The A's dropped a bit of a snoozer to Seattle tonight, letting the combination of Gil Meche, Jake Woods and J.J. Putz dominate their lineup. The A's only had five hits, two by Eric Chavez, one by Scutaro and one by Melhuse. They also had 10 strikeouts.
Esteban Loaiza, on the other hand, had another poor outing against Seattle, lasting only 4 2/3's innings, giving up nine hits, three walks and five earned runs. Not exactly what the A's were hoping for when they signed him to the three-year deal. But give it time. I am a little concerned because the last time I saw Loaiza pitch, his fastball was around 90-91 and tonight it only hit 91 once. He does have one of the best April records of active pitchers, so perhaps this was a blip on the screen. But as I predicted very early, it didn't take long for AN to make him designated whipping boy for 2006. Jason Kendall is soooooooo 2005 (sorry, I was momentarily possessed by Cindi).
The one good thing to take away from the evening? Eric Chavez is obviously seeing the ball really well. His OPS is currently 1.328 with the very, very small sample size. Still, for pretty much Chavez's entire career I remember him looking lost at the plate starting on opening day. Perhaps Frank Thomas and Milton Bradley's presence has helped him? Or maybe Gerald Perry helped out? Whatever it is, it's good to see and the A's need that to continue. Imagine if the other bats wake up. Holy mackerel, look at the team's batting averages right now...
That's 4 out of the nine starters from tonight and while the numbers can look deceiving around this time of year, it still doesn't look good. It especially doesn't appear good with the A's facing a guy who could be one of the best of this generation tomorrow in Felix Hernandez.
Better have your "A" game, Smokin' Joe.