Two ways to look at the debut of Dan Meyer, the A’s starter who remains the only player left from the Tim Hudson deal to winters ago.
1: It was doomed to failure after Jack Cust dropped a routine fly ball on the game’s very first hitter. Meyer was probably amped up more than normal anyway, because it was his first start in the majors, and it’s taken him two years of overcoming injuries to get there. Meyer is also an intelligent guy, so it no doubt weighs on him at some level that for there to be any good at all to the Hudson deal, he has to succeed. The spotlight is on him more so than other players that first come up, and you combined all those emotions, and usually the first inning becomes the toughest. Cust’s error was a brutal way to start — two hands for beginners, Jack — and as it turned out, the two-run homer by Emil Brown that made it 4-0 would not have taken place had Cust caught the ball.
2. Meyer should’ve simply shrugged off Cust’s gaffe and gotten back to making pitches. As my boss told me last night, had Meyer done that very thing it sure would’ve shown a lot, and that’s a very good point. Meyer himself offered up that sentiment saying that “if you let something like that affect you, you’re going to have a short career.” That is true, but knowing you should do something and actually doing something is often a line that needs to be negotiated a few times before you get a handle on it.
Overall, I thought Meyer’s debut was typical. Some good things ruined by more than a few mistakes. One start is not nearly enough to get an accurate reading. Let’s see what he can do when his defense shows up behind him.