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ST12: Rangers roll over A’s on Wednesday, 9-2

Dallas Braden is a guy I liked last year. Yeah, he pitched for the A’s, but that team has a lot of young pitching that’s quite good. QUITE good. Braden was one of them. I’ve drafted Braden (along with Trevor Cahill) on a few of my fantasy leagues. However, this game, Braden was NOT a guy I wanted to draft.
His line was pretty bad. In his 2.2 innings of work, he gave up six hits and a walk. Five runs, three earned. 59 pitches – yeah, not good. The Rangers teed off on him. I still think he’s a good pitcher – even the best guys have the occasional bad outing. Not that Braden’s “the best”, but it’s not uncommon when the date in March is a single digit.
Our old pal Brandon McCarthy threw against us, and had the best outing of any of the A’s pitchers this day. He too went three innings, gave up four hits and a run with no walks. A lot of pitches though (54). Still, his bottom line was better than any other Oakland pitcher. Oh, and Blevins gave up three late in his one inning of work.
None of that compared to Texas pitching. Derek Holland started, and nailed it – he had a great performance. He too went three innings, but gave up just two hits. That’s it. No runs, no walks, and punched out four. Only 37 pitches, so he was fairly efficient too. Gotta love that. In a spring where so much was made (at least nationally) about us not having Cliff Lee, several of our guys (Holland, Matt Harrison for starters) are having really good springs. It’d be nice if this is real, and not just a mirage, as it’s time (get it – last year’s slogan – ha) for these guys to be what they can be. “They’re just young guys” isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Offensively, we had a lot of things going on, but not a ton of power. Of the 14 hits overall, three doubles (Young, Torrealba, & Chavez) and a home run (Napoli) were it. Four of the guys had two hits, and the rest were scattered all over the lineup. Even three of the late inning subs got in on the fun, too.
But for me, the best thing of this game was Derek Holland. Man do I hope this is real and not just a spring training mirage. There even was a separate article on mlb.com about Holland and his spring. Check that out, too.