The positive way to look at it is that perhaps us A’s fans in the UK will get to watch our first win of the season at a convenient time!
Friday’s game, a 9-5 loss, was another one that got away from us, with Luzardo generally pitching well but making some mistakes in the second time facing their batting order. The likes of Bregman and Gurriel are too good not to take advantage and that’s going to be part of Jesús’s development this season.
As with many other quality pitchers of the past, he’ll take some lumps early in his career as he develops his craft. There’s no doubting that he has the tools to be a top-flight starting pitcher though, so no need to worry about the Messiah any time soon.
It is a slight worry that some injuries are already starting to impact the team, however.
Sean Murphy’s workload early in the season was always going to need to be managed carefully, but it’s a blow that he has another knock that has forced him to sit out a game or two.
Meanwhile, Ramón Laureano’s status remains to be seen after he got taken out of the game last night. It’s such a difficult one because we all love the energy and competitive spirit that Ramón brings to the team, but diving into first base is always a risky proposition. It’s all the more so when you’re trying to beat someone to the bag, as the fielder’s (pitcher in this case) job is to step on the base and their momentum is going through your path. The likelihood of a collision, or being stepped on, is high and whenever the runner comes out of it badly you can’t help but feel it was a risk not worth taking.
As for the pitching staff, the surprise announcement that Trevor Rosenthal would begin the season on the Injured List was an immediate reminder that few things in baseball are more fickle than the fate of a bullpen. It only takes a couple of relievers to either go down with an injury, or struggle on the mound, and suddenly that puts a strain on the rest of the group.
I’ll be honest, it never ceases to amaze me how some A’s fans on Twitter react to a handful of performances and are quick to absolutely destroy a player on the back of a couple of appearances. The bullpen is already being written off by some and the same is going for some of the position players too. Elvis Andrus is already a waste of space according to some of these “fans” based on his first two games in the Green and Gold.
It’s ridiculous and, whilst I’ve learned to keep out of that stuff on social media (you can’t reason with people when they’re determined to be unreasonable), you do have to question the motivation behind it. You get the same with football fans; it’s almost as if their manhood (because it’s almost always a guy) is questioned as a result of the team they love losing a game so their reaction is to scapegoat players/the manager in some sort of dick-waving pique.
You do you, but I’d prefer it if a few of you grew up a bit! This is Big League baseball: it’s a long season over which the form of teams and players fluctuates. We don’t want to lose, and we certainly don’t want to lose to the Astros as our main division rival, but they’re a damn good team. I have no doubt that we are too, but every game has a winner and a loser (Manfred hasn’t changed that one, yet) so you have to take it on the chin, be positive about the next game and get behind the team.
The next game for us is a day-game on Saturday at the Coliseum, so a 9.07pm start in the UK. Coverage is on MLB.TV with a subscription (worth noting that tomorrow’s game at the same time is the MLB Free Game). I may even do a pre-game livestream to try to rally the troops! Keep an eye on Twitter for confirmation.