By Jason Wojciechowski on April 13, 2003 at 3:39 PM
Oakland's pitching needs some help. One big Angels inning due to a three-run homer, and another on a rally (after the A's had rallied in the top half of that inning) buried the A's.
The number of men the A's left on base wasn't overwhelming, but since the Angels only left three on for the game (they had ten hits and three walks), it was too many. Miguel Tejada and Mark Ellis left four apiece. For Ellis, it was just a down game in the midst of a hot streak. For Tejada, it's more of the same from the past few weeks. It's getting tiresome. I'm not sure why he's the three hitter anyway. He's clearly not the best hitter on the team. Erubiel Durazo, down in the sixth slot, is hitting behind three guys he should be hitting behind: Tejada, Chavez, and Dye. All three are fine hitters, but Durazo is better than fine.
That said, lineup effects are small, so this isn't a terribly big deal, but it's appealing to my sense of asthetics for the team's best hitter to bat third.
How's Terrence Long doing? He got a hit. A double. The recap says it was a little bloop, but hey, it's what's in the box score that counts, I guess. He's at 222/349/528. He's walking about once every seven PA's. I'll obviously forgive a low batting average if his OBP and SLG stay high. I asked for a 280 because I didn't think he could get a 340 OBP or a 450 SLG without a batting average that high. I'll be happy to be proven wrong. Long's about 3 runs above replacement for his position in this early small sample size, by the way.
Nothing else is very remarkable on the offensive side. Nothing really
remarkable on the pitching side, either. Halama pitched pretty poorly (it was
his error that allowed the three-run homer to not be earned runs). Ricardo
Rincon gave up two runs in his inning and also let inherited runners score.
Mike Neu gave up his first run of his major league career, though it didn't really matter. The A's had used their one good rally already, and weren't coming back from down four against Ben Weber and Brendan Donnelly.
At least Keith Foulke pitched an apparently uneventful ninth (one hit, one strikeout, 13 pitches). With Foulke's pitch efficiency, I think he'd make an excellent starter. The A's have a ton of guys ahead of him, though, and a team doesn't really want to be jerking roles around in dangerous ways like that when it's trying to win a World Series. If they keep him past this year, maybe it's something they can ask him to prepare himself for in 2004.