Today's game wasn't real. It looked like, sounded like, and had the shape of a real baseball game, but it didn't count. The standings didn't change and we didn't gain or lose ground on anyone. Yet due to our winter-long baseball fast we have a collective urge to apply meaning to each day's contest. I say we indulge these urges as we search for meaning in a meaningless game.
The Oakland starting lineup featured 8 right-handed hitters, and Daric Barton (who has the splits of a righty) to face left-hander Jorge De La Rosa. The barrage of righties included presumptive cactus league MVP Michael Choice, Addison Russell, Hiro, and Adam Rosales who was proving just how versitile he can be by starting in left field.
De La Rosa was opposed by everyone's 2nd favorite bespectacled Athletic A.J. Griffin who looked sharp in his 3 innings of work. He was getting ahead of batters and throwing that big looping curve for strikes. The only real blemish on Griffin's day was a solo home run from Rockies' top prospect Nolan Arenado. Griffin finished with a line of 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, no walks, and 1 K; he threw 48 pitches, 39 of them for strikes.
The A's first three offensive innings were abnormal to say the least. De La Rosa threw upwards of 50 pitches in 1.2 innings issuing 3 walks, allowing 2 singles, and hitting Choice with a pitch that drove in the game's first run. The A's had trouble capitalizing in the 1st and 2nd scoring only once despite accumulating 7 base runners in the 2 frames.
The top of the 3rd inning decidedly reminded us all that this is indeed Cactus League action as the A's received a bases loaded walk by Rosales and bases loaded HBPs from Barton and Sizemore. Sizemore appeared to be in significant pain and after running the bases he would be removed from the game, which Jane Lee assures us is simply a precaution. She reports that he suffered a bruised left hand.
Through 3 innings the A's has racked up 5 walks, 3 RBI HBPs, and 5 hits, all singles, as they led 4-1.
Chris Young added an RBI single in the 6th and David Freitas, the yield from the Kurt Suzuki trade, deposited a solo shot to left in the 7th. The final A's scoring of the day came in the 9th as the future of baseball, Addison Russell, scorched an RBI single to center.
Neshek, Figueroa, and Okajima combined to allow 1 base runner over 3 scoreless innings. Each of them struck out 1 as the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings breezed by.
Justin Thomas pitch the 7th and 8th allowing 1 run on 3 hits and Bruce Billings faced the minimum in the 9th as the game ended on a 4-6-3 double play as the A's completed the sweep of the home-and-home brace against Colorado.
Of note: Grant Green went 2-2, both singles, and started a nice pair of 4-6-3 double plays.
Choice went 1-3 with an RBI lowering his spring batting average to .550
Nakajima deserved a 1st inning RBI walk when home plate umpire Todd Tichenor called an absurdly high 3-2 pitch a strike, which irked Melvin and Hiro, as well as Ray Fosse and Ken Korach, who mistakenly announced the pitch as ball four.
The A's do it all again tomorrow at 12:05 at home against the Angels.
Thanks for reading and thank you to AN for giving the readers a real chance participate in the community. This spring training recap contest has been fun to watch and I sincerely hope that this will not be my last post.