Tonight’s pitching matchup is a perfect example of why you have to be insane to bet on baseball. The proverbial wisdom goes, “You’re only as good as your starting pitcher.” While in most cases, this holds true, sometimes you’re better than you’re starting pitcher, and sometimes you’re worse.
Kei Igawa’s debut in pinstripes was an unmitigated disaster (5IP, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 HBP and an error to boot). Yet, the Yanks won behind 7 runs in the final two innings, including A-Rod’s walk-off bomb.
Dan Haren, on the other hand, has allowed 1 earned run over 13 innings in his first two starts, and picked up two losses. Seems almost impossible.
I’m pretty excited for tonight’s game in Oakland, mainly because I’m going through withdrawal after an off day for both the Yanks and the Sixers. Also, because I love West Coast trips. I’m a night owl by nature, and when the Yanks play on the left coast it means I’m able to watch the games free of any kind of distraction.
In a nutshell: Kei Igawa’s control, or lack there of, is going to be a huge key to this game. The A’s are built on the Moneyball principles that they basically invented. Take walks, don’t steal, don’t bunt, don’t give away outs. They’ll make Igawa work, and if his first start is any indication of future performance, it’s going to be a long night.
Haren is an ace in the making, but righties don’t match up well with this Yanks lineup. I don’t expect Haren to last past the sixth. If Igawa can hold the A’s lineup under 5 runs I think the Yanks will break through the A’s pen and win the game.
Keys to the game: Igawa is going to be facing an A’s lineup stacked with righties. Eric Chavez will probably be the only lefty in the lineup. He needs to find a way to throw strikes and get righties out. Mike Piazza, DH’ing and batting cleanup, is off to a quick start (.350), but the A’s have had trouble scoring runs.