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Open Thread: Spring Training Game 22

Baseball’s back under the lights as Blanton takes on the Kansas City Royals and Brian Bannister tonight in Surprise! as the A’s try to work out the last week of kinks before the regular season begins. Blanton, who has struggled early this spring, is looking to get stretched out, hopefully without allowing a run an inning, which is his current pace.

Blanton is somewhat of an enigma for me; he is capable of pitching well, but I know that overall, he tends to get hit hard. However, I don’t think he’s as bad as some think he is, or as bad as he will appear to us in the current rotation. It’s his bad luck that he has to pitch the day after Harden; he’d probably prefer pitching after Kennedy...but I digress.

If Blanton and Loaiza are good (not necessarily great), we have a great pitching staff overall. If not, our staff consists of two great pitchers, with a huge drop-off after Harden. I firmly believe that the A’s can do some damage, even with all the offensive trouble in the world, if Blanton and Loaiza can find a way to win some games. I have no idea if this is possible for Blanton. Despite lackluster numbers overall, Blanton still collected 16 wins last year, but I’m willing to bet little things like ‘run support’ and ‘the crappy, crappy Seattle Mariners’ had more to do with the wins than he did.

However, we don’t have a choice. While our number five starter may be replaced sooner than later, our number four is here to stay, and needs all the support we can give him.