The Oakland A's had a split squad day on Saturday, with half of the team staying at home to face the Reds and the other half heading to Scottsdale to take on the Giants. You can check out the FanPost thread/recap from community member TokoNeko to read about Oakland's thrilling/sloppy 7-6 victory over Cincinnati, but here are some notes about the decisive victory over Madison Bumgarner and the Giants.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any of this game -- Jeremy Koo and I attended the home game against the Reds, joined by Bill Moriarity from Athletics Farm and Mike Bates from MLB Daily Dish. So, I am going to construct this recap using tweets, comments from the Game Thread, and highlights from MLB.com.
The A's shelled Madison Bumgarner, aka Irate Glute, aka Angry Ass, to the tune of five runs in 2⅔ innings. They scored in each of his three innings: an RBI double by Jed Lowrie in the 1st (video), an RBI double by Jake Smolinski in the 2nd (video), and then an RBI single by Khris Davis in the 3rd (video) followed by a two-run homer by ... Billy Butler? Huh. That's a pleasant surprise. Butler is now hitting .333/.462/.524 in 26 spring PAs with more walks than strikeouts, which doesn't necessarily mean anything but is cooler than if he was putting up bad numbers. Here's a look at the dinger:
Bumgarner was followed by a familiar face: former Athletics starter Vin Mazzaro, now a journeyman reliever. If you are surprised to hear that Mazzaro is still pitching, you'll be downright shocked to learn that he hasn't even turned 30 years old yet. Seems like forever ago that he was a hot prospect in Oakland's system. But most amazing of all is that he didn't allow any runs, since that has always seemed to be his favorite thing to do in life -- remember, he once gave up 14 (fourteen) runs in one long relief outing with the Royals in 2011.
The A's tacked on four more runs against the Giants bullpen. Jake Smolinski hit another RBI double in the 5th, but this one was really just a flyout to CF that Denard Span lost in the sun (video). Yonder Alonso hit a sac fly in the 7th that scored Butler all the way from third (video). And then, in the minor league portion of the game, outfield prospect Tyler Marincov smashed a two-run shot off of Santiago Casilla:
There's a good chance you've never heard of Marincov, as he's not one of the prominent A's prospects -- he didn't crack our CPL Top 30, nor the Top 50 on Scout.com. He was an 8th-round pick in 2013 and didn't put up overwhelming numbers in High-A Stockton last year at age 23, but he will always have that time he homered off Not Jairo Garcia in the Cactus League.
Pitching & Defense: Check, and check
The A's were just as dominant on the other side of the ball. Felix Doubront drew the start and continued his strong spring despite an early scare -- backup catcher Trevor Brown drilled a liner off Doubront's leg, and the pitcher went down in a heap and stayed on the ground for a couple minutes while the trainer came out to check on him. However, he got back up and ended up staying in the game for four quality innings. He's one tough cookie!
Doubront's final line included one run, two strikeouts, and one walk, bringing his overall spring line to a 3.00 ERA with 11 Ks and two walks. He was followed by relievers Ryan Dull and Liam Hendriks, each of whom threw two scoreless frames. Dull in particular was quite impressive:
@AlexHallAN dull hit 95 today at the Giants game. Just once though. High and outside.— Towel ASE (@towelase) March 19, 2016
@AlexHallAN kid still looks phenomenal. Struck out 3. No hard contact. Flubbed a nice play by Alonso though.— Towel ASE (@towelase) March 19, 2016
Patrick Schuster finished with a scoreless 9th for Oakland. Also, in their ongoing effort to collect as many random former A's as possible, the Giants started Grant Green at third base in addition to bringing Mazzaro and Casilla out of the pen.
Anyway, the pitching was wonderful, but the defense wasn't too shabby either. Matt Chapman, rated by MLB.com as the top third base defender in the entire minors, made two highlight-worthy plays:
... and ...
In addition, there was a solid diving catch in LF by Marincov, but I've already put a lot of videos in here so I'll just link to this one.
A few winning comments from the Game Thread
"Giants announcers are slobbering all over Semien" - warren53
"I really like that the Giants' SF on their hats doesn't match the one on their jersey. Two different colors. It makes them look like they got their unis at Dick's Sporting Goods." - Pal Smurch
"'Punky' Schuster in to close it out for the A's, up 9-1 in the 9th" - player20
"Felix Doubront, who gives up so many line drives that one is bound to hit him..." - Nico
Congrats to the A's on a two-game Saturday split-squad sweep!