Happy Pi day, everybody. May the 2013 season see even more pi than 2012! Er, pie.
This recap is broken up into a brief play-by-play synopsis (only the scoring plays), then analysis and general musings from the game. Feel free to skip the play-by-play as always, I know that some people just don't have it in them to care about the minutiae of a Thursday afternoon Cactus League game.
- 1st Inning: Ian Kinsler reaches on a Hiroyuki Nakajima throwing error. Elvis Andrus follows with a single to left. Both Kinsler and Andrus score on sacrifice flies to Yoenis Cespedes in left field, and that was that. 2-0 Texas.
- 3rd Inning: Leonis Martin walks, and then Kinsler and Andrus hit back-to-back doubles. Two runs score. 4-0 Texas.
- 5th Inning: Josh Reddick takes a 1-0 pitch from Randy Wells and hits it over the fence in right field. 4-1 Texas.
- 6th Inning: Sean Doolittle gives up a one-out double to David Murphy, who later scores on a Mitch Moreland single. 5-1 Texas.
- 7th Inning: With Hideki Okajima pitching, Leonys Martin and Jeff Baker lead off the the inning with back-to-back singles. Yangervis Solarte makes it three in a row, scoring Martin. Okajima recovers to get 3 quick outs, but the Rangers add a run. 6-1 Texas.
- 9th Inning: Grant Green singles, advances to second on defensive indifference, and scores on a Michael Taylor single! Baseball is a funny game. 6-2 Texas.
For your viewing pleasure, the breakdowns are broken up into positive, negative, and neutral occurrences. Here we go:
The Good: Josh Reddick hit a home run. That's good. I'm hoping to see some more walks and doubles out of Josh in 2013, even if they come at the expense of home runs. Having an OBP of .305 just isn't going to cut it with this team no matter how many home runs you hit.
Pedro Figueroa threw two scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th, and Mike Ekstrom threw two perfect innings, getting six outs on balls in play.
The Meh: Sean Doolittle allowed one run on two hits in 1.0 innings of work. He recorded two strikeouts. Good to see the K's, and hopefully the shutdown innings will come in the regular season. For now, I'll take it.
The Ugly: Concern is really starting to mount regarding Hiro Nakajima's ability to be a productive, everyday MLB shortstop in 2013. Today he made a throwing error on the first play of the game. Whoops.
Dan Straily gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 3.0 innings today. He walked one, gave up three hits, saw another runner reach on an error, and struck out three batters. In his defense, there were two defensive errors that made life tough for him, hence the two unearned runs.
Scott Sizemore struck out twice today. He also, in his three at-bats, left SEVEN runners on base. I was hoping that Weeks and Sizemore would both play great in the Cactus League, making the decision for a starting 2B very difficult for the front office. Unfortunately, as of right now it's difficult for the opposite reasons.
If two hits in an inning is "meh", three hits probably pushes it to "ugly". So Hideki Okajima's three-hit, one run 7th inning goes here.
Overall: A disappointing performance from the A's, both offensively and defensively. Three key middle infielders — Nakajima, Sizemore, and Weeks — were unimpressive today, especially the first two. It was nice to see Reddick go yard, and I'm sure Straily will be fine, but I think that some time at Sacramento will be good for him at the beginning of the season. Doolittle looked shaky, too. This is just one of those games where you have to remind yourself that it's only Spring Training. On that note, Opening Night is in 18 days! In the less-distant future, the A's play the "Diamondbacks", a.k.a. the Athletics of the past 5 years, tomorrow at 1:10 PT at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Remember to read all of today's fanpost recaps and rec' your favorite!