By Jason Wojciechowski on April 10, 2008 at 3:43 PM
Lest you take me to be a complete negative nellie (regarding Dan Johnson, Justin Duchscherer, Rich Harden, and Greg Smith), let me note that I'm incredibly pleased with these last two wins over the Blue Jays. In particular, yesterday's game looked completely over when Greg Smith managed to give up three runs on one hit in the first inning, and ended up walking five guys. But in the end, he actually managed to rack up a "quality start" (even if you count the unearned run) by shutting down the Blue Jays for the next five innings, and the bullpen, as usual, held it together thereafter, with Rule 5er Fernando Hernandez getting his first big league win in his first big league appearance.
Would I have liked the offense to get its act together a little before the ninth inning? Sure. But you know what? A four-run inning, no matter what inning it's in, is great. A four-run inning off of Jeremy Accardo is even greater (especially since I have BJ Ryan in my fantasy league and someone else has Accardo).
Also, look at Travis Buck suddenly coming alive! Four hits, three of them doubles, in the last two games, is awesome. Mark Ellis continues to rip it up after a similarly slow start: 4-5 yesterday with a triple and two steals! He's slugging .556, I want to note. And Bobby Crosby is 11/36 on the year with four doubles. He's only walked twice in that span, and he's still looking for his first homer, and he could get hurt at the drop of a hat, but you've got to feel good considering that the guy has had sub-.700 OPS's the last two years.
I'm not so confident that Dana Eveland can repeat his seven-inning, one-run performance from his last time out, and I think there's a good chance Shaun Marcum can shut down the A's, but still, I'm cautiously optimistic that the A's will put up a good fight.