Good afternoon, A’s fans! Hope your Friday night was a little less erratic than Laz Diaz’s strike zone last night (or more erratic, if you’re a wild one).
Though yesterday’s game was frustrating, for a bunch of different reasons, today’s a new day. It should be safe to expect more stability in the strike zone, both from whoever’s calling it and the guy who’s pitching to it — #CutBrooks, get it trending.
Mike Fiers, who we acquired and resigned to be our ace-by-default-for-now, hasn’t performed like it thus far. High FIP, low K-rate, high walk-rate: almost all metrics support the conclusion that the 33-year-old has legitimately been bad in 2019. But unlike Estrada and Brooks, who don’t have a recent track record of success and deserve a short leash, the Fiersman was rock solid last season. Although he’s not young, he doesn’t seem ready to fall off a cliff either.
Signed to a two-year deal, it’s highly unlikely he’s getting bumped from the rotation this season. This means, for better or for worse, Fiers is going to be on the mound every fifth game. We don’t need him to be an ace — we’re only paying him Ozzie Albies money (too soon?) — but if we’re hoping to get back to October, we need him to pitch his worth.
But should he falter this afternoon, he’ll have a lot of Fierpower to back him up (had to get one in). In spite of facing a righty, BoMel is sticking the same-handed Pinder out there in place of the switch-hitting Grossman, which I applaud. Although that leaves only two left-handed hitters in his lineup, Pinder is the better hitter against both lefties and righties, so I’m glad BoMel isn’t platooning just for the sake of platooning.
Alright, enough words — it’s baseball time. LET’S GO OAKLAND!