By Jason Wojciechowski on April 9, 2003 at 9:16 PM
The A's won their sixth game last night, and fourth in a row. Barry Zito gave up only a solo homer to Rafael Palmeiro (who's drawing every closer to 500), and the A's offense got just enough out of their fourteen base runners to squeeze two runs across.
It is getting a little tiresome watching the offense do this "ten hits, four walks, two runs" thing over and over again. It's probably not as bad as it seems, but it seems like it happens all the time.
There are a ton of positives, though:
- Eric Chavez saw a ton of pitches in drawing two walks (one intentional) and having long at-bats before outs in his other two times up;
- Mark Ellis had three hits, including his fifth double of the year;
- John Thomson, the starter for the Rangers, had to throw 20 pitches per inning (and so qualified for, I think, the first borderline abusive start of the year, as he threw 120 pitches);
- Keith Foulke threw a good inning and a third for his second save, thereby showing that Ken Macha isn't afraid to bring Foulke on a little earlier than the ninth;
- Erubiel Durazo got on base three more times;
- Even Chris Singleton hit a double late in the game.
Terrence Long and Ramon Hernandez seemed to be back to their old tricks, though,
combining to go 0-8 with seven runners left on base and one GIDP (for Long).
Long playing left makes him all that much more replaceable, as Ron Gant, Jason Grabowski, Eric Byrnes, and Billy McMillon (at least) are all waiting. There shouldn't be as much of a margin for error, though by most reports, he does play the best defense of any of those guys, so for pitchers like Zito, it may be worth the offensive hit to have him out there.
If he's not hitting 280/340/450 by the end of the month, I predict that he'll
become the spot starter and defensive replacement for Eric Byrnes. Long is at
200/360/350 right now. He's walked four times, but has just one extra base hit.
I'll start a daily Long watch and see if he picks it up or is benched.