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Spring game #31 recap: Barry Zito dreams shattered, Oakland A's win 20th spring game

The Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 13-10 in one of those games that just never seemed to end.

Barry Zito did not do so great.
Barry Zito did not do so great.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing changes today. Resist the temptation to write any eulogies, for Barry Zito was not going to crack the starting rotation. Don't even read too much into this one start. He is what he has been since the first week of games, someone that might be an able number five starter on some team (Goodness knows the Phillies could use one), but not this team.

Yes, Barry Zito gave up seven runs today after 13 consecutive scoreless innings. He looked sharp initially, just walking Mike Trout, until Collin Cowgill hit a thigh-high home run to left-center:

Two batters later, Kole Calhoun hit a hanging curveball over the right field fence.

After a double to Mike Trout, that terrible feeling began to sink it that maybe it was all a mirage. Maybe Zeets can't fool anyone anymore. The pitcher he was the last seven seasons he played is the pitcher he will be.

And now David Freese has hit a two-run home run:

Well, everybody has a bad inning. I mean come on, David Freese? David Freese?! Bad luck that.

That's not bad luck. A three-run bloop single the batter thought was foul off the bat is bad luck:

Four innings pitched, eight hits allowed including three home runs, seven earned runs, a walk, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and two strikeouts.

Zito was hopeful to have a chance to pitch Saturday at the Coliseum, his usual throw day:

Oh yes, the game

Right then. The game turned out to be one of those wildest alcoholic nightmares. The A's were never behind at any point, though the inning-by-inning scores were 0-0, 0-0, 4-4, 8-7, 8-7, 8-7, 10-10, 12-10, and 13-10.

Every starter earned a hit, including Luke Carlin's solo home run in the third to open the scoring. Later in the third, Mark Canha hit his fifth home run of the spring, a three-run home run, showing more easy power to knock the ball just to the right of the 420-foot sign in center field, hitting the batters eye just behind on the fly:

Against Joe Smith, the A's found every which way to score except the long ball: single, single, single, passed ball on a strike out, single, pitching change to Greg Mahle, single, double. Four runs scored in the inning to give what was then an 8-4 lead just before Zito gave up his final three runs to make the score 8-7.

Pat Venditte tossed a pleasantly scoreless fifth inning, striking out Matt Joyce in the process. Gameday appears to have upgraded its software to now note in which direction Venditte is pitching whenever that changes.

The next bit of scoring came in the seventh inning when Mark Canha singled, Bryan Anderson reached second on a fielder's choice and an error, and Tyler Ladendorf scored Anderson with a triple. Billy Burns singled home Ladendorf to make the score 10-7.

The substitutes poured into the game at this point so get excited for the names I'm about to bring into this recap. Both teams brought players I haven't seen this spring, and I suspect the best of each team's minor league camps were left behind to face the starters actually on turn, Sonny Gray and Jered Weaver.

In the bottom half, R.J. Alvarez was still in the game but started to get wild. He was charged with all three of his runners, but only one was earned. Angels second baseman Taylor Featherston reached on a fielding error by A's second baseman Branden Cogswell. Josh Rutledge walked, C.J. Cron singled to score one unearned run, then (not that) Daniel Robertson grounded out to score Rutledge.

Ryan Verdugo replaced Alvarez and got Grant Green to fly out to center fielder Chad Oberacker. Then Verdugo walked three consecutive batters to score Alvarez's last runner left. The score? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jim Fuller came in to strike out Carlos Perez, and radio announcer Donny Baarns sounded completely disgusted by the swings Carlos Perez took, seemingly swingings at balls one, two, and three.

Two runs scored on Bryan Anderson's triple in the eighth to make sure every starter got at least one hit. The A's scored one more after Chad Oberacker doubled and scored on Philip Pohl's single. It was 13-10, probably.

Fernando Rodriguez entered to get the save and after three hours, 38 minutes, 23 runs, 27 hits, and two errors, it was over. Nobody got hurt and the A's won their sixth consecutive game, their 20th overall of the spring, which leads the majors.

Oh we do it again tomorrow. Early start at noon for getaway day.