The Oakland Athletics look to salvage one game in this season-opening three game set as they send out Gio Gonzalez to face Doug Fister. The A’s dropped the opening game of this series 6-2 to Felix Hernandez and lost last night 5-2 to Jason Vargas. Both losses were due in large part to bullpen struggles.
Gonzalez is coming off a 2010 campaign in which he had career highs in virtually every pitching category. He threw a team-leading 200.2 innings and led starters with a 7.97 K/9 ratio, while finishing 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA. He had some bumps early on but finished strong, including a dominant August in which he posted a 1.98 ERA. He’ll look to carry over that momentum into 2011.
The A’s starting pitching has been fairly solid thus far, albeit putting up some high pitch counts. The problem thus far has been primarily the much vaunted bullpen, with a side of fielding. Of course, throw in a fairly anemic offense early on and it’s struggles all around. We’ll see if the A’s can break out today.
Make sure and also check out Athletics Nation for in-depth A’s discussion as we close out this weekend series.