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Surprisingly Stellar Pitching (And Open Thread)

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Say it with me: Today is another day.

After the maddening loss last night, it is probably the wrong time to advertise for AN Day, but I’m going to anyway. Come to AN Day 4! Come for the food, the great game (A’s/Angels), and to meet some fans from AN!

In addition to AN Day at Oakland, I also got a call from the Angels’ ticketing office yesterday, and they want to know about SoCal ANers’ availability for the September series (3-5). Is anyone interested?

Other topics to discuss in the thread include Huston Street being shut down. Are we sticking with Embree? Can Castilla make the jump?

And what’s a good open thread without a poll? With our pitching being the talk of the Majors right now (as it should be!), I am curious who has most surprised you and why in the early contest. The choices:

Danny Haren - Sure, he was touted as a great pitcher, with the potential of being more. But did anyone really think that after 14 starts, he’d be sporting a 1.58 ERA, would be among the elite pitchers in both leagues, and well on his way to a season to remember?

Chad Gaudin - Not even slated as a starting pitcher this year until injuries forced him into the rotation, he has exceeded our wildest expectations. He’s made 13 starts, with a nifty 2.43 ERA, and at times, has had complete ace stuff. I’m sure there are plenty of teams who would take him as their #1.

Lenny DiNardo - Out of nowhere, the A’s pluck yet another pitcher out of the pen, put him on the mound at the start of the game, and tell him to pitch. DiNardo has delivered in spades; starting three games so far, while whittling away his already-low ERA to 1.22.

Joe Kennedy - Last night’s loss notwithstanding, Kennedy has been above and beyond anything anyone could have imagined after his miserable Spring Training this year. Don’t let his record fool you; with his 3.50 ERA and with some run support, he is easily considered a number 3 starter on most teams, and a number 2 on a few.

Alan Embree - Thrown into the closer role because, quite simply, there wasn’t anyone else to use, Embree has, for the most part, shined; converting seven of eight save opportunities in relatively heart-attack-free style. Although not flashy, he’s been steady, and has filled a big, big hole in the A’s ‘pen, that looks to still be empty for a while.

Santiago Casilla - Well, who could have predicted this? Fresh off being Jairo Garcia, a pitcher that gets hit, he changes his name and suddenly is the best thing out of the pen. In his eight innings, he hasn’t given up a run, and he has two wins, one save, and seven strikeouts. He is getting it done.

I think those six pitchers--plus tonight’s starter, Joe Blanton, who is pretty much having the solid year everyone expected from him--have been the difference between the season being over, and the A’s being in the hunt. And if Blanton can find a way to replicate his performance his last time out, which Schilling wasted, he might wind up on the next ‘surprising pitchers’ list.

Tonight’s game is at 5:05. Can we win this one?

Poll

Most surprising pitcher so far this season?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Danny Haren
    (72 votes)
  • 56%
    Chad Gaudin
    (418 votes)
  • 15%
    Lenny DiNardo
    (114 votes)
  • 6%
    Joe Kennedy
    (51 votes)
  • 2%
    Alan Embree
    (17 votes)
  • 8%
    Santiago Casilla
    (63 votes)
735 votes total Vote Now