Games like Wednesday's always remind me why I'm glad to have baseball back, and why I chose to make it such a significant part of my life instead of finding something more rewarding to do with my time.
Games like tonight's remind me why I was so happy and relieved when the season ended six months ago.
What it boils down to is that I have no more desire to write about this game than you have to read about it. I'd much rather just throw this post onto the front page and forget about it, choosing to look forward to Dan Wilson Night instead of dwelling on one of the most miserable, uninteresting baseball games I can remember. So that's exactly what I'll do.
Biggest Contribution: Felix, +11.8%
Biggest Suckfest: Julio Mateo, -26.1%
Most Important Hit: Reed single, +5.4%
Most Important Pitch: Kotsay double, -16.4%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -14.5%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -47.8%
Every single batter made a negative contribution of at least 1.2%. EVERY SINGLE BATTER. On top of that, Milton Bradley essentially handed us an out and two free runs with a remarkably stupid baserunning maneuver and we still couldn't do anything. Just thinking about this game makes me want to scream.
I do feel obligated to say something about Felix before calling it quits, but a lot of what I have to talk about can be summed up by this tidy graphic, submitted by reader Aaron C, showing the location of Oakland's batted ball outs against him:
Here's the deal - Felix gave up one, maybe two legitimately well-struck balls all game long. And that's the norm. He's virtually impossible to hit. The key to beating him is letting him beat himself by missing all over the place with his fastball, and that's exactly what Oakland did tonight. Felix couldn't locate anything to save his life and the A's were perfectly happy to take whatever he gave them. Really, this was the kind of performance I thought we'd see out of him last year after getting promoted, considering his walk numbers in Tacoma, but after a half-season of total domination I've come to expect a lot more. And with that in mind, even though he only allowed the one run, tonight was a disappointment. For what it's worth, he sure was throwing the fastball a lot; given that his best pitch is undoubtedly his curveball, you have to wonder if he just couldn't get a comfortable grip on anything all game. Tough to pitch well when you don't have a good feel for the seams.
Friday was awful. Now it's time to start thinking about Saturday. Barry Zito brings his ionospheric ERA into town to face Jamie Moyer at 6:05pm PDT. Tune in early for the Dan Wilson tribute if you're a fan of really nice guys or retired backstops who remain better players than Miguel Olivo to this day.