It's hard to get fired-up about anything A's-related these days, but I still like it the most when people make comments about teams they clearly don't follow. I've had to watch this baseball team (and I use that team loosely) for an entire six-month season now, with only four horrifically boring, bad baseball games to go, so I really do feel uniquely qualified to react to the following tweet, which was brought to my attention this afternoon:
barry zito had nice 1st sendoff, but it's hard to imagine other AL contenders r thrilled he's starting weds vs. angels— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) September 29, 2015
It's adorable that Jon Heyman thinks the A's started/are starting Barry Zito for "sendoff" reasons. This is the A's we're talking about; they are starting Barry Zito because they literally have no other options anywhere in their system. I mean it. There's nothing nostalgic about the Zito start; the A's have run out of arms that can start a major league baseball game. Let's examine the evidence, shall we?
Jarrod Parker - Oh, do we need to even go there?
A.J. Griffin- Yep, never made it back
Jesse Hahn - Athletics could shut down SP Jesse Hahn for 2015
Scott Kazmir - For some reason, not available for the A's to use
Drew Pomeranz - Drew Pomeranz latest A’s pitcher to be shut down
Jesse Chavez - Oakland RHP Jesse Chavez sidelined by broken ribs
In case Jon Heyman would like to take note, that's eight--count 'em--eight starting pitchers on Oakland's depth chart that are not available to start Wednesday's game. So we're well into the third-string rotation for the year.
A possible contender for Wednesday's slot, Chris Bassitt pitched tonight, and you can do the over/under math yourself on if Zito can do better than Bassitt's 6 runs on 8 hits in his 3 inning start. Plus, you know, Bassitt kind of started tonight's game, rendering him probably unavailable for tomorrow.
Felix Doubront faced the Angels on Monday night, throwing six innings and allowing four runs. Since it's customary to have an available pitcher on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays of a three-game series, he's also probably unavailable for tomorrow, as well.
Sean Nolin pitched Sunday afternoon against the Giants. He didn't make it out of the third inning, and it wasn't because he was slated to pitch Wednesday.
Aaron Brooks pitched a few innings in relief of Barry Zito on Saturday, and I don't know how to tell you this, but he wasn't good, either.
Yes, it's terrifically sad. Yes, this team is as bad as you would expect when you consider the current starting rotation. But it's a quick Google search away to find out why the A's are starting Barry Zito, and it's pretty insulting to suggest a storyline where the A's are deliberately putting nostalgia over a quality baseball game. This team isn't losing on purpose; they are horrifically bad, they have lost eight good starting pitchers, seven to injury, and if you're going to accuse them of anything, accuse them of being a crappy baseball team, who was also cursed in 2015. But don't accuse them of putting sentiment first and cheating other baseball teams, because, well, not cool.
Also, Barry Zito is starting tomorrow, only because I'm not available. Don't forget that the game time is at 4:05PM our time, you know, if you want to watch.