(Editor's Note: This is the second 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 jonatyl's Game Thread preview. Billy Frijoles will be getting a spring tuneup start for Tuesday, but Wednesday's game remains available to claim!)
You wouldn't know it from looking at their website, which is littered with bad news about Yu Darvish, but distress isn't the only emotion that the Rangers are feeling; they are the responsible party for Oakland's first losing streak of 2015.
Oakland lost the webcast game, 4-1. Perhaps it's best that it was webcast, because now there's that much less video footage of the offensive meltdown.
Nine strikeouts and twenty-two stranded base runners only begin to tell the story of missed opportunities. Billy Burns, the A's leadoff hitter for the day, went 0-4 with a walk that went nowhere. The speedster saw his average dip from 0.333 to 0.250. Sam Fuld, the man responsible for protecting Burns, was also hitless with a walk. Pinch hitter Jason Pridie didn't do much better, as he popped out and walked on six pitches. Matt Olson homered late, and therefore had the lone RBI of the game, but is still just 2-13 this spring.
As far as the good news goes, Marcus Semien is now 7-14, good for a 0.500 average. Jesse Hahn looked well, allowing one run over three somewhat harrowing innings which saw four base runners whose scoring was prevented by some solid infield glovework by DP combo Andy Parrino and Marcus Semien.
Rangers starter Alex Gonzalez's control wasn't there today, but it ended up not mattering. Though he had to throw 58 pitches to get through three innings and ended up walking three, no runs were scored under his watch.
All those wishing to see something truly unusual were pleasantly surprised today as Prince Fielder, who has the physique of a small house, beat out a throw from Jesse Chavez (who allowed two runs on four hits over two frames and, if there was any justice in the world, would be the losing pitcher) and wound up onboard with an RBI, two-out infield single.
But none of this bad news can even begin to prepare an A's fan for what happened in the ninth. A single and two walks, courtesy of Joey Wendle, Billy Burns, and Jason Pridie, loaded the bases with nobody out. Down by three, the A's looked destined to at least put up a fight. However, the next two batters fell like dominoes as Tyler Ladendorf fanned on a full count and Luke Carlin hit a fly ball that couldn't score Wendle from third. From there, all it took was Koshuke Tomita to seal the deal with a three-pitch strikeout of Alex Hassan.
In all of the offensive misery, some strong pitching performances got drowned beneath the tears. Jesse Hahn, of course, was sharp enough for satisfaction, Chad Smith, in his first appearance this year, fanned one in a twelve-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth inning after R.J. Alvarez allowed one hit on twelve pitches the inning prior.
Despite the lack of offense, which one could accredit to the lack of bona fide big leaguers that played today, the defense and pitching shown in this game are encouraging.