By Jason Wojciechowski on April 10, 2003 at 4:07 PM
I think Terrence Long reads this
site, because he 'sploded Texas today. Well, he didn't do it by himself,
but a double, a homer, and two walks in five plate appearances is the kind of
day that will push him to and beyond the requirements I set for him to stay in
the lineup. His line has been pushed to 261/433/565, by my quick calculations.
That shows the power of small samples sizes more than anything else.
Eric Chavez was the only guy not to get on base today; even Ramon Hernandez had a hit, and Chris Singleton had two. Everybody has their bad days, and I'd rather one guy have a bad day when the other eight are mashing than have someone's two-homer day wasted.
Mark Mulder, though he got the win, is not inspiring confidence in me right now.
It took him 98 pitches to get through 5 innings, he gave up 11 baserunners and four runs, as well as two homers. Granted, it's Texas, meaning both the team is good offensively and the stadium is a good one for the batters, but that didn't stop Barry Zito yesterday.
I guess I'll just have to live with the fact that my favorite of the Triplets may not be as good as I thought he was. I mean, by no means am I giving up on him after just two starts, but he was clearly the number three guy last year, and while he had a gaudy win total the year before, his true case for Cy Young wasn't as strong as Zito's last year.
But speaking of pitching, Jeremy Fikac! Three more solid innings (one run), just 33 pitches to do it, and he took a game that the Rangers were very much still in and held it down so the A's could add insurance and put it out of reach. I'm seriously liking the Fikac pickup by Beane, though he's certainly getting worked hard early on.
Speaking of "out of reach," that eight run lead finally seemed like enough of a cushion that Macha brought in Mike Neu to finish things up. 10 pitches later, he had a perfect inning, including a strikeout of the very first batter he ever faced as a major league pitcher (Doug Glanville). Now, granted, for some reason, Buck Showalter saw fit to pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth, but Mike Lamb is still a major league hitter, and Neu got a ground ball from him, so it's all good. Hopefully, Neu can build some trust and the A's can actually be run like there's a six-man bullpen out there.