The A's finish the first road trip 3-3. I expected them to have that record coming home before the season started, but I though they would've dropped two to the mighty Baltimore offense.
Regardless, here are my thoughts from the game:
- Swisher stuck it in the heckler's face by coming through. It was good to see Macha get him back in there, and good to see the kid overcome the idiot. Not to mention, he wasn't trying to kill the ball, only looking to drive home a run.
- The A's pitching is going to be better than almost everyone outside of AN, Baseball Prospectus, Peter Gammons and Rob Neyer thinks. Haren, Blanton and Saarloos all pitched very well and I expect will only get better. Yes, they will have the inevitable bump in the road as young pitchers do (and it will be interesting to see how these kids deal with lineups like Boston, Texas and New York), but Haren and Saarloos in particular have shown that they can be nasty. Harden did what was expected of him, and the bullpen has been better than advertised for the first six games of the year. As Gammons has mentioned repeatedly, Harden has the stuff to challenge for the Cy Young this year, if he remains healthy and consistent.
- It is amazing how much better a manager good pitching can make you appear to be. I haven't really heard any complaints about Macha so far this year whereas last year, people wanted to tar and feather him in Jack London Square at this point. But it's still early. I expect the complaints will come eventually.
- However frustrating this Tampa Bay series has been for us A's fans, we're not alone. The Angels dropped their series to the Royals. The Yankees dropped their series to the Orioles. The Red Sox lost their series to the A's next opponent, the Blue Jays. And we haven't spent over $100 million to field our team. Maybe the MLB playing field is leveling a bit? Ah, who are we kidding, this isn't the NFL.
- I'm heading out early to the game tomorrow, so I'm going to put up a couple of threads in the afternoon for the open game discussion. I also will be putting up the interview with Ken Korach very soon. Hopefully by tomorrow morning.
- I hate to bring this up, but can everyone make a concerted effort to keep the four-letter language to a minimum? We've got some younger audience members and I want to make this a friendly place for all. I can understand the occasional language when the A's blow a lead late or something, but often it's extraneous. If you feel like you need to do it, try and at least cover with an asterisk or two. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
- Check out the campaign to the immediate left of this post. It's pretty cool and it's from a very well-known, much-desired (at least by my wife) car maker. And as always, support AN advertisers if you can do so. The Infuzer team schedule for the Palm or PC is also really useful. It's right above the Beane Counter.