By Jason Wojciechowski on July 31, 2003 at 3:26 PM
The title says it all. Harden had another excellent game in helping the A's beat the Indians today. Seven innings, three hits, nine strikeouts, no runs ... he struck out eight of nine at one point, which is ridiculous. The only negative is that he gave up four walks, which is an indicator of a subpar 62-47 strike-to-ball ratio. Too many balls means he threw too many pitches, so he didn't get a chance to finish the shutout. Chad Bradford and Keith Foulke closed things out.
Jose Guillen apparently arrived in the third inning and didn't play. He's
supposed to start tomorrow against the Yankees. I know it won't happen, but I'm
desperately hoping that Macha and Beane decide to let Guillen replace Terrence
Long, leaving Billy McMillon alone in the leadoff spot and left field (they took
him out of that spot and the lineup for a few games, got nothing out of the new
leadoff hitters, put him back in today and got to see him walk twice in four
plate appearances). Let Chris Singleton and Eric Byrnes share time in center.
Byrnes cost the A's defensively last night, but so did Long in right. I'll take that hit if Long and Singleton's bats are mostly out of the A's lineup.
Eric Chavez hit his 20th homer today, too, which is way more than I thought he had. This season, whether due to a broken hand or whatever else, has been a low-power season. His batting average and walk rate are essentially what they've been before, but his slugging is the lowest it's been since 2000, when he was only 22. I'll hope some more that he really was hurt before, and he's fine now, though as Will Carroll pointed out, that's a double-edged sword, since it means some funny things were going on in terms of hiding this injury, whether on Chavez' part or on the A's part.