Editor's Note: If you like this FanPost Game Recap, click the Rec button at the bottom of the post. To revisit King's Game Thread for this game, click here!
As we all know, in the regular season anyway, not only does MLB does not have a "clock", it also does not end games in ties. It doesn't exist......unless it's Spring and you've been there 3 1/2 hours and you are pitching AA guys anyway, and what the hey it's dinnertime. Not to mention creating unforgivable run-on sentences for braindead stupendified internet writers.
Which is exactly what happened today. Except I'm usually braindead everyday.
Coming into today's wonderful game, the A's trotted out definitely a getaway day game "been on the road 10 days let's just get the heck outta here" kinda lineup. For three innings, that's pretty much what happened minus a Billy Butler 3-2 walk-a-palooza that got every A's fan wondering if we can trade him now that he hasn't grounded into another 4-6-3 yet again.
Rich Hill had, shall we say, a poor outing limited by a pitch count of some limitation (at this time it's not known what) that ended up being 38 total pitches. Hill's outing was a rough first go around in an Athletic uniform. In an inning and a third tacked on for good measure, Hill gave up 3 walks, 2 hits, but only 1 ER. Chalk that up to early struggles of Milwaukee hitters perhaps? Who knows, but it is Spring, too. Another point that got mentioned by Ken Korach: Hill missed with a lot of his breaking stuff. A point that we will all be paying attention to next outing, I suspect.
In the 1st 2 innings, Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson didn't give up a hit in 2 innings of work, but did allow Billy Butler the aforementioned walk in the bottom of the 2nd.
In the 3rd inning, Liam Hendriks made his 1st Spring Appearance for the A's, and ignoring a Jonathan Lucroy double down the 1st base line past a pasta diving Billy Butler on a 1-2 count, had an otherwise quality outing otherwise.
In the 4th inning, Raul Alcantara begin his adventures on the mound,and an interesting adventure certainly ensued. Alcantara managed to pitch 2 full innings, 3 hits (including a single by former Athletics minor leaguer Colin Walsh who was a Rule V pick by Milwaukee this past winter), 2 walks, 1 ER, and 3 K's. Alcantara also benefitted from a nice double play turn between Sogard and Lowrie. It was an adventurous outing for Alcantara, to say the least, who showed why so many choose to believe in him. And why so many do not.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, that's when the true Cactus League adventure started to reveal itself. Milwaukee reliever Corey Knebel (yes I had to look up the spelling) came on and after initially getting Jed Lowrie out to open the inning, gave up a walk and single to Josh Reddick and Danny Valencia respectively, and with a 3-2 count to Stephen Vogt gave up a groundout to Colin Walsh (2B) to get the 2nd out. Billy Butler came up and managed to contribute to the Cactus League weirdness by actually getting a hit that tied the game 2-2.
Bottom 5, that's when the game seemed like the A's would probably win. Milwaukee reliever Michael Blazek came on and attempted to stifle the A's offense. Unfortunately, in the numerical amount of infinity, Blazek did not succeed. Seriously, Blazek's ERA is actually infinity. (Which got a chuckle from Ken Korach who mentioned it after Blazek left the game and all the runners he allowed had scored.) Blazek's disastrous 4 batter outing led to 4 runs after Sogard and Carson Blair singled, Andrew Lambo (who had an excellent day) singled to RF which scored Sogard, and Blair ended up 2nd. Matt Chapman walked, and Brooks Hall came on to relieve Blezek.
Thankfully for the A's, or the Cactus League God's Screwball Game committee (take your pick), Brooks was not much better as he threw a wild pitch on his 2nd pitch of the outing scoring Blair, and moving up Lambo and Chapman to 3rd and 2nd. Then Tyler Ladendorf, who had come in for Coco Crisp (I don't want to talk about Coco), hit a 2 run single scoring both Lambo and Chapman. Apparently, Ron Washington was rather aggressive in sending Chapman after he got an excellent jump off 2nd base. That's always good to hear even if it's ultimately meaningless. Heads up plays are heads up plays in my book. 6-2 A's after 5 innings.
Daniel Coulombe, the LHP the A's claimed off waivers from the Dodgers late in 2015, had a challenging but ultimately successful inning after giving up a hit and walk to Colin Walsh and Eric Young Jr before getting a slow roller out to Chad Pinder playing 2B today even though Franklin Barreto (who entered the game at SS in the top of the inning) wasn't able to complete the twin killing. Coulombe got a comebacker from Brewers SS Jake Elmore.
In the bottom of the frame, Franklin Barreto hit a shot down the 1st base line at Brewers 1B Josmil Pinto, accounting for the official scoring error of the day, Chapman made a loud out to near the RF warning track moving Barreto over to 3rd, and Pinder singled up the middle scoring Barreto.
A's 7, Brewers 2.
Trey Cochran-Gill, acquired in the off-season for Evan Scribner, actually had a clean 1-2-3 inning for the A's being the only pitcher for the A's all day to claim that feat. (That's not something I suspect that will be ever remembered after reading this. Ah, Spring!)
Then the Cactus League Gods Screwball Committee decided to make Tucker Healy give up loud, long contact. Very loud, very long contact. In the top of the 8th, Healy gave up a double to Garin Cecchini, hit former A's farmhand Shane Peterson, actually got an out off a long drive by Yadiel Rivera to CF that took a great running catch by Tyler Ladendorf to record, and had Cecchini on 3rd and Peterson on 1st. Then Andy Wilson, another minor league journeyman with all of 43 MLB AB's to his name, hit a 3 run dinger to make the score A's 7, Brewers 5. Then, because Healy couldn't help himself, gave up a solo moon shot to Alex Presley. That ended Healy's day. It was a Spring Stinker for the AN 20th Prospect on the Community Prospect list.
Then Kris Hall came on for the Athletics, the minor leaguer whom figures to start the year in Nashville, got the final 2 outs on groundouts to A's top 5 prospects Barreto and Chapman respectively sandwiched around a dunk-a-roo single by Brewers minor leaguer C Adam Weisenburger.
Then the Cactus League Gods Screwball Committee struck again, as fellow Community Prospect Dylan Covey (#23 overall) had a poor outing also. Covey who gave up a leadoff walk to Brewers minor leaguer Josmil Pinto, got a fielders choice after Chad Pinder made a nice throw to Barreto on a groundout by Cecchini, and then a strikeout of Shane Peterson happened.
Yadiel Rivera hit another bomb to actually put the Brewers up 8-7. I believe the immortal words of one Ken Korach uttered: "This has become a Cactus League special." The committee was not done, do not fear.
After Covey managed to strike out Presley to end the top half of the inning for the Brewers, the A's went down rather quietly in their first two AB's in the bottom of the 9th with Pinder recording a flyout and Joey Wendle pinch hitting and striking out.
As Josh Phegley took his Phegasus-like muscles to the plate, the gods said "We want a tie! Why? Becuz we do! Don't question this, fools!" Question it, I shall not. Phegley gave a 1-1 offering from Brewers P Hiram Burgos to Left Center tying the game at 8.
Then, Matt Olson flew out to Center, the game ended, and everyone got to leave as they well should have.
My main takeaway of today? Spring is fun but rather impossible to take all that seriously with 60 players (slight exaggeration) available to both teams, and everybody who was a part of the game for the most part has little to no chance of making the roster was generally the players ultimately deciding the game. It wasn't the best first impression for Rich Hill, Liam Hendriks did pretty well for the most part, and the A's seemingly have the ability to get on base a lot against bad pitching staffs. The A's managed to give up 12 hits and 8 walks for 8 runs, meanwhile the Brewers gave up 8 runs on 9 hits and 7 walks plus an error. 8 runs for 16 baserunners vs 8 runs for 20 baserunners is a ratio I'll take every day of the week.
Onto tomorrow against the Padres. Go A's!