Well, if you like runs, coming fast and furious from the A's, boy, have I got a game for you! Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I'm going to take whatever I can get this early season, and I will certainly take a win against the Indians, as the A's post a 5-4 victory as they win their second game of Spring Training, and second in a row. Winning streak!
Jharel Cotton took the mound for today's contest and pitched two innings without allowing a hit. He also struck out the side to open the game, a fantastic start for the baseball-craving onlookers, who saw the strikeouts to open the game, and after Davis struck out to open the A's first inning, a single by Lowrie and a home run by Marcus Semien put the A's up 2-0.
Interestingly enough, despite not allowing a hit in the second inning, Cotton allowed a run; as a HBP, walk, and another HBP loaded the bases. Although he induced the double-play, the run scored.
The A's wasted no time in getting the run back as Olson tripled to open the second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Phegley to bring the score to 3-1. Ross Detwiler replaced Cotton and survived a Trevor Plouffe error for a scoreless third. Plouffe quickly made it up to his new ballclub with a fourth inning home run and man was it exchausting to recap as the A's scored all four runs in the first four innings and some of our typing fingers are not yet in shape, and how do you spell "Plouffe" anyway?
Andrew Triggs was slated to pitch the fourth inning and gave up a double to his first batter. An error by Semien (RED FLAG ALERT: Holy hell, shaky Spring defense!) allowed the runner to advance to third, and a "wild pitch" by Triggs scored Almonte (4-2). From the excellent Spring Radio coverage I heard, it was definitly a passed ball, slding under Phegley's glove, but I didn't see it, and unless we'd like to start a thread arguing about it, wild pitch it is! Triggs got mad after that and struck out the side; the second A's pitcher in four innings to do just that.
Things were boring for the middle of this game. Triggs completed another inning, one, two, three, and Rajai Davis (LOOOOOVE typing that!) singled and Lowrie walked to put two on, but they both were stranded in the fifth. There was an interesting moment on the broadcast where the announcers claim that Stephen Vogt says that this 2017 A's team, specifically the lineup, is very underrated, and will be better than we think, which made me leap across the desk to try to turn up the phone volume, but later, I couldn't find a source, or a quote, so maybe I just made it up out of wishful thinking. But it most definitely happened. Maybe. Please don't take that to Vegas.
Someone called A.J. Puk pitched the sixth and ALSO STRUCK OUT THE SIDE! That's literally three innings out of six! We're the best pitching staff ever! Also, Joey Wendle got an infield single. Bobby Wahl pitched the seventh for the A's and and gave up a homer (4-3), a walk, a strikeout, and an RBI triple (4-4). Not only didn't he strike out the side, but he allowed runs. (makes cutting motion)
Josh Smith (if that's his real name) pitched a scoreless eighth, sadly with no strikeouts, and my favorite player Rangel Ravelo (seriously, do baseball names come any better than that? So sorry "Josh Smith") hit the game winning home run, as he does, putting the A's on top 5-4! I'm also not basing my favroite playing off one incident of me wandering by a side field in Spring Training and seeing Ravelo blast a home run off Sonny Gray either.
Corey Walter, understanding that today's game was brought to you by the letter "K", struck out one in his quest to close the game, but got the job done, secured the A's win, and kept the win streak alive.
Who can't wait for baseball season! We'll see you back here tomorrow with more fun, and I'll be LIVE FROM SPRING TRAINING for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, where I can judge passed balls and wild pitches for myself.