Moneybags took the opening game of the series last night owing to some shoddy pitching in the first two innings:
First and foremost among the reasons for Oakland’s 9-2 loss was ace righty Rich Harden’s worst start of the year. He took the mound on time at about 7:05 p.m., but he didn’t really start pitching until 7:30 or so.
Harden, who was 7-1 in his previous nine starts, gave up six earned runs on eight hits in the first two innings of a game that felt an awful lot like Mark Mulder’s implosion in the penultimate game of the 2004 season, complete with uncharacteristic defensive failings by a typically surehanded defense.
“It was one of those days,” Harden said, “where anything and everything that could go wrong, did.”
That’s OK, Zito goes tonight and he’s untouchable. The A’s were playing like they had playoff jitters last night, so it’s good to get that out of the system. While they’re a very talented team, they are a bit young and inexperienced. When you have four legitimate contenders for Rookie of the Year, stuff is gonna happen.