Billy’s a genius

Face it, that’s what everybody was thinking last night, right. Sean Gallagher dazzles the Angels in the opener of a series showdown. Matt Murton makes a great catch and adds a two-run single.

Nothing to it for Mr. Beane, huh.

Hey, I loved what I saw from Gallagher. Kids threw hard. Seemed to have the “I’m in control, here” demanor that you like to see from your starter. And he seemed to have an idea what he was doing. But before we go overly crazy, let’s remember that he’s facing a new league with little information on him. Let’s give him four or five starts, including a couple against the same team, before we hail this traded as a runaway success.

Murton, meantime, already moves toward the top of the A’s outfield chart, at least as far as defense goes. No reason ever to have Jack Cust out there or even Emil Brown if it can be helped. Murton was able to cover some ground and seems to know what he’s doing when he’s tracking the ball, unlike the two players mentioned above. Not sure how well he will hit, and obviously, he’ll need to contribute offensively. But better outfield defense makes an outstanding pitching staff that much better.

By the way, noticed a stat last night that indicated the A’s team ERA trails only their 1990 mark for their best before the All-Star break. It was generated on Comcast, and since A’s expert David Feldman is usually in charge of those, I imagine that’s accurate.




  • Matt


    Why do you think Gaudin was included in the trade?
    He seems to be a better fit for the A’s rotation than Blanton…

    Any thoughts?

  • Jason

    Nice start to his A’s career by Sean Gallagher. He throws alot harder than I thought. If he can hold down a rotation spot, then this trade will look a lot better. However, if he turns out to be just a middle relief pitcher, then the trade will not be so favorable. Another benefit, as you mention, is that we should not have to see Cust in the outfield anymore, and thank God. Murton should get plenty of reps out there to keep Cust in the dugout. Nuff’ said.

  • ss396

    Gallagher had a good performance, almost like Hardin, but we already had Hardin. Merton looked fine defensively, but his hitting looks like it needs a lot of work.
    The A’s have bigger issues. They sent the wrong first baseman to the minors to make room for Merton. I’m a little concerned about Houston Street. He gets deep in counts to a lot of hitters and then makes a mistake. Chavez and Crosby are perpetually injured and the A’s don’t have strong backups at either position.

  • Jan K Oski

    Hold the presses! The A’s have players named Chavez and Crosby? Get out off town! I learn something new everyday. Don’t worry about 3rd and SS, they’ll be attended to in future trades. If Haren trade is any indication, Duch could net both positions plus a developed pitcher. Time will tell.

    Barton is the future at 1st Base. Have you ever heard of the Sophomore blues? Let’s not forget that he was the only clear bright spot for the youngsters last year. Still, Murton will be sent to AAA, once Sweeney returns from his finger dislocation, and your ‘right’ first baseman will be back.

    “Don’t worry, be happy!”

  • ss396

    I thought Bankston earned a chance to stay in the majors and get more at bats after what he did in a starting role at first base.

    Barton has nearly 300 at bats this season and is hitting about .220. That seems like a fair shot at representing what he can do right now. With the current A’s offense, we can’t afford another .220 hitter, especially at first base. He may be the future, but right now it’s time to go to the minors and work on his hitting and defense.

  • Jan K Oski

    If BA is so significant to you, should Bankston replace Cust? Unfortunately, in Beanetown Barton’s .330 OBP gives hope. Barton’s .330 OBP is better than Brown’s (.292), Gonzo’s (.293), Murphy’s (.270). Should those players be demoted? Yes, the OBP is 100 points lower than his numbers last year, but again, this is called the Sophomore jinx. The other teams know how to pitch to him, and the 2nd half will tell if Barton adjust. 300 AB might look a lot to a novice, but the batter haven’t faced the same pitchers more than 10 AB. If Barton doesn’t adjust, he’ll be on a short string next year, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Now, if you were talking about Petit v. Murphy, we’d be in agreement. I know .220 isn’t good, but Donnie is still hitting .180. Now, that one is unacceptable in baseball circles. I know Petit needs to improve on the field and lower his Ks to ABs, but he appears to be the future. Perhaps, the coaches are sending a message that you want them to send to Barton, but unfortunately, you and I are seating in the outside, and we don’t know the psychology of the two. Time will tell, if the A’s have the right assessment.

    Can I hear a “Let’s go Oakland”?

  • Bee

    Yes, at least so far, Billy appears once again to be a genius. I certainly liked Gallagher’s first outing in the green and gold. He has great movement on his pitches and good control. I hope he can continue that way for the rest of the season.

    Murton was a pleasant surprise. Even though Cust has improved in left field, a Murton, Gonzalez, Sweeney outfield would be outstanding on defense. Their offense numbers need to improve though. Cust can hold down the DH slot for now.

    As for Barton, we saw what he is capable of last September. He can get back there. Jan is right, it is the sophomore jinx. Maybe he should play winter ball in 2009 just to work on finding and grooving his swing.

    Bankston will get his chance, especially if he can play one or more of the other infield slots. His bat certainly was impressive. But I think Barton deserves to try to work out his offensive woes, at least for the forseeable future. We’ll see Bankston again in September.

    Finally, I, too, am concerned about Huston Street. He’s blown a lot of saves in the last month. We should have won the last Angels game. That one really hurt. The last time Huston pitched like this he went on the DL shortly thereafter. Maybe he’s hurt and won’t admit it.

  • ss396

    Barton had 72 at bats in 2007. I don’t think that qualifies him for a sophomore jinx in 2008. Hopefully he turns into something, but he is starting to remind me of a poor man’s Ben Grieve.

  • Bee

    Matt, It appears no one answered your question about Gaudin being part of the Hardin trade. The scuttlebut I hear is that the Cubs wanted him in case Hardin gets hurt, an insurance policy of sorts.