Mark Mulder would have been proud of how this game breezed by quickly. Alex Wood and Kendall Graveman were quick and effective on the mound to the point that the first 4 innings of the game took only just an hour to get through this evening. The A’s had a chance to score in the top of the 4th on a hit from Fowler into right field that ended up not crossing in time as Canha slowed down before touching home and Neuse got thrown out at third by Trayce Thompson. It wouldn’t be until the bottom of the 7th that we actually got our first run of the game on a solo homerun from Cody Bellinger off Emilio Pagan. Pagan would go on to surrender another solo homerun to Joc Pederson before getting out the inning. It was not the best night for Pagan as Bellinger and Pederson did what they are known to do best by sending baseball souvenirs into the stands. Alcantara would take over the following inning for Pagan, but the solo homerun parade continued with Trace Thompson taking him deep into LF. Chad Pinder finally broke the scoreless drought in the game for the A’s by contributing his own homerun. The A’s would go on to lose 3-1 to the Dodgers.
Graveman concluded his outing tonight pitching 5 1/3 innings with 7 strikeouts and allowing only 2 hits with no runs scored. It was as good of an outing as you can hope to see from your opening day starter with the spring coming to a close. Sheldon Neuse meanwhile continued to hit the baseball notching a couple of hits in the game. Neuse has had himself a spring and is now hoping to continue where he leaves off as he starts the season in the minors. It may not be too long before Neuse starting knocking on the major league door and A’s will certainly have to take notice if all the baseball he hits return with the cover missing. On the other side of the ball, defense had some highlights in game with Nick Allen making a snazzy play on a liner to SS. I’ll let A’s twitter give the analysis on this one.
Exhibit A: pic.twitter.com/he6VS4KvSF— Oakland Athletics ⚾️ (@Athletics) March 20, 2018
It was a nice treat to get to see a preview of Allen’s defense on display, but another guy on the infield was attempting to show his defensive chops at a new position. Chad Pinder started at 1B and may be asked to do so over the course of the season to back up Matt Olson. Pinder is looking like the ultimate utility guy as he’s being asked to backup most of the infield and platoon in the OF with Joyce. The 8 man bullpen will surely rely heavily on the idea that Pinder is a man of many talents and can do it all. He made the most of the opportunity tonight with a nice play on a hard shot down the line.
Post Game News and Notes:
Bad news for Justin Turner who was hit on the wrist during his at bat.
Justin Turner: broken wrist.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 20, 2018
DL news for a couple of Athletics who have been out of action
Nuñez and Dull will start on DL, Melvin said.— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) March 20, 2018
Melvin talks about Cahill
Melvin says Cahill was throwing 92-93 mph in bullpen today: "We’ve added him for starting depth, and we’ll see where we’re at. We’re going to get him some innings here as quickly as we can before spring’s over. He looked good, looks like he’s in good shape."— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) March 20, 2018
That's all for tonight. We're in single digit days between now and the regular season baseball starting tomorrow. Get excited, baseball is back soon!