Monday baseball As versus the Royals, World Series champions versus last place finishers. But now times are changing, one team is trending upwards and the other down. This will be an important season to watch for both teams. A season to see how well these two teams perform with a rotation that have not succeeded in ranking top 15 in the power ranking, and a bullpen without their leader Holland is weak, even with the addition of Soria.
The A's have a rotation full of promise, and an offense that so far this spring has clicked. While you cannot put any stock into spring stats its nice to see our offense going.
It is Zimmer against Hahn. It is a pitching match up to watch for a number of reasons. Zimmer is the other Manaea, he was taken with a higher pick in the draft, but remember Manaea was a good bet to go !st before injuries slowed him down. He has a ton of health issues just like Manaea does as well.
This is an important start to watch because of Hahn, to see not only how well he does but to see how healthy he is. They report that he is fully healthy and nothing is holding him back in camp. He is one if the most important person to watch in camp. If he's healthy we have our second starter in our rotation again. Hahn has the most upside in our rotation besides Gray himself if everything breaks right for him our rotation has a chance to be truly special.
Zimmer attacks hitters with a fastball that sits at 92-95 but reaches 97. He has a curve ball that is absolutely filthy and make hitters look silly. It is his bast secondary pitch, and he has a slider and a change up that both at times look like plus pitches. Zimmer might be the prospect that could have been, i imagine that during the discussion for the trade of Zobrist that we wanted either him or Manaea.
Jesse Hahn attacks hitters with a plus fastball that I'm curious to see how hard he's going to be throwing it today. His fastball features some sinking action, that causes a lot of ground balls for the young pitcher. His best secondary pitch is his curveball that will cause a lot of swing and misses from the opposing hitters. He throws a change up that has some good late deception and is a plus pitch at times.
What to watch in camp:
So far Barreto has been crushing the ball when he hits it. His power seems to be real, and if it is then he is much better then I imagined.
Lambo is currently hitting 500 with tying the team in Rbis with 4. His hopes of making the team of making of the team are very slim at best, with the current team we have. What i hope out of Lambo is that he has an incredible spring training then we flip him for a defense first catcher in the minors. Like a B ranked prospect, or something along those lines.
Ladendorf is another big name to watch with all of the positions he plays he could make the 25 man roster. He could back up the infield and outfield, the only big question mark is his bat. He needs to prove this spring that he can handle major league pitching, just enough to be an improvement over Fuld and Sogard.
The Game itself:
The 1st inning Hahn got Escobar out, only to walk Colon on four pitches. To make things worse he gave up a home run to Mike Moustakes to give them a two run lead. He settled down after that and retired the next two batters.
Zimmer got Coco Crisp out only to give up a hit to both Lowrie and Reddick. He finished the inning without giving up a run. From what i noticed from Zimmer is that he kept getting behind the entire game almost everyone had a 2-2 count or something like that.
The second inning Jesse Hahn retired every batter he faced to end his day. I thought it was a good first start after a year of not pitching. He may have given up a home run but after he did that he settled down and retired all the next batters.
Zimmer came in the second and set down every batter he faced I believe.
Madson came in and had a perfect inning, struck out a batter. He continued the streak of batters set down.
Zimmer gave up a base hit to Coco Crisp with one out left, and then proceeded to retire Lowrie. With a full count Josh Reddick lined a ball right to Snider who made a diver leap at the ball and missed the catch. Coco Crisp scored from first and the game score was 2-1 one with the Royals leading.
Axford comes into the game an retires the first two batters before walking the next two batters. He showed the prototypical Axford that i thought he was the strikeout potential is there and all the walks. He struck out Feunmayor on a highfast ball, the commentator said there was really good life on his fastball today and while they didn't have a gun there today that he had thought he was touching the high 90s.
The next inning is when everything started to heat up. Maybe it was just me, but when Vogt walked to the plate i just knew he was going to crush a ball. He may not be the best player and he may not be the best player even on our team but he is our player. There is not a single player that is more an A then Vogt or ever will be then Vogt. He delivered upon that promise with a single shot home run, which i imagine may of us where yelling VOGT! Well i was very loudly. Then Butler and Phegley both got walked only for Fuld to Fuld it up, by ending the inning.
Then later in the game Josh Reddick and Valencia both got base hits only for Vogt to be the unconventional hero that he is, and he crushed a 3 run home run. The lead at this point was 5-2.
Gravemen who the inning before had a solid inning comes in and gives up two runs, while only one was earned due to Barreto missed Catch. Highlighting Barretos shaking defense now i don't know if it was a very hard catch to make or what. Now its 5-4 Athletics leading.
The next inning my Audio just completely shut off and but due to atbat i saw that Tyler Ladendorf hit the next run in. Hopefully he can do that on a regular basis this season.
Thompson then comes on with the game at 6-4 and nails down a three up, three down save to win the game. This was my favorite win of the young spring training so far, because I absolutely cannot stand the Royals, and to see them doing badly makes me happy. I would rather us beat them then any other team.
Pitching Grade: B
Overall i was very happy with our pitching i mean we gave up four runs but really we pitched so much better then that. We retired ten batters in a row at one point and Hahn and Gravemen both had quality first outings. Madson looked like the guy we wanted, and Axford looked like the Axford we knew we were getting. Really everything can only get better, and if Hahn was hitting 95 or 96 then this already looks so much better.
Batting Grade: A
Our batting continues to impress, and this game it was Vogt who proved to be the hero. He led the offense with 4 Rbis and two home runs today. Josh Reddick had two hits today and Coco managed to scored from first one a base hit. Overall very impressive hitting from all of these guys.
Player of the Game: Stephen Vogt
Vogt is my favorite player, i have his autograph and I'm a die hard Vogt fan. He was the difference maker today without him we would not have won today, for a guy not at 100 percent to do this well shows that he's special. I think he's going to have a better season then he did last season because he's Vogt he's our guy, let other teams have their Franchise players I'm happy having Vogt. After all I believe in Stephen Vogt and he had my favorite moment in baseball history his walk off in playoffs, is the best moment. This is Oakland Baseball we turn the scraps of other teams and we make them great, this team i think is world beaters i hope you think so to.