Well, there are worse things than losing ugly on Opening Day (see: the outcome of last season), and worse things than losing our first head-to-head game against the Mariners (see: the outcomes of every other game against them last year). The best thing about baseball is the 24 hour do-over. Any heartbreaking loss early in the regular season can be made up for the next night.
With that in mind, we’re going to try a do-over tonight, as Joe Blanton faces a team he likes a lot. In his career, he is 6-1 against Seattle with a 2.50 ERA, and last season alone, he was 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his four starts. If I thought those numbers really indicated a trend, I would start him every single series against the Mariners; why not?
Obviously, he was not originally slated to start in this series, but due to Loaiza removing himself from the rotation before his injury cost us every fifth start, Blanton gets the nod. If you still don’t have enough reasons to cheer hard for Joe tonight, just think: It could be injured Loaiza pitching instead.
I wish I had some sage advice for Blanton, who struggles with...well...getting hit a lot and hit hard, but I really don’t. Throw strikes, but don’t make them hittable?
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Opposing Blanton will be a favorite divisional foe: Jarrod Washburn. Washburn had a couple of pretty good years in his career with the Angels, but is coming off a pretty dismal season in Seattle. I hope our offense is tired of striking out, and is ready to hit.
Facing Joe Blanton will be this crew:
The A’s will try to score their first run of 2007 with this lineup:
I though about putting batting averages up, but that just seems mean. And I don’t think my keyboard has that many zeros. I kid, I kid.
However, while I like Kielty in the lineup tonight, it's hard to see Buck sit.
Nico will take you the rest of the way...LET’S GO OAK-LAND!