- Emil Brown is good. He’s hitting near .300 and second in the AL in RBI. Thanks Kansas City!
- The starting rotation is still looking solid after 35 games. Rich is out with an injury still but was lights out in a rehab start for Stockton recently. How good are the starters? Only one pitcher who has started a game for the A’s this year has an ERA over 4.00 and that’s Lenny “Friggin'” Dinardo checking in with a 10.57. Two starters have sub 3.00 ERA’s, Harden’s is under 1.00 (in 2 starts), and Dana Eveland’s ERA is 3.05.
- The bullpen has been even better. Santiago Casilla has thrown in 18 games (more than half the games played!) for 17 and a third innings. His ERA is 0.00. Andrew Brown and Joey Devine both have sub 1.00 ERA’s in nearly 30 innings of combined work. In fact, the most surprising member of the bullpen has been Huston Street’s 7 earned runs in 14 games (leading to a 4.11 ERA). But the guy still has 9 saves and is on pace for 41 on the season.
So there’s your quick recap of how we’ve gotten to this point in the season. Good pitching, mediocre defense, and for the most part, good health. A healthy Rich Harden and a six-time Gold Glover down at third would be nice, but so far, has not been critical.
With those two guys back in the lineup the A’s will be looking to make a run at the AL West pennant this year. They’re one game back of the Angels now and they’re in the middle to bottom of the pack in nearly every major power hitting category (although they lead the league in triples!). What they need is a little pop in the lineup, but there’s no telling where that will come from.
Jack Cust could heat up. Chavez could come back and hit for some power. Big Frank might heat up, but that’s about it. Emil Brown isn’t going to hit over 25 and neither will Ellis, Crosby, or the combined merry-go-round of third basemen. Even Daric Barton isn’t looking to have much of a power swing. He’s looking very much like a young Sean Casey type of gap-to-gap hitter.
Well there you have the early season update. The A’s need to keep playing ball the way they have recently and try to find some power in the lineup. If they do that they should be in good position at the All-Star break and be set to get hot in August like they always do. Until then, enjoy the games, enjoy some brews, and most importantly, if you know a good sun burn prevention technique, e-mail me pronto.