0

A dozen innings in 36 hours for bullpen, but situation not dire

Drew Pomeranz threw the 12th inning for the win Thursday and could be ready to pitch again Friday.

Drew Pomeranz threw the 12th inning for the win Thursday and could be ready to pitch again Friday.

In the space of 36 hours, the A’s have played 30 innings of baseball.

The good news is that the club has won two of three games, including Thursday’s 3-2 win over Oakland on the strength of Coco Crisp’s first-ever walkoff homer, a solo shot to start the bottom of the 11th inning.

The bad news is that they’ve had to use a ton of relief pitching. The A’s got six almost-perfect innings of relief Thursday, four A’s relievers combining to allow one hit and one walk.

That’s as many innings as the bullpen had to work in Wednesday’s day/night doubleheader against the Indians. The question now is how the bullpen sets up for Game 2 of the A’s-Mariners series Friday.

The answer is that even after those 12 innings of bullpen work, the relievers aren’t in bad shape. It seems unlikely that the A’s will feel pressured into bringing up some relief help for Friday, which will see Dan Straily get his first start of the season.

Winning pitcher Drew Pomeranz, the long man, only threw one inning Wednesday and another Thursday. Fernando Abad contributed two innings Thursday (none Wednesday) and only threw 24 pitches, so he could have an inning in his left arm.

It’s up in the air if Luke Gregerson (1.1 innings Wednesday and one inning Thursday) will be available, but Evan Scribner faced just one batter Wednesday and should be fine.

On top of that, Dan Otero, who closed out the first game Wednesday, and Jim Johnson, who blew the save in the second game Wednesday, didn’t pitch at all and should be available.

Such is the glory of having a seven-man bullpen, most of whom have started the season smoothly.

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.