Last night felt like “opposite night,” you know how kids have the “opposite day” game? Well, at least it was a game when I was kid, once upon a time - a long, long time ago. Anyway, a lot of things were out of the ordinary.
First of all, the A’s usually strong offense was non-existent as they were unable to score a single run. The outfield defense was nothing short of spectacular (defense? where did that come from?), and Daniel Gossett, who has struggled in each of his stints in the majors, went seven full innings allowing just four hits and one unearned run while issuing just one walk and striking out five of the Seattle Mariners’ batters. Oh, and Rollie Fingers fell over during the sixth inning Hall of Fame Race, which is something you don’t see everyday!
When you get to work thinking it's Friday and a coworker tells you that it's only Thursday. pic.twitter.com/V0ju0TLDkv— Oakland Athletics ⚾️ (@Athletics) May 24, 2018
So the usual — scoring via the long ball, compensating for poor defense and having a fourth pitcher who didn’t allow a plethora of runs, HOF racers staying upright — thing didn’t happen. Unfortunately, the A’s still lost the game, bringing their record back to just one game over .500 despite their success on their last road trip.
Today they face one of their all-time (or at least since 2005) foes on the mound in King Felix Hernandez. And they will do so using the newest fad in the game, inaugurated by the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, “Bullpen Day.” Josh Lucas, who hasn’t started a game since he was in the minors in 2013, will be today’s starting pitcher and from there - we’ll just have to wait and see who pitches next and for how long.
Technically, the A’s have done this before (even prior to the Rays), only the A’s had to do so last Thursday and Friday, out of necessity. When both Andrew Triggs and Brett Anderson both had to leave the game early due to injury, each after just 2.1 innings, the bullpen had to step up and take over the game. In both games they did just that and the A’s were able to complete a four-game series sweep in Toronto.
How will the bullpen fare today? A lot will depend on the A’s offense — an offense without Khris Davis. The A’s are going to be moving around players and switching off on who is the designated hitter until Davis’ predicted (hopefully correctly) return from his stint on the 10-day disabled list. Today Mark Canha will be doing the DH-ing honors.
Let the experiment of the planned “Bullpen Day” begin! Let’s Go Oakland!