By Jason Wojciechowski on April 19, 2005 at 12:59 AM
Remember what I said this off-season about the A's having an inconsistent offense? Remember how the A's scored two runs combined in the first two games of the Anaheim series? The seven runs they scored last night against John Lackey (in just five and two thirds innings) all make sense now.
How'd it happen? Seven singles, three doubles, and a big home run by Marco Scutaro. Sure, there were no walks, no hit-by-pitches, and no Anaheim errors, but also no double plays and just five Oakland strikeouts.
All this conspired to overcome another lame start by Kirk Saarloos (five runs in five innings) and a lamer follow-up by Ricardo Rincon (one run in one third of an inning, two inherited runners allowed to score - we can guess who the LVP will be today). Thankfully, Huston Street and Octavio Dotel were on hand to throw three and two thirds scoreless innings at the end to keep the A's in front for good.
The A's should get a chance to put together back-to-back scoring outbursts tonight as they go to Texas (hitters shout, "Yay!") to face Chan Ho Park (hitters do obscene favors for Ken Macha to try to get in the lineup). Danny Haren makes the start for the A's. He never appeared in an interleague game last year, so this is his first look at the bandbox known as The Ballpark. Let him be in your prayers.
MVOP for 4/17: Jason Kendall, 1.9138, for being right in the middle of the A's first two run-scoring innings, including hitting a two-run double in the second.
LVOP for 4/17: Eric Chavez, -0.6773, on a day when his best play was grounding out to first in the first inning, moving runners from first and second to second and third.
MVP for 4/17: Octavio Dotel, 1.1774, for a scoreless ninth and for stranding Vladimir Guerrero on second in the eighth.
LVP for 4/17: Kirk Saarloos, -1.6266, putting to lie my prediction for Ricardo Rincon. Saarloos had a tough first two innings, an excellent middle three (he faced the minimum), and then allowed to baserunners to start the sixth.
YTD MVOP: Mark Kotsay
YTD LVOP: Erubiel Durazo
YTD MVP: Rich Harden
YTD LVP: Barry Zito
Most Valuable Offensive Player:
- Mark Ellis, Nick Swisher, Erubiel Durazo, Jason Kendall -- 2
- Marco Scutaro, Eric Byrnes, Mark Kotsay, Scott Hatteberg -- 1
Least Valuable Offensive Player:
- Erubiel Durazo -- 4
- Jason Kendall -- 2
- Mark Ellis, Bobby Kielty, Marco Scutaro, Nick Swisher, Scott Hatteberg, Eric Chavez -- 1
Most Valuable Pitcher:
- Huston Street, Dan Haren, Rich Harden -- 2
- Kiko Calero, Kirk Saarloos, Joe Blanton, Justin Duchscherer, Barry Zito, Octavio Dotel -- 1
Least Valuable Pitcher:
- Barry Zito, Huston Street, Kirk Saarloos -- 2
- Ricardo Rincon -- 1
Macha's usage score (remember, higher is worse) has increased to 18, mainly because Ricardo Rincon is awful but Macha hasn't realized it yet because he's stuck in the "only lefty" mindset that allows him to reflexively stick him in the game in a crucial situation against Garrett Anderson (and get smoked). Hopefully, he'll learn.
Baseball Prospectus has a neat feature that adjusts a team's standings to what it "should" be given a team's run scoring (level one), expected run scoring by EqR (level two), and then adjusts for difficulty of schedule (level three). Implicit in all of this is that deviation from the expected standings is random and can be expected to even out. What I've decided to add, for the A's, is what Oakland's record would be at the end of the year if they kept their current record, but played at their "expected" level for the rest of the season.
For example, the A's are currently 6 - 6. Their level two record, though, is 5 - 7. That's a .417 winning percentage, and if they played their remaining 150 games at that level, they'd win 62.5 of them, resulting in a 67.5 - 94.5 record.
So today's report (and I hope I'm not infringing any copyright here: if I am and you work for BP, certainly contact me about this and I'll get rid of it [though it is neat, I think, so I'd love to see it up on the BP site if I can't have it here]):
Current record: 6 - 6 Projected record: 81 - 81
First order: 5.3 - 6.7 Projected: 72.25 - 89.75
Second order: 5 - 7 Projected: 67.5 - 94.5
Third order: 5.7 - 6.3 Projected: 77.25 - 84.75
I've added a link in the sidebar to this report as well.