By Jason Wojciechowski on April 10, 2003 at 9:13 PM
I knew they'd lose again, really. I was just hoping they wouldn't lose the same
old way: no hitting with men on base, and a late-innings pitching problem.
Really, though, it's a little unfair to harp on the latter, because Chad Bradford only gave up one run in an inning and two thirds. The problem was that he was pitching in a tied game, so that run was pretty crucial.
The bigger deal, though, was that the A's left 12 men on base. Jermaine Dye,
despite hitting his first homer of the season, left five on by himself.
Terrence Long managed to go 0-5 and not leave anyone on, however, so his game was terrible, but not terrible in such a killer way as it could have been. He led off the second, ended the third after Dye's homer and a Durazo strikeout, struck out in the fifth after a Durazo strikeout, led off the 7th, and ended the game with a groundout to second.
The Terrence Long watch: 214/371/464. A terrible batting average, but a nice walk rate and extra base hits mean that he's still in positive (for him) territory.
Congratulations to Scott Hatteberg for tying the A's club record with three doubles in the game. Hatteberg has turned out to be one of the brilliant pickups of Billy Beane. I thought he'd be solid, but I didn't think he'd be so spectacularly solid.
The A's walked 11 times today, including Hatteberg, Tejada, Johnson, and Byrnes twice apiece (none of them intentionally). Johnson doesn't have a hit yet, but he's walked twice in eight PA's, which is a start. Eric Byrnes got the start in center field despite a flyball pitcher on the mound and a decent offensive showing by Chris Singleton. I think, once again, this shows Ken Macha's commitment to making sure his bench gets work. Let's hope he can do the same with the bullpen, specifically Mike Neu.
One last comment: Ron Gant should stop pinch hitting for Ruby Durazo so early in the game. He should just tell Macha, "Look, dude, I'm not even going to get dressed until the seventh. You're just going to have to leave Durazo in there to face the occasional lefty. He's a pro, he'll get better at it."