Blue Jays 10, A's 3
The A's got blown out again last night, which I expect to happen fairly often when Kirk Saarloos is on the mound. He's a decent fifth starter, but he's not a world beater, and while I'm not sure he's significantly worse than Mark Redman, I also acknowledge that I'm damning him with faint praise. On the other hand, he's not going to get blown out every time, and he certainly has the ability to provide a little gem like he threw against Baltimore his first time out. Saarloos didn't get much from his bullpen, either, not in the usual sense of inherited runners scoring, but in giving the A's offense a chance to come back and take him off the hook. The score was 6-0 when he left the game, which is pretty grim, but Juan Cruz quickly allowed four runs over the next two innings, make it 10-0 before the A's could even plate their first man. Cruz's performance was awful and not a little bit worrisome: four hits and two walks allowed with no strikeouts, and six fly-ball outs compared to just one ground-ball out. Cruz is a ground-ball pitcher for his career, and it's likely that he just had a bad game, but it's worth watching. On the other hand, Huston Street came on and blew the pants off the Jays. Consider that Toronto had scored 10 runs in their previous 6 innings, then consider that Street struck out four men in two innings (including the side in the 8th) on 26 pitches, with seven of those thrown to Frank Catalanotto, who grounded out to start Street off in the seventh. Anybody paying attention to A's games right now who wasn't already excited about Street sure is now. It'll be interesting to see what happens to an already over-crowded bullpen when Chad Bradford is ready to come back in a few months. Depending on Oakland's place in the playoff chase, I wouldn't be surprised to see Octavio Dotel heading out of town in July to a suitably desperate contender. I also wouldn't be suprised to see that happen and have the A's contend for the division down the stretch anyway, similar to their 1999 "pre-breakout" season when they sent Billy Taylor to the Mets. Anyway, on to the ARC.
ARCMVOP for 4/11: Mark Ellis, 1.4635, for going 2-3 with a walk and one of just three Oakland RBI. LVOP for 4/11: Nick Swisher, -2.1608, for an 0-4 with a nasty early double play with runners on the corners and one out. MVP for 4/11: Huston Street, 1.0758, for two scoreless innings. Allowing hits and walks don't count against you unless you allow runs, but that didn't matter for Street, who allowed nothing to happen against him. LVP for 4/11: Kirk Saarloos, -4.4663, duh.
Beaneball by Jason Wojciechowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.