By Jason Wojciechowski on April 14, 2004 at 11:39 PM
Oakland won another slugfest, following up Friday's win over Seattle with a victory over the Rangers. Unfortunately, a win like this against Texas doesn't create as much happiness as it might; you're supposed to beat up on the Rangers's pitching staff, and, though their offense is good, Barry Zito isn't supposed to get knocked around like he did.
Zito gave up six runs (four earned) in five innings, but got the win, avenging a tough loss to this same team last week. Not to mention showing (again) the uselessness of the win-loss statistic for individuals.
Chad Bradford also got roughed up for the second game in a row, as he allowed three runs (two earned) in one inning. That's actually a little misleading, though, as a glance at the game log reveals that he had a three batter sixth, giving up a hit but getting a ground ball double play. The seventh was where he had trouble: Brad Fullmer led off with a homer, and a walk and single followed. He was thereafter relieved by Ricardo Rincon, who allowed both inherited runners to score. Bradford earned those runs (though one of them scored on a passed ball), but a little more support could have left him with a respectable line for the game. I prepared all day to write a long worrying rant about Bradford, though, and now I find myself cut off, since he did throw a nice sixth inning. There's a very good reason the A's aren't likely to go out and sign Chad to a six-year extension any time soon, and that's that he could turn pumpkin at any point, this season included.
On the offensive side, everybody contributed at least one hit, and the team drew seven walks in the game, spread throughout the lineup, rather than concentrated in one or two batters. Jermaine Dye in particular continued his strong hitting with a double accompanying his third homer of the year. Damian Miller finally did something with the bat, getting three hits, including his first homer of the year, though he also hit into a double play.
Unfortunately, Mark Kotsay had to be at home with his wife and child, but in an incredible display of outfield depth that should astonish anyone who followed this team last year, the A's were ok without him: Eric Byrnes filled in at the leadoff spot and in center field, and went 3-6. Byrnes had a bit of a weird day: he hit the first pitch he saw twice, once successfully, but also had a nine-pitch at-bat against Joaquin Benoit, though he struck out swinging at the end of it.
Updated statistics table below.