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A's First Dice-d, Then Smeared By Paps

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Jason Varitek’s 6th inning double – which should have been ruled a two-run HR – broke a 1-1 tie and lifted the Red Sox to a 2-1 win behind an outstanding pitching performance by Dice-K Matsusaka.

It’s not often you can see a batter break a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer and the final score is 2-1, but there you have it. Blanton was good, Dice-K was better and the only way the A’s could have won is if the umps got all the calls wrong. A few thoughts during these early days of the season…

* Buck and Barton’s bats look very slow. But that does not mean they need to be sent down to the minor leagues; it means their bat speed needs to pick up, which it will. As will David Ortiz’ – his bat has looked slow and his batting average matched Buck’s and Barton’s exactly. Remember that on April Fool’s Day, we are usually enjoying game three of the Bay Bridge Series, not the regular season. The pitchers are ahead of the hitters-who-aren’t-Kevin-Youkilis. Patience, my friends.

* I really hope the first three games don’t indicate a trend in regards to starting CFers. If the A’s go with a platoon, it means that Ryan Sweeney will get 3/4 of the starts, which I think would be a big mistake. I want to see Chris Denorfia get the lion’s share of the starts, and I’d be lion if I didn’t say that should be somewhere between 75%-100% of them.

* I also want to see Cust in LF, defense be damned, and Mike Sweeney at DH, against right-handed starters. This team needs to put offense first or it is liable to put up – I don’t know, say – three hits/game. Mike Sweeney is too good of a hitter to be on the bench for this team, and I hope he won’t be sitting against right-handers as a rule.

I’m not a big Dice-K fan, but you have to tip your hat to him tonight. He was outstanding, and earned at least 283 of the 312 shots of him in the dugout last week.