It's interesting to me that there has been so much talk in the last couple of years about our lack of success in the playoffs. Different theories have been weighed and measured. However, most of the comments after yesterday's opener have done little more than be sad about our bad opening day "luck". I would like to suggest that we have lost 10 straight openers for the exact same reason we have not been able to win in the playoffs.
The reason is this; as we all know, the A's are constructed to be a deep team with no glaring weaknesses. However, it has also been acknowledged that we lack star players. The difference between the playoffs and the regular season is that there is a smaller rotation. Verlander and the Tigers have consistently shown that in a playoff series, having two star pitchers (who will pitch a total of 3 times in a five game playoff series) is hard to overcome unless you can match them. Unfortunately we don't have the money to buy someone who can pitch against a Verlander or Scherzer consistently. So we have lost.
This exact same dynamic is in play on opening day. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Sonny and I think he will be a star, maybe even by the end of the year. However, in the past 10 years, our number 1 starters have generally been noticeably worse than the average number 1 starter. So while our rotation may be better overall, we still have a disadvantage on opening day. For example, look at Seattle the past few years. They were generally a mediocre-at-best team, and yet because they have felix hernandez, they were able to eke out those opening day wins. I wish we had money...
*Disclaimer: there is also a large amount of luck involved, I don't care how good opposing pitching is, you should be able to win 1 in 10.*