Sunday, February 14, 2010

A's of the Decade: Starting Rotation & Closer

Starters: Tim Hudson (1999-2004); Barry Zito (2000-2006); Mark Mulder (2000-2004) and Dan Haren (2005-2007)

Closer: Huston Street (2005-2008)

Summary: Hudson was the ace of those beer league A's teams in the first half of the decade. During his six years in Oakland, he posted a .702 winning percentage (92-39). Hudson was traded to Atlanta for three sacks of crap. Zito won 102 games with the A's and picked up the AL Cy Young Award in 2002. He was never that good again, but Zito parlayed that dusty trophy into a $125 million free agent deal from the Giants.

Mulder went 81-42 over five seasons in Oakland. Unfortunately, he's remembered mostly for an inexplicable collapse at the end of the 2004 season when he put up a 7.28 ERA over his last 10 starts and all but single-handedly cost the A's a playoff berth. Coincidentally, Haren came over in the trade that sent Mark Mulder to St. Louis. Haren won 14, 14 and 15 games during his three seasons with the A's.

Street makes the list simply by not being Octavio Dotel or Billy Koch. He was solid over his first three seasons (2.58 ERA), shaky in his last year, but still recorded 94 saves with the A's.

Favorite A's Moment: If I had to pick just one moment, it would have to be the
final game of the 2000 season. Tim Hudson went eight innings, striking out ten, as the A's defeated the Rangers 3-0 and – with the win – won the American League West for the first time in eight years. The silver medal goes to Barry Zito's start against the Rangers on July 15, 2005. M'man Vig and I were at the Coliseum that evening and watched Zito throw no-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings before a Kevin Mench home run broke it up.

Runners-Up: Rich Harden, Keith Foulke

Worst of the Decade: Kirk Saarloos, Octavio Dotel


SHough610 said...

Huston Street over Keith Foulke? Really?

That Bootleg Guy said...

I took another look and I'm OK with Street over Foulke.

Foulke had a monster 2003 season, but Street's 2005-2007 stretch was very, very good. The difference between the two during their years in Oakland wasn't stark enough to pick Foulke over Street, IMO.

Troy said...

Aww come on Saarloos wasn't that bad. He had a pretty good year in 2005, ended up being the best #5 in baseball with his ERA just above 4.

That Bootleg Guy said...

We'll have to agree to disagree on Saarloos, Troy. His 54 walks and 53 strikeouts in 160 innings didn't do it for me and neither did his 1.403 WHIP.

Nice guy, great story, but he milked that 10-win season for two more disastrous stints in Oakland.