Well, so much for seven scoreless. Rich Harden’s first six pitches were out of the strike zone, and if that doesn’t spell a bad omen, nothing will. Thus, the first inning evolved exactly as you might expect. The bad news for A’s fans: Harden surrendered two runs to put his team in a hole against Kenny Rogers. The good news for A’s fans: Could’ve been much worse, because the Tigers had a run in, runners at first and second and no out.
From there, Harden worked his way out of it. A fielder’s choice ground out by Magglio Ordonez and a 3-6-1 double play by Carlos Guillen minimized the damage. Harden then flipped the ball in disgust toward the mound, and you couldn’t blame him. For the a’s, it’s all uphill from here.