A's lose another opener
Everybody loses sometime, and the A's got outplayed last night. Dan Haren's six-run third inning (he wound up giving up seven in six innings) couldn't be overcome, valiant though Eric Chavez's effort was. Chavez gave the A's their first run, in the second inning, and their last two, in the eighth, with his fourth and fifth homers of the year. For Haren, though, you can't expect to give up a three-run homer to Tony Batista and win the game. Bobby Crosby also added his first homer of the year: it's good to see that the finger apparently isn't affecting him, though he did make a throwing error, his second of the year. Frank Thomas was hitless again, though he did walk once: he's now batting .080, but with a .207 OBP. I keep telling myself not to worry, that anything can happen in 20-some-odd plate appearances, that he's Frank Freaking Thomas. At some point, I'll be convinced. Dan Johnson got the day off despite this being a homecoming game for the young first baseman. Johnson's started the year 0-19, so hopefully skipping Brad Radke and going straight to Carlos Silva will do something for him. Ken Macha said, "I'd hate for him to get buried if he's not swinging the bat the way Gerald (Perry, the A's hitting coach) wants." Uh, Ken, you control whether Johnson gets buried or not. It's not like Jay Payton can just steal your Sharpie and start writing out lineup cards. Can he? Straight A's has this take on Thomas, Haren, and a variety of other A's topics. We also get this bit of news from the Chronicle story:
Assistant general manager David Forst said the A's are unlikely to bring Bobby Kielty back from Triple-A Sacramento while the team is in Minnesota unless an injury requires it, and Macha suggested that the outfielder might not be back until next week against the Tigers, who have several left-handed pitchers. Kielty, who is hitting .238 at Sacramento, was sent down at the start of the season so the A's could keep lefty Brad Halsey in the bullpen as insurance if a rainout or two messed up the rotation. It's not hard to tell that Macha would prefer to keep Halsey rather than have a fifth outfielder to juggle. "I like two lefties in the bullpen," Macha said, a sentiment he has expressed numerous times.But see, Ken, "two lefties" is useless if one of them ain't any good. I understand that Bobby Kielty is essentially useless on this team (who needs a lefty masher with no D when we've already got Jay Payton, a lefty masher with good D? Also, note that I love Bobby K, so it really pains me to admit that he's got no place on the team). However, since Brad Halsey isn't that good, I'd rather take him out of Macha's hands. The last thing the A's need is Macha bringing Halsey in to face Big Papi in a tough situation because, donchaknow, that's what lefties are for. On the other hand, if there's no Halsey, maybe Macha shunts Joe Kennedy into the LOOGY role, and that's a poor use of a (recent) former starter who can actually be a decent pitcher. So I'm conflicted. The best solution? A real manager.
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