Spring Game thread #13: Giants vs A's

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Happy Rivalry Resumption Day! The A's take on the Giants at 7:00pm Pacific, in a battle of all-stars Johnny Cueto and Sonny Gray (for the first few innings anyway!)

It seems like Gray often starts shaky before settling down, but I figured I should look that up before I posted about it. Gray's career ERA in the first inning is 4.50, and 2.59 otherwise. His K/BB is 1.81 in the first, 2.98 otherwise. The takeaway here is that if he doesn't impress tonight, it's probably because he didn't have time to get into his groove. Fun fact: Gray has yet to allow a run in 16.2 8th innings (all as a starter)!

Cueto allowed 5 runs in his first 1.2 innings this spring. Only two Athletics have any notable experience against Cueto: Yonder Alonso is 1 for 12, but Chris Coghlan is 5 for 14 with a HR and 4 RBIs.

The lineups, courtesy of the teams' official twitter pages:

1. Burns CF
2. Canha LF
3. Reddick RF
4. Valencia 3B
5. Vogt C
6. Davis DH
7. Coghlan 2B
8. Alonso 1B
9. Semien SS

1. Pagan LF
2. Duffy 3B
3. Belt 1B
4. Parker RF
5. Susac C
6. Gillaspie DH
7. Pena 2B
8. Adrianza SS
9. Hernandez CF

It's interesting to see Canha and Valencia so high in the order against a tough righty. Perhaps this shows Melvin's confidence that their surprising success against same-handed pitching last year will continue. Or maybe he's giving them a better chance at a second at-bat against Cueto, to help judge their progress. Or maybe its one of the many things we can't read into because it's the second week of spring training.

To introduce myself, I'm a senior at the University of Chicago studying music composition. I was born in Berkeley, but primarily grew up in Vermont, watching almost every A's game until 1am on MLB.TV. In college, I sing way more than I study--I'm the music director of an a cappella group whose latest single was nominated for multiple awards. You can check it out on Spotify here! Many thanks to the front page writers for letting fans cover games this spring; Athletics Nation has meant so much to me as an isolated fan, and I'm excited for the opportunity to give back!