance, he went down looking on strikes without ever taking
the bat off his shoulder. The pitches were fine, but they weren't
exactly painting the corners. Weeks then apparently over-corrected and
swung at each of the next five pitches he saw over three plate
appearances, making three weak outs.
It's obviously not time to bury him, but it would've been fun for him to
hit a triple, walk, and steal a base or something.
I'm no judge of defense, but his arm looked impressive, making up for
the fact that he doesn't really throw like an infielder. On both double
plays the A's turned, his toss on the pivot was pretty overhand. I worry
that this will slow his release down enough that playing second could be
dangerous for him, especially since he's already had injury issues in
The only really close defensive play for Weeks was on an Adam Jones
liner in the fourth that just got past Weeks to his right. In my
judgment, the ball was hit hard enough that Ellis would not have been
able to get to it either. (Query whether Ellis positions himself
differently (less up the middle) than Weeks was, but then query further
whether the coaches or Ellis himself is more responsible for that.)
Weeks did have a hard grounder right at him later in that inning that he
knocked down first instead of gloving cleanly, but he didn't panic and
trusted his arm, so the out was still made easily.
David DeJesus missed a double or maybe even triple, possibly of the
run-scoring variety, by a matter of inches, lining a ball down the right-field
line in the fourth with Daric Barton on first base. Barton read the ball off the
bat and was already well around second when the ball landed and was called foul,
so, depending on how Nick Markakis played the ball, Barton might've had a good
shot at the plate. DeJesus wound up striking out in the at-bat and did nothing
else of note at the plate.
In the field, though, DeJesus made one of the better plays on a line
drive into the corner I've seen. Matt Wieters struck the ball very well,
and it looked off the bat like an easy double. DeJesus, though, played
the ball cleanly on one hop of the wall and fired a quick strike back to
the infield, keeping Wieters, who, granted, doesn't run that fast, to
just a single.
(Insert obligatory "plays that don't show up in the box score!" here,
except I think that the advanced defensive metrics do attempt to account
for outfielders that hold runners from taking additional bases.)
Ryan Sweeney had a frustrating night, hitting three line drives, only one of
which fell for a hit. Mark Reynolds made half-dive-half-fall-down catch in the
sixth on a low drive down the LF line in the sixth, and a ninth-inning hard shot
went right to Derrek Lee. When line-drives are supposed to fall for hits
something like 70% of the time, only getting one knock out of three is pretty
Kurt Suzuki's double on a 3-1 fastball that looked like it would've been ball
four is the kind of hit that makes a fan of my leanings very conflicted. On the
one hand, swinging at pitches out of the zone isn't the way to success. On the
other hand, on 3-1, a batter might find it profitable to pick a spot and look
for a fastball, taking a big rip if he gets it. If Suzuki was looking in and got
a hittable fastball a bit farther in than Jakubauskas meant to throw it, then I
guess I can forgive him jumping on it.
This might just be post-hoc rationalization of a player's poor decision
that happened to work out.
Hideki Matsui got some more at-bats today that, shockingly, did not break him
out of his slump but instead simply cost the team outs.
Scott Sizemore got his first A's start, hit a single, and started two double
plays. That's not terrible.
Cliff Pennington knocked a single off Jakubauskas's ankle that caused some
consternation in the Oriole dugout. Not that knocking him out of the game would
have mattered. The Baltimore long reliever probably would have struck out six
A's in three innings.
That's pretty much Guillermo Moscoso right there. All of his swinging strikes
came in the first two innings, and two of the five were against Mark Reynolds,
so reduce them by some multiple to account for the fact that I could strike
out Reynolds if you gave me a couple of chances.
Adam Jones destroyed a hanging Michael Wuertz slider for a homer over the left
field wall in the corner. It wasn't hit as far as Luke Scott's bomb against
Moscoso, but it was still an impressive laser.
Craig Breslow got seven whiffs in one inning, struck out three, and still
gave up a run. It wasn't a scritch-scratch run, either, as Luke Scott smoked a
double to the center field wall, just missing his second homer of the day, ahead
of a Mark Reynolds hard grounder over the third-base bag for another double. It
was a sharp contrast to the ten pitches it took to dispose of Matt Wieters, Ryan
"Two" Adams, and J.J. Hardy.
Bobby Cramer was the only A's pitcher who did not give up a run. That's
Glen 'n' Ray are obsessed with the Jonathan Papelbon ejection and ump-bump. The
broadcast showed video of it again and Glen felt the need to give us this,
delivered with as much incredulity and scorn as he could muster: "HE WAS THROWN
OUT AND WILL BE SUSPENDED BECAUSE OF A. PITCH. THAT. WAS. CALLED. A. STRIKE." He
was mad about this on the day it happened, and he's still mad. It's hilarious.
As I write this, I see on Twitter that Bobby Cramer (poor guy) is not
actually going to start Friday's game. Instead, that honor goes to
Graham Godfrey, who will be called up from Sacramento to make his major
league debut. The A's actually appear to have even less faith in Cramer
than I do. ↩