Not since 1982 (Jerry Reuss) had a pitcher given up a leadoff hit in the 1st inning and then retired the next 27 in a row. John Lackey was as good tonight as he will be ugly tomorrow--yeah, cheap shot, but the A's didn't get many shots in today, so someone has to.
During spring training, someone put up a diary asking who each of us thought would win the AL Cy Young award. I pondered it for a moment, trying to think of a name that wasn't a dull, obvious choice but maybe a good one, and I came up with Lackey. Come the All-Star break, "Slingblade" will certainly have to be among those strongly in the running, with a (now) sub-3.00 ERA, the league's lowest BAA, and the league's lowest opponent's slugging percentage.
How dominant was John Lackey tonight? After the game's second hitter, he did not so much as run a 3-ball count. The only way the A's were going to win tonight was 0 to -1.
It won't get easier, as tomorrow's opponent, Jered Weaver, is not only 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA, but the A's don't usually do well with unfamiliar pitchers. On the plus side, it can't get worse for the A's than Lackey tonight. Nowhere to go but up.