On the very first pitch of the game, Billy Burns rocketed a triple off the right center field wall. As he stood on third, Athletics players and fans were brimming with confidence, certain this was the start of a great season. Burns would be stranded on third.
Ok, I'll give you some more detail on tonight's 3-1 Giants win/snooze-fest. I was unfortunately unable to watch/listen to most of the game, so most of this is based solely on the box score or a tiny eyeball sample. If you have any thoughts or highlights, please dump them below!
The bad stuff
-The A's lineup looked anemic. Shark should be a very good pitcher going forward but his stuff today wasn't commensurate to the way the A's (didn't) hit.
-Semien looked like bad Semien at both the plate and the field. I would settle for decent fielding with an OK bat or below average fielding with a good bat. Tonight and this spring he was a garbage fielder with a garbage bat. Yuck.
-The A's had one more hit than error.
-Khris Davis had arguably the worst throw I've ever seen in a professional baseball game. That's a lowlight worth finding.
-The announcing was just awful as it has been all spring. I get that the games don't matter but it's strange how announcers pretend they don't exist, either. Jeremy Affeldt was a guest in the booth for the Giants crew and they didn't talk about the game once. They also decided it was more important for us to watch the announcers talk than the game itself which is coincidentally when I turned off the game.
The better stuff
-It doesn't count
-Chris Bassitt is fun to watch. His new mechanics are a bit sleeker although not extremely different. He did a good job keeping the ball down tonight when he wanted to, something he had a problem with in 2015. The run on his pitches caused him to miss spots and throw nearly 80 pitches in just four innings, but he only gave up one run and looked solid minus the persistent location misses.
One thing I would like to see out him is a better ability to put hitters away with two strikes. 0-2 counts often became 3-2s and it was frustrating to watch, as Bassitt has the stuff to punch those guys out quickly. That led to some baserunners, walks, the elevated pitch count, and ultimately a really good performance turning into an ok performance. Still, the most important takeaway is that his stuff looked good.
-Tonight's game thread was in midseason form, with friendly banter ranging from commercials to bad announcing and sometimes even the game. The game threads are one of the best parts of this site and they can be a nice respite during a long season. Join in!
-Billy Butler had a third of the A's hits!
-I Believe In Stephen Vogt had an RBI triple.
That's all I got. We'll see you tomorrow for the second exhibition game of this series!