Cliff Lee was virtually unhittable today. With some better defense behind him, he could have been literally unhittable: with the exception of Garko's Tyrone Power impersonation
on Buck's "triple" in the 2nd, and Pherhalhtha's subsequent underplay of Ellis's run-scoring infield "single," the A's didn't muster a baserunner against the Indians' starter. Lee was dealing, and with the weather conditions (featuring a 48-minute pregame delay due to cold and threat of snow) knocking down every fly ball, the A's offense didn't stand a chance.
On the flip side, despite a not-terrible final line (6 IP, 3 ER, 4 H) with not-awful peripherals (4 K, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 60/48 strikes/balls), Chad Gaudin really pitched a lousy game. He benefited far more than Cliff Lee from the weather conditions, with 3 or 4 Indians hitters being robbed of extra bases by the swirling wind, and he was pitching from behind all day long. Twenty degrees warmer, and this likely would have been an even bigger Indians romp.
Fernando Hernandez then single-handedly increased the temperature in the 8th by adding accelerant to the Indians' fire, giving up a four-spot to (ahem) put the game on ice.
Hernandez and Gaudin are both going to have to correct their control problems if they're going to remain, respectively, short- and medium-term members of the A's pitching staff. Gaudin's inconsistent control has already led two other teams to give up on him, and Hernandez isn't making much of a case to not be returned off his Rule 5 pick. (Note: I'm not advocating on giving up on Gaudin this year, as he's cheap and still under team control for a while, and has first-half-of-'07 promise. I'm just not sure if he's in the A's '09-10 "planned contention" blueprints if he keeps this up.)
Tomorrow, the A's are in Chicago for a quick two-game set against the White Sox to finish off the road trip.