BOSTON — As is often the case, when the Red Sox and the A's meet, Dennis Eckersley is likely to show up.
And such was the case Friday night when the longtime Boston starter and Oakland reliever (and Hall of Famer) dropped by Fenway Park to take in the game.
And while Eckersley can wax eloquently about any number of topics, what he wanted to talk about was the Oakland offense.
Now a regular broadcaster with Boston's NESN and TBS, he had the night off. But he can't help analyzing. And he was enthralled with the way the A's took apart Yu Darvish on Monday in Texas.
"Everybody in the lineup was 3-2, everybody,'' he said. "How do you do that?''
In fact, it was eight of the 18 batters Darvish faced who force him to go to three balls and two strikes, including seven of the game's first 10 hitters. Darvish got just 10 outs and needed 83 pitches to do it. The A's won the game 4-0 with Sonny Gray throwing a three-hitter.
"It's the best approach by an offense I've seen yet this year,'' Eckersley said. "How do you lay off all those pitches? Nobody does it like that. And they do it to the best pitcher in baseball.
"That was the best game I've seen this year from an offense. It was a clinic on how to hit. How would you want an offense to do better than that?''
Eckersley is also a big fan of Gray, who will pitch the finale of the Oakland-Boston series Sunday.
"Gray, he's got that something,'' Eckersley said. "he gets a ground ball on a high fastball. How do you do that?
"He's got a hammer (curve) that he'll throw at any time. He's got so much movement on the ball. It goes all over the place. And he can bring it with gas.''