Sunday, April 10, 2005

Nice turnaround...

OAK 6, TB 1

And A's avoid a sweep and come out of this road trip to open the 2005 season 3-3. Tomorrow the A's return to Oakland for the home opener, you can count me there. After I get out of class at 4:00 I'll head over to the Coliseum Parking Lot with beers and drink.

Didn't catch too much of the game today, it wasn't televised and I was in church during the 11:15 PDT start. As Director of Music I really can't skip out of church for a baseball game, which means I'm probably going to miss most of the bobbleheads this year, well whatever. Small sacrifice to pay so I can have a job to pay for my A's habit.

Anyways what part of the game I did catch I really liked. Rich Harden, in his first start this season allowed one earned run in 5.1 innings while striking out five. Very good. I'm not ready to annoint this guy as our staff ace, even with Zito's implosion yesterday, but there's no denying that Harden is the future.
Team LOB: 11
Don't worry too much about the LOB, although the A's failed to drive in runs with the bases loaded, twice. The third time the bases were juiced the A's did their job and got some clutch hitting when it was really needed.

Also, the A's are using more small ball this year. I remember on the first opening day the Macha managed in 2003 Chavez and Tejada executed a double steal, we thought the A's were going to bemore active on the basepaths, we were wrong. Perhaps this time it will stick.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and it's not just the parking lot beers I'm looking forward too.

To clarify things I didn't lose confidence in the A's yesterday. I just lost some confidence in Zito. I dont' know what to say about this guy. His curveball, when it's working, is poetry in motion. I remember many a lazy summer day in 2002, 2003 when I was lazing a day away at the Coliseum watching Zito make some of the best hitters in the AL look like fools with the curve. Now, I don't know.

Also, this being the day after his disastrous outing we finally have the articles, let's have a few quotes about Zito.
"Zito and I were actually laughing about how slow we start. It takes us a long time to figure it out,'' Chavez said. "We're supposed to be the two solid veteran guys, and here we are pulling up the rear.''

"I was just being fine a little bit,'' Zito said. "Instead of attacking the strike zone, I was trying to nibble. I'm trying to nitpick the corners and all of a sudden, it's 2-0.''

-Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle, 4/10/05
On the Chavez quote. I don't mind it much, unlike a few other, if Zito decided to laugh this one off. It's a healthy attitude, but you still need that desire to improve. When I mess up I do get pissed, but it doesn't last, when I've calmed down my desire to improve is greater than before. Does he have that inner drive? However, the second quote, the Zito quote is what worries me. It's something akin to everything he says after every rough start, it's not that he's passing the buck but he's refusing to admit that his control wasn't present. He left way too many balls up in the zone and his curve wasn't working.

I don't think he'll ever truly improve unless he's ready to admit his flaws head on. I think he thinks too much.

"Don't think, it can only hurt the Ball Club."

In other news, it's good to see Yabu getting his props. I'm closing this post with an A's haiku.

Rich Harden, pitcher,
Pitched well against Tampa Bay,
Don't fear the blister.


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