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Open Thread - Game 3

Rich Harden!!!!!!!!!!!!! takes the mound tonight as the A’s try to salvage the last game of this opening series against Seattle. The season hasn’t exactly opened as A’s fans would have hoped, and I’m certainly not one to call the third game of the season a ‘must win’, but after watching the Angels blow through the Texas Rangers in three games as if they were a high school team, it’s worth noting that we simply cannot afford to fall too far behind.

The A’s head into Anaheim tomorrow for a four-game series, which features both Gaudin and Kennedy, and it would be nice to have our first "W" behind us and a little momentum going in.

Although Dan Haren is our #1 starter (and certainly deservedly so), it’s been said that Rich Harden has the best stuff of any pitcher we’ve had in this decade. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him, but I know for me, most of my memories of him include the DL.

According to our pitcher himself:

"I understand why people ask the questions," said Harden, who hasn't yet gone a full season without an injury-related interruption. "But I'm obviously 100 percent healthy now, so hopefully I won't have to answer too many of those this year."

We are about to find out.

All health-related issues aside, the book on Harden says that he needs to work on getting first-pitch outs, rather than wasting pitches on the K’s. Obviously (or it should be obvious), he should have a pitch count, and needs to get his outs efficiently. As much as I love the K’s, I’d rather have Harden in there for a greater number of innings.

Opposing Harden will be Miguel Batista, and it would be nice if the A’s offense hit him hard. A big win would go a long way towards the players and the fans settling into the 2007 season.



Your Oakland A's

Kendall C
Stewart LF
Bradley CF
Piazza DH
Chavez 3B
Swisher 1B
Crosby SS
Buck RF
Ellis 2B