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Blanton Needs To Come Up Big <Insert Joke Here>

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First of all, it took a fluke for me to be right on this one, and I wish to heck I had been wrong, but...A couple weeks ago, I suggested that Zito, Haren, and Blanton needed to step up, because the A's might only be able to win 1/3 of the games started by fill-ins Saarloos and Halsey. Unfortunately, after last night's debacle, the A's now stand 3-6 in the games started by Saarloos and Halsey.

The good news is, Zito and Haren really have stepped up. The bad news is, Blanton really hasn't. He needs to tonight, in a big way. The A's need a win, and they need Blanton to go 7-9 innings--in a place where that is very hard to do. I have personally kidnapped Kiko Calero, so Ken Macha can't be tempted to pitch him tonight. I am working with Christopher Lloyd on a Street-2005 package. But as the dust clears, Chad Gaudin could very well be our set-up man tonight. Be very afraid.

With Gaudin, I fear the "grass is greener," and that while Karsay has had more chance to show his true colors, ANers may have a more positive view of Gaudin than is objectively warranted. From what I've seen so far, Gaudin has little command and works mostly in hitters counts. A good arm, plus poor command, plus no track record = AAAA. At this point in his career, Gaudin looks like a guy who can dominate a AAA game and who can give it up in a major league game. In other words, behind Everyday Kiko and Utter Hotness, neither of whom are even "lights out" these days, Macha's only choices are disasters-in-waiting.

And since there's "no timetable" for Duke or Kennedy to begin throwing again (if you speak fluent "A's" you know that means their entire families are dead), one worries that the A's may not yet have hit "rock bottom". In the AL West this year, it will be hard to fall so far down you can't recover--heck, the Angels are still well in it and they were 11 games under a moment ago. In contrast to the Central or East, a 2-4 week will keep you very much afloat; 0-6 never will. Just a handful of wins would go a long way right now. Just a handful.