Well, even in our wildest dreams, I don't think anyone could have predicted just how well today would go. Rich Harden only pitched three innings, but aside from the pesky ladies' man on the other team, Harden dominated the Tribe, striking out seven of his nine outs, while doing his best impression of Tuesday's Saarloos. I love that Macha pulled him before anyone could worry about a pitch count, but as we all well know, the real test will be how he's feeling tomorrow...and the next day...and his next start, which hopefully will be five days from now. Brilliant move starting Harden today against the Indians, whom he matched up very well against in a relatively low-pressure game, instead of during the craziness of the upcoming weekend.
I have a few memos to issue:
Memo to the A's offense:
Memo to Chad Gaudin:
You must learn some control. Although an excessive amount of walks might be able to work (although not desirably) for a starting pitcher, it will kill you as a reliever. Not to mention frustrate fans who watch a 4-1 lead suddenly become a one-run game because you walked the leadoff men.
Memo to JFK:
ROCK. STAR. Thank you.
Memo to Witasick:
I'm not buying what you were selling in the eighth.
Memo to Dan Johnson and Antonio Perez:
The A's fan base has had particular problems with players taking third strikes in important situations. If the pitch is close enough to be called a third strike, you had better be swinging at it! And as for the 'you being up in important situations' part? We'll work on that. <softens> Oh, all right, Perez. Your last at-bat against Sabathia was hot.
Memo to Macha:
Nice use of the 'pen, pinch-hitters, and the lineup. We know you had limited options. In addition, thank you for using as many pitchers as it took to secure the win, even if it got a bit dicey at the end.
Memo to Myself:
I should probably post this in the 'Unpopular Opinions' diary, but I'm more comfortable with Duchscherer than Street on the mound right now. There, I said it.
Memo to Barry Zito:
You're going to have to pitch a complete game tomorrow.
Memo to the A's fan base:
OUR MAGIC NUMBER IS FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!
RICH HARDEN DIDN'T DIE!!!!!!!
Get out to the Coliseum this weekend, because in order to clinch the West at home, a full week early, all our boys need to do is take two out of three from the Angels. Celebration, indeed!
LET'S GO OAK-LAND!!!