Tonight was the first game of a four game series against the Toronto Blue Jays and the starting pitchers in this matchup were Ricky Romero and Trevor Cahill. A matchup between two of the better starting pitchers in Major League Baseball.
Even with a good matchup of pitchers A's manager Bob Melvin had a touch decision to make on who to start at catcher, but the reality is it should have been an easy decision to make even though Kurt Suzuki had a two homerun game was involved in the game ending play at the plate the day before. Landon Powell should have been starting for the A's tonight.
As it is night and day for Cahill with Powell behind the plate. This season Powell has caught Cahill 11 times and in those games his numbers look like this: 77.2 innings, 23 runs with 20 earned, has a 2.32 ERA, has given up 71 hits, 9 doubles, 7 homeruns, allowed 5 steals with 4 being caught, has struck out 60 and walked 23, opponents are hitting .247 with a .304 OBP and he's induced 8 double plays.
With Suzuki behind the plate in 15 games excluding tonight's game Cahill's numbers look like this: 83 innings pitched, 50 runs with 49 earned, has given up 85 hits, 18 doubles, a triple, 7 homers, allowed 20 stolen bases with 2 getting caught, he has struckout 58 while walking 43, opponents are hitting .264 against him with an OBP of .352 and has induced 3 double plays.
Melvin went with Suzuki catching Cahill tonight and his line for the night was 5.1 innings, 9 hits, 7 runs all earned and struckout 2 while walking 2. Cahill created a jam for himself in the second inning but was able to get out of it without much damage allowing one run, but it was the beginning of the end for Cahill.
He did have a quick third inning, but what has been at the forefront of most of his starts with Suzuki reared it's ugly head again. That was leaving the ball up in the zone and the Blue Jays are a good offensive team and that led to a three run inning including a two-run shot by Colby Rasmus.
Cahill allowed another run to score in the fifth and in the sixth he struggled again recording only one out in the inning before being removed from the game and two additional runs scored for the seven runs that Cahill gave up.
With the consistent struggles with Cahill and Suzuki working together behind the plate, Melvin has an easy call to make. For the rest of the season Powell should be starting when Cahill is pitching as the numbers prove it and Cahill doesn't have the issue of leaving the ball up with Powell behind the plate.