I was the recipient of sf drift king's generosity which allowed me to attend my third A's game of the year, so part of this post is to thank him. Like every other game that I've been to in person this year, the A's lost but at least managed to do so in some interesting ways. Now my opinion of lay scouting should be well known around these parts; I hate it. So take everything that I have to say with a big ol bag of that fancy sea salt that you can find at gourmet cooking stores, you know the kind that costs like 30 bucks a bag. That doesn't mean that going to the game and watching things on your own doesn't allow you to pick up on some things that the radio or gameday miss. I thought I would share some tidbits from my time tonight in section 126.
- Adam Kennedy did not play well defensively. His poor throw on a double play ball cost Anderson 2 runs in the first inning. He let another routine grounder bounce off of his chest before recovering and making the throw in time. A third grounder Kennedy almost made a nifty play on in the 5-6 hole but didn't have the range for it playing "no doubles" defense and guarding the line. He might have made the play if he went diagonally back on the ball instead of laterally. It was a tough play, but one I think a good 3baseman makes. Bringing Kennedy back had been a subject of some debate around here. If my observations are correct over a larger sample than 1 game put me in the against column. Especially with likely carrying two first basemen, it is hard to justify having a utility infielder who cannot play SS, but it is impossible to justify having one that won't hit and can't field at 3b. Granted UZR in an too small to make any firm judgement suggest tonight was a fluke, so hearing other's impressions of Kennedy's defense at third would be interesting.
- Ryan Sweeney doesn't hustle, and therefore I hate him. If you are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to play professional baseball and you can't hustle you can go to hell. Having already been benched once this year for not running plays out, Sweeney failed to run hard several times. Sweeney didn't run hard on his second inning single when doing so would have allowed him to take second on Quentin's bobble and prevent him from being erased in a double play grounder by Everidge. Sweeney didn't run hard on a fly ball that Quentin dropped which forced him to kick it into second gear to get to second rather than giving him the potential to get to third. Sweeney didn't run hard retrieving Beckham's double. The rest of the night he ran noticeably harder and he really smoked that double.
- Geren made very poor tactical decisions tonight. Why when you have Contreras on the ropes having scored five runs in the inning are you having Pennington try to steal second with only one out remaining in the inning? Its a terrible idea and one of those times where running into outs tremendously helps a pitcher who is struggling. Assuming that Jack Cust is not hurt, what combination of drugs is necessary to believe that pinch hitting for Cust with Nomar Garciaparra is a good idea? Who thinks that having a 4.6% better chance to have a base runner in the last two innings of a tied game is important? Not Geren! This move was especially puzzeling when a home run likely wins it for you and Nomar only has two all year.
- Hairston's approach was better than his walk rate with Oakland would suggest. I wasn't in a good balls and strikes position but he seemed choosey enough and but the ball on the bat well in all but his last PA. The surprising approach would suggest to me that he may be better than a .300 OBP which is a very very good thing.
- Rajai Davis looked pretty lost at the plate tonight and was totally blown away by Jenks in his last at bat. Rajai was still loading his swing when Jenks' fastball was starting to bear down on him. I thought he would regress before tonight, this bit of data makes me more sure.
- I wish the A's would steal the nacho cart from the OF seats in Anahiem. 8 dollar excellent nachos with really good meat, salsa, beans, jalapeños, sour cream and guac in addition to processed cheese beat crappy small A's nachos any day.
- Brett Anderson didn't seem to have the zip on his pitches that he did the previous times I've seen him pitch. This suggests to me that he needs to be sent down to save service time and shut down. If we send him down now he would be right now and brought him up for September call ups he would be around the point of keeping him an extra year with control. I believe that way if we name him the 5th starter next year we can keep him in the minors 4 days or what not to save that extra year.