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We're Not As Rich Now, But We Still Have Duke

Justin Duchscherer “fired” a two-hit shutout, and the A’s made single runs in each of the first two innings stand up. Final Score: A’s 2, Mariners 0.

A 1.78 ERA. That’s “Louisiana Lightning” territory – in 1978, Ron Guidry went 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA. It’s “Rocket”-level dominance – in 2005, Roger Clemens posted a 1.87 ERA for Houston. It’s the kind of “misprint stat” you expect to see more from someone like, I don’t know, say, Rich Harden? As long as he’s healthy, the Cubs are lucky to have Rich Harden. And the A’s are lucky to have Justin Duchscherer.

Coming into this series, the last time the A’s won a game in which they did not receive a walk? July 1st, 2006. They’ve done it each of the last two nights. Just another entry in the improbable season of “relentless contention against all reasonable odds” by your 2008 Oakland A’s – a team that keeps subtracting key pieces and adding to its winning percentage.

The A’s rotation just got younger, with the 22-year old Sean Gallagher on his way from Chicago to join Smith, Eveland, and behind them Gio Gonzalez, James Simmons, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson. Blanton is a good innings-eater, but I can’t think of a better veteran to lead a young rotation by example in every way than Justin Duchscherer. I hope the A’s will work out an extension to keep Duchscherer as part of the nucleus going forward into the hopefully more-and-yet-more competitive 2009-2012 seasons. It’s a risk well worth taking, in my opinion – one that could make the A’s, and all their young pitchers, better for the gamble.