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Offense MIA, But Pen Has Been Biggest Surprise

I can't help but say that I was a little envious of the Angels getting Jae Seo as their starting opponent today. At the same time, the A's are going with a makeshift offense at best right now. Yeah, they still have Piazza and Chavez in the lineup, but Piazza's fast start over the first couple of weeks seems like a distant memory. And Chavez has actually had one of his better offensive starts to the year, but he isn't the type of player to carry a team all by himself.

But the thing with this team is that as great as the starting pitching has been so far (it might be one of the all-time best months for Oakland pitching as a collective group ever), the offense has been almost as bad as the starting pitching has been good. And yes, the A's offense is usually slow starting out the year, but it's hard to believe that it's going to get significantly better at any point. But the truth is that it doesn't need to get that much better. If you add back a healthy Bradley and Swisher, then the offense will improve a bit. The only problem is that the chances are that the A's starting pitching is going to get worse. I don't expect them to continue this unbelievable run they're on. And the offense will probably not improve enough to make up for the adjustment coming for the starting pitching.

I still find it hard to believe that Joe Blanton is the only A's starting pitcher with an ERA over three right now. I thought for sure that if Harden went down, the A's starting pitching was going to be hanging on a thread. But Haren, Gaudin and Braden all have ERAs under two so far. Kennedy is under three and Blanton is pitching some of his best baseball.

The other problem is the bullpen, which just hasn't been the unbreakable factor it was last year. Calero hasn't had the bite to his slider he usually does. Duke has shown that he is, in fact, human. And Street's saves have been shaky again.

It's been amazing as the starting pitching has exceeded all expectations by a mile, the offense has been predictably bad (although the injuries have neutered it even more) and the bullpen has been the biggest surprise as it has shown significant holes so far. I do believe that it will get better because I don't think that the same pitchers wind up going from one of the best to vulnerable overnight. Then again, I've been wrong before.