Dan Haren left the A's this off-season as a fan favorite, passed to Arizona in exchange for a strong pool of talent, including today's #6 hitter, Carlos Gonzalez, who has impressed me significantly in his few short weeks in the majors thus far, capped by a TiVo-worthy play in deep right field last night.
While we A's fans may root for Haren in his other 30-plus starts this season, tonight, we're looking to see if he can follow in fellow pitcher Brandon Webb's footsteps, letting the A's finally give Joe Blanton that run support he just can't seem to buy.
So far, Blanton has been on the losing side of many close games, racking up a 3-9 record, the worst in the Bay Area this side of Barry Zito. His won-loss ratio belies his 4.23 ERA and acceptable K/BB ratio of 1.84, and he maintains the support of A's manager Bob Geren, quoted elsewhere as saying "Joe is on his game". Haren has done better, coming into tonight with a 76/15 K/BB ratio, a 3.41 ERA and a 6-4 record.
Rumor has it that the winner of tonight's duel between the one-time roommates has to buy the other one dinner. I for one hope that Joe will be footing the bill.
Oakland Athletics @ Arizona Diamondbacks
06/18/08 6:40 PM PDT
|Oakland Athletics||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Mark Ellis - 2B||Stephen Drew - SS|
|Ryan Sweeney - RF||Conor Jackson - LF|
|Jack Cust - LF||Orlando Hudson - 2B|
|Eric Chavez - 3B||Chad Tracy - 1B|
|Bobby Crosby - SS||Mark Reynolds - 3B|
|Carlos Gonzalez - CF||Miguel Montero - C|
|Kurt Suzuki - C||Chris Young - CF|
|Daric Barton - 1B||Jeff Salazar - RF|
|Joe Blanton - P||Dan Haren - P|