Brian Matsuz v. Brett Anderson. One is 22, one is 23. One went to college, one didn't. Both are recent prized prospects that some have projected as future number 1 starters. Both have pitched like the future is now in the early going this season, Matusz has a 2.04 FIP, Anderson a 2.35 FIP.
Today's subplot: Are the A's good? Are the O's THIS bad?
It's on like Donkey Kong.
My first thought on today's game was "How often does any team sweep four games in a regular season series?" I don't know the answer, but I imagine it ain't often. So odds are against the A's winning today.
My second thought was "Brett Anderson is pitching, that must increase the odds the A's will win."
But then I looked up the probables for today and realized the Orioles version of Bubonic Brett is also pitching. The two pitchers aren't all that similar.
Anderson throws harder. Matusz is known for a fierce change up and control of 4 pitches. Anderson was drafted out of high school. Matusz was a University of San Diego Torero (so was Dan Giese, former Warriors and Kings Head Coach Eric Mussleman, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and 2009 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Brown, to name a few). Anderson pitched in the minors for two organizations while Matusz finished his first professional season with the big club.
While the pitching match up is intriguing, to say the least, and could be one of many battles between these two young arms... Another storyline for today could be "luck." As in the Orioles seem to have nothing but bad, and the A's have nothing but good so far this season.
I am in the camp that believes it is way too early to really draw any conclusions about either team. The A's hot start and the Orioles arctic one could easily be nothing more than a couple of blips on the MLB radar that have been magnified by a small sample size.
That said, I am also in the camp that believes good teams beat bad teams. From that perspective, this series has been encouraging for the A's.
Enough over analyzing what two weeks worth of games means in the big picture, today is gonna be fun. I am expecting an old fashioned pitchers duel. Does anyone think the A's can count on a strike out/wild pitch/bounce over the screen behind home plate anytime in the next 100 years? It may be the only way a run is scored today... Or, now that I've said that, it could be a slugfest.
Athletics win the series 3-0
WP: Ben Sheets (1 - 0)
LP: David Hernandez (0 - 2)
|6 - 2 win|
WP: Dallas Braden (2 - 0)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: Kevin Millwood (0 - 2)
|4 - 2 win|
WP: Jerry Blevins (2 - 0)
LP: Jim Johnson (0 - 1)
|4 - 3 win|