If the A's lose Friday night to fall to 2-3, they will have lost to Randy Johnson, Gil Meche, and Felix Hernandez. Which of these things is not like the other?
Even though the A's weren't facing any future Hall-of-Famers, the A's got outpitched by the Mariners on Thursday night, and lost 6-2, in a rather uninteresting game. The A's made Gil Meche throw a lot of pitches, especially in the first few innings, but Meche had good stuff. Just because you work the count well, doesn't necessarily mean you're going to hit the ball well. And just because you get into the opposing bullpen early, doesn't mean you'll take advantage of it. The Mariners pen did a good job tonight.
Esteban Loaiza was unimpressive. He left all sorts of pitches floating over the middle of the plate, and the Mariners made the him pay.
So I'll credit Seattle, but refrain from drawing conclusions. I've felt rather pessimistic about the quality of Seattle's pitching beyond Hernandez. I still have my doubts as to how often the Mariners can pitch like they did tonight. And I also doubt Loaiza will pitch this poorly very often. But if I'm wrong, and tonight is a sign of things to come, it will be quite a different AL West race than anyone expected.