We knew going into today that minor leaguers would replace any Big League starters after an at-bat or so — but it was still the big leaguers who lost this one.
The A’s newest “starter,” Santiago Casilla, gave up a leadoff homer to Christian Yelich, and that was that. Casilla, who could be borderline for a roster spot, retired Lorenzo Cain (who is apparently a Brewer now... [kidding?]), Travis Shaw, and Jesus Aguilar in order.
With Jhoulys Chacín pitching, Matt Joyce struck out to start the bottom half of the inning, and Jonathon Lucroy lined out after him. Good old Jed Lowrie singled, and was pinch-run for with Kevin Merrell, who was thrown out one pitch into Khris Davis’ at-bat.
To start the second, Tyler Ramirez replaced Joyce in left field, Bruce Maxwell replaced Lucroy at catcher, Merrell stayed in the game at second, and Ryan Buchter took over for Casilla. Buchter retired Ji-Man Choi and Hernan Perez, before Manny Pina made it to first on a Franklin Barreto throwing error. Things unravelled a bit as Orlanda Arcia consequently doubled, Kyle Wren walked, and Christian Yelich doubled, scoring Pina, Arcia, and Wren.
Buchter has apparently been dealing with a blister:
Melvin says Buchter has had a little blister issue. Callused up now but he only threw fastballs today.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 24, 2018
Miguel Romero replaced Buchter, and Lorenzo Cain singled. Travis Shaw grounded out to end the inning.
Score: Brewers 5, A’s 0
Khris Davis struck out to start the bottom half of the 2nd, and then Stephen Piscotty grounded out. Canha singled, again replaced by Mike White as a pinch-runner, but Boog Powell flied out to end the inning.
Greg Deichmann replaced Piscotty in right field to start the fifth. Mikey White remained in the game at first base, and BJ Boyd replaced Powell in center. Brian Howard took the mound. He retired Jesus Aguilar, Walked Ji-Man Choi, struck out Hernan Perez, and got the ground-ball out from Manny Pina.
Not. Too. Shabby.
To start the bottom of the third, Sheldon Neuse flied out and Barreto grounded out. Tyler Ramirez followed-up with a single, but Maxwell grounded out.
Defensively for the A’s in the fourth, Will Toffey replaced Neuse at third, Nick Allen replaced Barreto at short, and Sean Murphy replaced Maxwell behind the plate. Howard retired Orlando Arcia, Kyle Wren, and Christian Yelich in order.
The A’s youngsters finally got some runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Kevin Merrell grounded out, and Beau Taylor replaced KD. Taylor doubled and was replaced by Seth Brown. Greg Deichmann tripled on his first pitch, scoring Brown. Mikey White ground out on his first pitch, then BJ Boyd grounded out on his first pitch. It was almost like the entire lineup was minor-leaguers or something...
Score: Brewers 5, A’s 2
Howard walked Lorenzo Cain and Travis Shaw to start the fifth inning, then induced a double-play from Jesus Aguilar, which advanced Cain to third. Ji-Man Chpi singled, scoring Cain. Hernan Perez lined out.
Score: Brewers 6, A’s 2
The Brewers finally pulled their Big Leaguers in the bottom half of the fifth, making six defensive substitutions. Will Toffey grounded out to start things off, then the Brewers replaced Chacín with Matt Albers. Nick Allen flied out, and Tyler Ramirez struck out swinging.
With Howard still pitching in the 6th, Manny Pina popped out, Nate Orf popped out, Christian Bethancourt homered, Troy Stokes singles, and Trent Grisham flied out.
Milwaukee made four more defensive substitutions in the bottom half, including putting Josh Hader on the mound. Sean Murphy struck out, Kevin Merrell singled, Seth Brown struck out, and Greg Deichmann struck out.
In the top of the 7th, the A’s subbed-in Austin Beck in center (moving Boyd to left), and pit Jonah Heim at catcher. John Gorman took over Howard on the mound. Jake Gatewood gounded out, Devin Hairston singled, then Ji-Man Choi singled. He and Hairston advanced an extra base on an Austin Beck fielding error. Blake Allemand followed up with a single, scoring Hairston. Luis Aviles popped out, then Nate Orf singled, scoring Choi. Christian Bethancourt grounded out to to end the inning.
Score: Brewers 9, A’s 2
Jacob Barnes took over pitching in the bottom of the 7th for the Brewers. He retired Mikey White, walked BJ Boyd, and struck out Will Toffey. Nick Allen singled, but Austin Beck grounded out.
The A’s subbed Logan Farrar into left field, replacing BJ Boyd in the 8th. Cody Stull took over on the mound, giving up a leadoff homer to Troy Stokes. He then retired Trent Grisham, Jake Gatewood, and Devin Hairston in order.
In the bottom half, with Radhames Liz pitching for the Brewers, Jonah Heim flied out, Kevin Merrell grounded out, and Seth Brown struck out.
Nolan Blackwood took the mound for the A’s in the top of the ninth, retiring Max McDowell, Trever Morrison, and Luis Aviles in order.
We’ve got to hand it to the A’s players left in Arizona in the final inning of the final game: they played it all the way through. Greg Deichmann doubled to lead things off, Mikey White singled, scoring Deichmann, then advanced to 2nd on an error, then 3rd on a passed ball. Logan Farrar walked on four pitches, that Will Toffey struck out. The Brewers changed pitchers, then Nick Allen also walked on four pitches. Austin Beck scored White with a sac fly, then Jonah Heim doubled to score Farrar. Edwin Diaz pinch-hit for Kevin Merrell, then struck swinging on three pitches to end the gam.
Final score: Brewers 10, A’s 5
We’ll see you back in the Bay!