By Jason Wojciechowski on April 6, 2008 at 2:44 PM
I managed to watch the A's first two games in Japan, one live (which just made me angry), and the other TiVO'd (which made me happy, although I knew the outcome going into the game). Joe Blanton and Rich Harden both look great, Huston Street doesn't seem right, and the bullpen behind Street, especially Keith Foulke, Alan Embree, and Sandy Casilla, should be fantastic. Poor Fernando Hernandez hasn't even gotten into a game yet.
I also watched yesterday's win over the Indians on MLB's Gameday application, which is really quite good, what with pitch tracking and video highlights (although the videos wouldn't load for me). Eveland looked like he got better as the game went on, after a rough first inning. By the pitch tracker, though, I will say that it looked like he left a lot of pitches up that the Indians didn't hit as hard as they might on other days. Of course, when you're watching without having video, it's hard to tell if the pitches are just up and hittable and missed, or whether they're up with lots of life, still moving while the guy is trying to put the bat on it.
CC Sabathia, who I'm counting on big time in fantasy, didn't look so good from the Gameday perspective. I only remember him coming inside on A's hitters four or five times throughout the game. For a guy with such dominating stuff, shouldn't you be better able to bust a fastball in on a guy like Mark Ellis?
Speaking of Ellis, how about three hits, two homers? That's a pretty funny line. He's actually walked five times in 27 trips as well, so he's not doing as horribly as his .136 batting average would indicate.
Travis Buck, on the other hand, is doing exactly as poorly as it looks. Eighteen trips, no hits or walks, nine whiffs. That said, let's not get too crazy. 0-18 slumps aren't nothing, but they're also the kind of thing that would drop your average almost imperceptibly if they were happening in August.
Given Justin Duchscherer's very nice five innings of work against the Indians, it'd be frustrating if he went down with an injury. Hopefully his arm heals up in time for him to make his next start.
Finally, poor Dan Johnson. Six games and he's got one trip to the plate? Ouch. I know he's not better than Barton or Sweeney, but shouldn't Geren be keeping his bench guys fresh? Or at least showcasing them for trades?