Roddy Lopez looked pretty good - a lot of the A's hitters took him deep into the count, and worked him with foul balls and things of that nature. His pitch count was probably 10 or so higher than it would've been normally pitching the same.
Blez at A's Nation noticed the same problems with the home plate ump that I did, but I thought he was relatively consistent so I don't know that it changed the game much. Zito simply wasn't hitting his spots all that well, and his curve wasn't on. He hung a few of them, including the homer to Matos. His changeup looked good for the most part, and he wasn't bad, but he's the type of guy that lives on location and his out pitch, and he didn't have either really on-point today.
But Zito could've been near-flawless and the A's likely would have lost the game, because they took themselves out of inning after inning by failing to start off with men on base. They ended up with two outs so quickly the majority of the game that they never really had a chance to do any damage.
We got a look at our big three in the pen, and Julio looked comfortable in the setup role. I'm hoping that Julio and Ryan switching jobs will be good for both of them, and Kline (whose hat is way too clean for my liking yet) is just there to assist and boost.
Sosa got some great ovations and two tough singles, and I'm happy he started off with a solid game. The biggest moment of fear in the game came in the ninth when Mora did a strange Carney Lansford-esque dive and banged his knees into the dirt. I was also sad to see Crosby's wrist bother him and take him out of the game. That commercial where he picks up a babe is good stuff.
Five points of enjoyment:
- Nick Swisher's bellyflop attempt at catching a fly ball. It was a good play for a ball that wasn't caught; two out and he had to try and make the catch with Bigbie scoring whether he missed it totally or fielded it on the hop. He was well short, not hurt, and therefore it was funny.
- Scutaro's insanely high throw to first trying to get Sosa on a grounder in the hole. Off the brick, back to Hatteberg, E-6.
- There was trash blowing all over the field because of the wind the entire game. I don't remember what inning it was, but a hot dog wrapper or something went past the mound between pitches, and Zito picks it up and puts it in his back pocket.
- The Lopez/Crosby battle that ended with a slider for the K.
- Miguel Tejada's adventurous catch of a routine pop to short.
It was a fun Opening Day game - I'm sure A's fans would disagree, but I'm not one of them.
Other stuff from the games I watched:
- Oliver Perez is tremendously entertaining.
- Da Meat Hook going deep three times was pretty great. It was most certainly not Lima Time.
- The Tigers commentators are nuts this year. "You don't want to walk Dmitri Young to get to Rondell White!" You'd think they were talking about Ruth and Gehrig or the Big Red Machine the way they were going on about how great the lineup is.
- The Royals are awful.
- The Diamondbacks might still be worse. Javier Vazquez is just a wreck.