A's suffer first loss of the new season

By Jason Wojciechowski on April 3, 2003 at 4:49 PM

Well, there's the title. It was a tough fight, and I like how the offense performed, but Mark Mulder was subpar, giving up 12 baserunners (four walks) in 6 innings and getting only one strikeout. The A's had a chance to win it anyway, but Keith Foulke blew his first opportunity with the A's, and then Ricardo Rincon eventually lost the game in the 11th. The A's can survive with a mediocre bullpen, since their starting pitching is excellent and they've got a few replacements ready to come in from AAA, but it would be nice if Foulke, Rincon, and, when he comes back from injury, Jim Mecir really step it up.

On a positive note, Micah Bowie pitched two uneventful innings, pitching two perfect innings and getting two strikeouts. I was momentarily fooled into thinking that Eric Chavez had a really nice day with two walks, but then I saw that they were intentional. He did get his first double of the year, though.
Mark Ellis had another nice day leading off, getting on in 3 of his five chances, Terrence Long hit a homer in the 10th against a tough reliever, Jeff Nelson, and also had a walk earlier in the game.

I'm encouraged by Terrence Long so far. It's only 10 at bats, but he's got a couple of walks and had a hit in all three games. I still don't know that he'll be a league average left fielder, but if he's not a black hole, I'll be happy.
And it might make him tradeable, too.

Chris Singleton, after not starting, picked up his first hit of the season. I'm really worried about his offense, and if Eric Byrnes continues to be Adam Piatt in the regular season (i.e. no punch), there's no viable alternative.

Speaking of Piatt, a lot of people are at the end of their patience with him. I still think he can be a player, but 0-3 tonight after pinch hitting for Durazo, including ending the game with a strikeout, is not going to endear him to anyone, management included. He's quickly becoming a replacement level player.

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