By Jason Wojciechowski on April 21, 2005 at 11:35 PM
The A's could learn a lesson from the offense the Mariners brought last night: big innings win games. Barry Zito loaded the bases in the first inning, then gave up a big hit, a homer to Bret Boone. Huston Street loaded the bases in the seventh, then gave up a big hit, a double to Greg Dobbs. The seven runs scored on those two plays were enough to beat the A's, despite Oakland scoring in four different innings.
Zito's night probably could have been a lot worse than it was. He didn't give up any runs after the grand slam, but he allowed eight hits and three walks overall and took 116 pitches to get through his six innings, a complete lack of efficiency. The "one really bad inning" thing seemed to be a hallmark of Zito's inconsistent 2004, and based on what he's done so far this year, it doesn't look like he's gotten over those problems. The way the other starters on the staff are pitching, Zito could be the team's fourth starter, but Oakland would obviously be much better off if he could get himself back on track and pitch like a solid number two, at least.
Speaking of A's players having a hard time, Erubiel Durazo hit his first homer of the year, a solo shot that cut the Oakland deficit in half in the ninth inning against Eddie Guardado. Unfortunately, follow-up work from the guys behind him was not forthcoming, so the bomb was wasted.
MVOP for 4/20: Marco Scutaro, edging out Mark Kotsay with a 3-4 day and a pair of RBI.
LVOP for 4/20: Eric Chavez, who managed a lone single and left a bushel of men on base.
MVP for 4/20: Justin Duchscherer, for a scoreless eighth.
LVP for 4/20: Huston Street, for giving up three runs in the eighth, giving the game to the Mariners, with a strong assist from Eric Byrnes.
Huston Street moves into a category by himself, taking over sole possession of first place in the "Most LVP's" category.
Despite a bunch of movement around the relievers charts, Macha's usage score remains at 20 (out of a worst-possible 24). He's clearly recognized Huston Street as a strong reliever and he'd done the same with Kiko Calero before he got hurt. As usual, the defined closer role hurts the usage of Octavio Dotel.