Spring Game 15: A's Bullpen Goes To 11

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports



TIE: 11-11. 9 INNINGS.

Link to game thread:

In an eventful St. Patrick's Day game, A's starters knocked around M's starters until the cows came home and took the field in the 9th inning.

In a battle of replacement players, the Mariners mounted a vigorous comeback of 8 runs in the top of the 9th to take the lead, and then blew the save on an RBI hit from Matt Chapman to tie the game in the 9th.

Let's not talk about that. It's not all that likely Eduardo Santos, Ryan Brasier, or Trey Cochran-Gill sees time in Oakland in 2016, so them blowing a big lead isn't the issue. Baretto making an error at shortstop is not all that big of an issue.

Let's talk about the meat of the game - Graveman versus Paxton.

Paxton was not sharp, giving up 7 earned in 2 innings pitched. I hope to see a lot more of him this season, as Paxton gave up some long shots. Valencia opened the scoring the first with a 2-run jack to deep center. Coco hit a 2-RBI double off the top of the wall on what the radio announcer called fan interference on a possible HR. Lowrie had two doubles. Reddick a double, hit, and walk. The meat of the A's lineup - the regular season starters - were able to string hits together and cycle through the lineup. This offense has a chance to be very, very good.

Graveman started out well, giving up a few walks and a 2-run HR to Cano in the 4th, and a solo shot to Brantly the inning after. His final line score for the day stands at 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3BB, 2K. Not the most spectacular start, not the worst, but it is still unknown whether Graveman begins the season in AAA Nashville or on the Opening Day roster.

After Graveman, Axford, Madson, and Angel Castro shut down the Mariners for an inning apiece of unspectacular but effective bullpen work - something many A's fans would have killed for in 2015. Unfortunately, we got a 2015 flashback in that long, long top of the 9th inning, watching ineffective relievers fail to hold a large lead.

Basically - all the real A"s players did well.

Matt Chapman came through in the bottom of the 9th. Hitters hit. Pitchers pitched. Baseball baseballed.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!