You know how they say to expect anything when you show up to a ballgame? That sentiment rang true to the fans today as they saw A's on both sides of the field today as Italy borrowed Santiago Chavez, Zach Neal, Lou Trivino, Carlos Navas, and Tyler Sturdevant as not to expend pitching arms before their WBC game tomorrow (against Mexico, in Mexico at 6:00PM). Italy pulled off a surprise upset at the last WBC to make it out of the first round. I remember them losing by a single run in at least one subsequent game.
I'm not judging their 2017 team, but...let's just say that they didn't score a run on the A's today. That might be because Kendall Graveman is awesome (and he was, pitching three full innings, allowing a single hit while striking out three), or the spectacular parade of pitchers that followed, who did not pitch for Italy. They included: Liam Hendricks for an inning, Jesse Hahn and his three scoreless innings with four strikeouts, and Frankie Montas' two scoreless innings. One of the compelling story lines of Spring Training is the fight for the last starting role; Triggs is likely ahead of Hahn, but Hahn laid down the challenge in today's game against Team Italy.
The game today only featured seven runs from the A's, and yes, I can say "only"; I lived through yesterday's game live; where two innings were played in two hours, and the final score closely resembled a football game. The A's got on the board in the second inning after a Rosales single and a Chapman walk, Max Muncy came through with a RBI single to give the A's the early 1-0 lead. They would add two more on a Matt Chapman double in the fourth, and another run in the fifth, as Ryon Healy homered (way, way, way back) off Zach Neal, which is likely hilarious for the team, and not so much for poor Zach Neal.
Franklin Barreto tripled with two outs in the sixth inning and scored on an error by Italy for Oakland's fifth run, and Rangel Ravelo, who is tearing up Spring Training in a tiny, tiny sample size, singled in the A's sixth run later in the inning. For the icing on the cake, Chad Pinder knocked a homer off Navas in the eighth to give the A's the 7-0 lead, and I bet that by that time, Italy was wishing they borrowed pitchers from a different team.
Join us tomorrow for both Team USA against Boston in the morning and the A's/Reds in the afternoon. We'll have all of your action right here!