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.