Thoughts from the A's opener

by Koski

My thoughts and observations:

- Joe Saunders v. Dallas Braden, two middle rotation guys starting opening day. Really, these two guys are almost identical. Saunders has a larger build, but both are soft tossing lefties who rely on off speed and location to get outs.

- Braden looked uncomfortable in the stretch. He paid way too much attention to Jeff Mathis on first with one out and Chone Figgins batting in the third inning. Mathis is the Angels' catcher and he's got two career steals. Braden threw over to first at least twice and ended up missing inside and walking Figgins. Howie Kendrick then went the other way and drove in Mathis for the first Angels' run.

- I learned that Matt Holliday led the majors last year in going from first to third. 21 times in 2008.

- O-Cab made a boneheaded base running error on second with one out and Holilday sent a ground ball to short. O-Cab lurched forward before switching directions and getting caught getting back to second. [Battle of the Bay Area Colombian Shortstops: O-Cab -1, E-Rent 0]

- Even worse for the A's was what happened in the third inning. Jack Cust walks and then Mark Ellis ground into a fielder's choice. One out, Ellis on first. Ryan Sweeney hits a grounder to second and Kendrick misplays the ball leaving both runners safe. The very next pitch, the A's try a double steal and Ellis is thrown out at third. O-Cab grounded into 16 DP's last season(tied for tenth most), but Giambi and Holliday are up next? Cabrera popped out to end the inning.

- Matt Holliday looks good. He made a nice sliding catch in the outfield and looked comfortable at the plate.

- Can Ryan Sweeney get on base enough to be the leadoff hitter all year? He had a .350 on base percentage (pretty good) last season, but only 38 walks in 433 plate appearances. Last night, 0-4.

- Comcast's post game show. I like it. It's a work in progress and this year should be about fine tuning it, but I like where it's going. One exception, I'm not, a F.P. Santangelo fan. Never have been. One reason, his upper lip doesn't really move that much when he talks and it's really distracting. Maybe it's just me?

- Santangelo was making a big deal bout Jack Cust drawing two walks against Saunders. I didn't see it the same way. First, Cust is a hobo's Adam Dunn. Hits home runs, walks and strikes out. He's had over one hundred hits and walks the last two seasons, but he's also had over 150K's, including 197 last year. My analysis, Cust is a fastball hitter and Saunders wasn't throwing fastballs, so Cust chose not to swing at them. In the seventh inning, Scioscia brought in Jose Arredondo to pitch to Cust and Arredondo gassed him out.

- The A's relievers pitched well. Michael Wuertz got the Angels out in order and then Andrew Bailey made his MLB debut the next inning and did the same.

- Brian Fuentes looked good in his first action as Angels' closer, getting the A's 3-4-5 hitters in order.


  1. Tovey Says:

    Koski you should link up with my boy Peter Hockaday's blog: