By Joe Stiglich
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 at 4:42 pm in 2011 regular season.
If A’s fans want a silver lining from Friday’s opening night debacle, here it is: Catcher Kurt Suzuki is back in the lineup despite his sprained left ankle. Suzuki tested the ankle by doing agility drills and taking some swings this afternoon, and the training staff cleared him to play. He said the pain was manageable, so he’s back in there hitting sixth. “They said it can’t get worse,” Suzuki said. “Once they said it can’t get worse, as long as I can handle the pain …”
–Same lineup as last night for the A’s:
Crisp CF, Barton 1B, DeJesus RF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.
Mariners: Ichiro RF, Figgins 3B, Bradley LF, Cust DH, Smoak 1B, Ryan SS, Wilson 2B, Saunders CF, Moore C; Vargas LHP.
–The A’s five errors last night set an Oakland record for opening day. They committed four in last year’s opener, also a loss to Seattle at home. Coincidence? First-game jitters? I don’t expect the defense to be nearly that bad throughout the season. But the A’s need reliever Craig Breslow to be better than he was last night (3 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk in 2/3 IP). Breslow was limited in spring training because of a hamstring injury. And remember, as good as Breslow was last season, he got off to a rocky start in April after being limited last spring because of an elbow injury.
–Brett Anderson, tonight’s starting pitcher, made five starts against the Mariners last season and allowed just three earned runs in 33 2/3 innings.