(Editor's Note: This is one of our Spring Training Auditions, with community members trying their hands at recapping games. Feel free to post any polite, constructive feedback/criticism in the comments section, and if you really really like the recap then find the green button at the bottom that says "Rec" to show it some extra love. Click here to revisit today's Game Thread preview.)
Scott Kazmir continues his spring dominance as the A's trounce the White Sox, 10-4. Pitching prospects Bobby Wahl and Chris Bassitt were both unimpressive, but the slew of A's reserve players sure weren't as they tagged Maikel Cleto for 6 runs in the 8th to break a back-and-forth tie game, forcibly stopping the inane babble of one Ken "Hawk" Harrelson.
Alex Hassan, in his first game back from injury, was removed in the 4th inning after going 2-for-2, with two singles, most likely as a precautionary measure. Otherwise, the A's made it through the game without anyone suffering any injuries - a resounding success at this stage of Spring Training.
The first five-and-a-half innings constituted a legitimate pitcher's duel as Jose Quintana and Kazmir battled it out, leaving Hawk to try and fill the void with his usual machinations and speculations, with predictably inaccurate results. Quintana is absolutely worth keeping an eye on during the season, though - there's a reason why he's ranked with Iwakuma in terms of 'underrated starting pitchers.'
Chicago kept many of their regulars in for the whole game, while the A's tagged out most of their few starting players for reserves come the later innings. As a whole, the A's replacements had no problem facing off against White Sox starters, showcasing just how deep this 2015 club runs. Brock Huntzinger and Pat Venditte both threw scoreless innings to prevent any late-inning comeback shenanigans from the White Sox.
Overall, it was a lazy Saturday game, with a couple standout performances.
Players of the game:
Scott Kazmir - 5.1 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 4 K's. One of those hits was a dropped popup that Vogt should have gotten, but y'know, that line might be impressive enough already.
Billy Burns - 4-5, 3 runs. If speed kills, Burns might be Jack the Ripper. Any ball hit in the infield from him is a chance for a single, and anything hit to the outfield might be two. Burns certainly appears to have stepped up his offense this year (it's the beard), and should contribute at some level in the majors this year - maybe Opening Day, maybe not.
Jason Pridie - 2-3, 2RBI, 1 HR. Cranked a two-run homer out to right-center for a sweet, sweet moment of Hawk silence. And two runs. But that's less important.
Max Muncy - 1-3, 3RBI, 2B. Munchy cleared the bases with a double in the 8th as he continues his upswing into 'legitimate prospect.' He made a couple good plays at 3B, too - if he can stick there, his chances of making it in the bigs increase substantially.
Mark Canha - 1-1, 1 RBI, 2B. Used as a two-out pinch hitter, delivered an RBI double, but was immediately replaced with a pinch runner. Expect to see him used off the bench quite a bit during the regular season, since this kid screams 'clutch'.
Quote of the (post)game:
Melvin on Burns'day: "Four hits and I think his average went down."— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 28, 2015
And for an injury update with some good news:
Melvin says Jarrod Parker hit 92 mph in sim game, looked great— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 28, 2015
Parker's still on the 40-man roster, and every update on his well-being has been very positive. There's a good chance to see him contributing in the Green and Gold during the first half of the season, with a modified pitch selection and upbeat attitude. Combined with the upcoming return of AJ Griffin, and the A's pitching depth will be very enviable come the trade deadline.