I was at the game tonight, and I really enjoyed it. These are the types of games that I love to watch, and don't really mind losing so much. Both pitchers were great. Colon was throwing heat with good control. The A's had some pretty good at bats against him (except Durazo, who looks lost up there right now), but every hard hit ball was right at somebody.
Zito's changeup tonight had more movement on it than I've ever seen. His changeups have always looked pretty straight to me before. Maybe I just had a different angle on it from where I sat tonight, but the changeup I saw tonight had a wicked tail on it, moving down and away from right-handed batters. Darn near looked like a screwball.
Zito also threw his curveball for a strike on (I believe) the second pitch of the game. If he can establish early that he can throw the curve for strikes, so they can't just sit on a fastball, he'll usually have a good game. That's what happened tonight.
Zito's offspeed stuff was so good tonight that he threw very few fastballs. Except, oddly enough, to Vladimir Guerrero. In one at-bat in the sixth inning, Zito challenged Vlad with nothing but high heat. Guerrero eyes seemed to light up, he swung out of his shoes, but came up empty each time. I love at-bats like that: I'm gonna give you exactly what you want, and we'll see if you can hit it. That's juicy fun.
A game like tonight where both pitchers have their best stuff will usually be decided by some lucky break. The Angels got the break tonight, when Eric Chavez couldn't come up with a hot smash in the seventh which scored the winning run. With K-Rod waiting, that's all they really needed, although they added some insurance in the ninth off Juan Cruz, who has not impressed thus far.
The A's really need Rich Harden to have a good game tomorrow. You don't want to have to depend on Kirk Saarloos to keep from getting swept, do you? Didn't think so.