Hi Everybody — before getting into the nitty-gritty of the recap, I want to just take a second and indulge myself with an introduction. I'm the newest addition to the AN front page crew, and I'll be doing previews, gamethreads, and recaps on Tuesdays starting on 4/9. There's some more info on my SB Nation profile page in the unlikely event that anybody's interested, but for now I just want to say that I'm excited to be up on the AN front page and I'm really looking forward to the 2013 season!
Now, back to business. The A's played a game today! Let's discuss, first with a quick play-by-play recap, pretty much just the scoring plays. Don't worry, these will be more detailed during the regular season.
1st Inning: With two outs, Josh Reddick triples on a fly ball to right field off of Cleveland starter Zach McAllister. Yoenis Cespedes follows with a walk, and Brandon Moss doubles to left, scoring Reddick. Yoenis later finds his way home on a wild pitch. 2-0 Oakland.
4th Inning: Ryan Raburn homers to right field. 3-2 Cleveland.
5th Inning: A Michael Choice single and an Eric Sogard double led to Cespedes hitting with a run in and one baserunner. Yoenis subsequently takes a hanging curveball and crushes it to left. In the bottom half, Anderson gets a 1-2-3 inning. 5-3 A's.
9th Inning: Travis Blackley comes on in relief for Oakland and allows three consecutive singles, scoring a run and leaving runners at the corners. Cleveland's Jose Ramirez then scores on a Blackley wild pitch. 5-5, and instead of a tie we're going to extras!
10th Inning: Hiroyuki Nakajima singles! And then leaves the game with a hamstring injury while advancing to 2nd base on a bunt. The newest Athletic, Nate Freiman, gets hit by a pitch, followed by a Daric Barton RBI single. Luke Montz draws a bases-loaded walk, wrapping up the scoring. 7-5 A's.
In the bottom, Blackley allows a run on a double, a walk, and a few groundouts. The Indians came close but couldn't extend their last-gasp rally, which left us with the final score of Oakland 7, Cleveland 6.
Lots of thoughts on this game, but I'll try to be brief.
This was probably Hiro's best game of spring training - he made two nice defensive plays before his base hit, but alas, that's baseball. The infield situation is getting pretty clear, though. With Weeks in Sacramento, Adam Rosales on the DL, and Hiro Nakajima either injured, out of the running, or both, it seems like Eric Sogard and Scott Sizemore are good bets to make the roster, probably along with Nate Freiman. Interesting.
Yoenis Cespedes looked shaky at the beginning of spring, but not anymore. Not at all. Well, OK, he was charged with an error today, but still. He'll be fine.
Anderson's line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, and 1 BB. Not a fantastic start but he didn't get hit all that hard on a few of those 6.
The bullpen looked pretty solid, with the exception of Blackley. Scribner faced two batters and got two outs, Balfour had a perfect inning, and Norberto allowed only one hit en route to his own scoreless frame. Blackley, though, gave up four hits and three runs over two innings. Not his best effort - he has a roster spot locked up, but he sure hasn't done a lot to earn it this March.
Now, the infield. What is Eric Sogard eating for breakfast? I want some of whatever it is. He was 1-for-3 today and his ST average stands at an even .500.
Josh Donaldson, in a beautiful example of the sample sizes we deal with during spring training, bumped his batting average up to .320 with a two-hit outing.
Most importantly, we're one day closer to Opening Night at the Coliseum. The A's take on the Rockies tomorrow in their final Cactus League game before coming to the Bay Area for three games against that team that also happens to play in the Bay Area.