First of all, politically correct version of "Happy Easter" to you; may Trevor Cahill hand out lots of goose eggs for the occasion. Cahill makes his second major league start today, hoping to improve upon a debut in which he was only good when his back was to the wall, repeatedly stranding runners 2nd and 3rd in a 5 IP, 5 hit, 5 BB performance that he somehow navigated with just 2 ER allowed.
In his debut, Cahill threw 103 pitches, 57 for strikes, a 55% strike ratio that needs to improve for Cahill to be successful. Cahill is opposed today by lefty Erik Bedard, whose distinguishing characteristics are "ace" stuff and a "Gaaaahhh!!!! Don't call me an ace, I can't deal with that!!!!!" mentality. Given that so far in the series the A's have sputtered against Ryan Rowland-Smith and solved Felix Hernandez, I think it's fair to assume that I have no idea how Oakland will fare against Bedard.
One note, though: Given that Eric Chavez generally struggles against LHP, is 0-7 with 4 Ks in his career against Bedard, and is nursing soreness in his shoulder following a dive back into 1B on Friday, it would really make sense for the A's to give Chavez the day off again today. I would even - yes, I said it - put Crosby at 3B and Nomar at 1B if Giambi needs the day off to recover from the pain in all his many groins.
A little perspective: Yes, it would stink to be swept at home by the Ichiroless Mariners, yes it's important for the A's to tread water in April and the schedule is about to get brutal for a stretch, but actually today's game is not that critical. Remember when the 2006 A's were swept at home (June 30th-July 2nd) by a Diamondbacks team that had lost 20 of their previous 23? Oakland went on to win the West and advance to the ALCS. In other words, bad teams sweep good teams in baseball and teams move on from game to game and series to series.
Thanks to louismg for helping out the rest of the day while I'm at the game with my "Bat Cust second, Garen!!!111" sign.
Reminder: If you want to attend Chez Nico on May 2nd, make sure to read this post!
Seattle Mariners @ Oakland Athletics
04/12/09 1:05 PM PDT
|SEATTLE MARINERS||OAKLAND ATHLETICS|
|Endy Chavez - LF||Ryan Sweeney - RF|
|Franklin Gutierrez - CF||Orlando Cabrera - SS|
|Ken Griffey Jr. - RF||Jason Giambi - 1B|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Matt Holliday - LF|
|Russell Branyan - 1B||Jack Cust - DH|
|Mike Sweeney - DH||Eric Chavez - 3B|
|Jose Lopez - 2B||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Rob Johnson - C||Mark Ellis - 2B|
|Ronny Cedeno - SS||Rajai Davis - CF|