Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

It isn't that I plan to dump on Jesse Litsch's fine outing. Litsch did a great job moving his pitches around the (generous) zone, getting backwards K after backwards K. He only gave up 6 hits and 2 walks, a great start indeed. Credit to both him and JPA for keeping the A's hitters off-balance.

That said, when the A's batters did manage to get their bats on Jesse's offerings, MAN did they hit him hard. Much like Jo-Jo Reyes the night before, Litsch surrendered as many line drives (6) as he did ground balls (6). While Reyes took it upon himself to boost Travis Snider's UZR and arm scores, Jesse Litsch might just win Rajai Davis a Fielding Bible award. Stinging liner right to Rajai Davis in centerfield becomes a great over the shoulder catch. Long shot to the gap, Davis runs it down in the most spectacular manner possible.

Davis nearly made another great catch but, I feel, fell victim to the video boards in the gap and lost it off the end of his glove. Missing one liner is okay as Davis well on his way to fulfilling Parkes' prophecy and becoming your favorite baseball player, likely ever.

A dangerous game to play but Jesse Litsch played it very, very well last night. He did exactly what Jesse Litsch needs to do: scatter the hitters, avoid walks at all costs, keep the ball in the ballpark. I'll take a few ringing doubles if the strikeouts outnumber the walks, every time.

Speaking of strikeouts, Marc "Led Rzeplin" Rzepczynski pitched OFF HIS ASS last night. 6 batters faced, three strikeouts, another broken bat, two broken bats, one infield pop fly, no hits surrendered. It was awesome, even more awesome than David Purcey's outing the previous day. It is a good time to be a GROFavorite.

Almost as awesome as the manner in which manager John Farrell used Rzepczynski. "Fuck a save", the manager was (not) quoted as saying after the game. Anytime I'm only asked to buckle up for a two-out Rauchride, I'm on board.

AP Photo courtesy of Daylife.


  1. Rzepczynski is Polish for "I will smash your fucking bat into toothpicks." Look it up.

  2. Jesse > Jo-Jo.

    And Rajai Davis forever.

  3. Is that the changeup grip in the photo? Of something else?

  4. That is indeed a changeup grip. I'm as confused as you are.

  5. circle change i think.

  6. It wasn't so hard to give Litsch a small compliment, was it?

  7. Nope. He pitched like a man.

  8. I thought I saw some changeups too but I just assumed they were sliders. PitchFX confirms he threw 11 changeups and 18 sliders at 82 and 85 mph. For all the talk of noodle armedness, he reached 91 on both his sinker and four seamer.

  9. It's a pretty standard circle change grip, no?

  10. Noisy Flowers, if Rzep > Jesse > Jo-Jo then Rzep would be starting and not relieving.

    If you mean that Rzep has a higher ceiling?
    Well perhaps but potential and a $1.50 will get you a small coffee at Timmys!

    Drew, for what is ostensibly a positive piece on Litsch's actual accomplishments (instead of focusing on his perceived potential or lack there of) there is only one paragraph and a sentence and half of actual praise.

    The rest of it is back handed compliments and more man love for Rzep (justifiable).

    Still, I acknowledge the commencement of your long march from the abyss of cynical Litsch-centered prognostication.

    Baby steps bro, baby steps!


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