Even though the bullpen collapsed in the bottom of the ninth, the starting pitcher sure was good.
After an offseason where they lost many solid pitchers, the A’s needed to rebuild a strong starting rotation. They signed some new faces, such as the so far very solid Scott Kazmir, and are working to keep their pitching at a premium. So far that goal has been achieved, with the pitching being very strong through this first part of the season, and Chavez is aiding to the equation. His opening start, as well as his strong outing this afternoon, proved that he is not only ready to step up and be a full time starter, but he is also thrive while doing so.
Last year, Chavez was met with understandable doubt. After one very strong outing, he struggled at times, and was a rather mediocre reliever. He posted a 3.92 ERA over 35 games and 57 innings pitched. Those numbers are nothing impressive, and don’t really scream major league starter.
However, pitching has always been the namesake in Oakland, and it appears that both Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin seem to know once again what they are doing. This afternoon,Chavez went seven strong innings, allowing six hits, no walks, one run and striking out nine batters. Those are very good numbers from a pitcher who is now just coming into his own.
Despite the initial doubts, Chavez appears to be a great addition to the strong Athletics pitching staff, especially if he can keep up his numbers throughout the year.