Greetings! This is definitely not Alex recapping the game because I, err, he can’t afford to use non-employee post quota on it. My name is Xela, or, something.
Whoever I might be, I did not get a chance to watch this game, or follow it in any way, because it wasn’t televised and it was noon on a Friday and I was busy. But through the power of the internet, I know that it’s a blessing in disguise that I missed it, because from an A’s fan perspective it was a terrible game with little to cheer for. That doesn’t matter in the long run, because it’s spring training and none of these games matter in any way (except for settling the 2B job), but in the short-term it was also not fun at all.
Mike Fiers started for Oakland, making his second outing of the spring. It went poorly, as he allowed five runs in two innings. There were three walks and four hits, one of them a homer. However, since this is spring training, there’s a perfectly good explanation for the rough day: He was working on a pitch that he doesn’t normally use, a slider.
Fiers was working on a slider, which he usually doesn’t throw. Both long drives by Garcia were on sliders, back to back.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 28, 2020
Asked if he’s had any progress with the slider this spring, Fiers says, “it doesn’t look like it.”— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 28, 2020
So there you have it. He got knocked around, but not in any way that matters. He’s not hurt, he didn’t forget how to pitch, he was just trying some stuff out and getting loose for the season. You might say he was simply training, during the spring. Nothing to see here. (The long drive mentioned by Slusser was a homer by Jose Garcia, who last played in the minors in 2018 in Double-A.)
Two of Fiers’ runs came in the 2nd inning, and the rest came in the 3rd. He allowed the first three batters to reach base, capped by an RBI double, and then Grant Holmes (No. 13 prospect on our CPL) came in to relieve him. Holmes allowed both inherited runners to score, plus two more of his own, for a five-run inning in total.
Holmes stuck around for another scoreless inning, and then Daniel Gossett came in to post two zeroes of his own. In both frames he tiptoed around at least one baserunner, but he stopped Cincy from crossing the plate again.
The last pitcher of the day was James Kaprielian (No. 6 on our CPL). He breezed through a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, but the Reds rallied in the 8th. Former A’s farmhand Mark Payton, who was taken from Oakland in the Rule 5 draft this winter, led off with a walk, and eventually came around on a three-run inside-the-park homer. I imagine there’s a fun story behind that play; perhaps someone can enlighten us in the comments?
On the offensive side, the A’s scored one run on five hits over nine innings, so ... this should be quick. Nobody in green and gold did anything with the bat for eight innings, and then in the 9th, outfielder Greg Deichmann (No. 15 on our CPL) (also No. 15 on last year’s CPL, weird) blasted a solo homer to prevent the shutout. The other hits were singles by catcher Austin Allen, infielder Franklin Barreto, and minor league free agent infielder Ryan Goins, plus a ground-rule double by another minor league free agent infielder, Eric Campbell. There were also a few walks, but only twice did the A’s reach third base before Deichmann’s dinger.
For more details from someone who was actually there to see the action, check out Slusser’s full writeup at the Chronicle.
The A’s now head to Las Vegas for the weekend. They’ll play two split-squad games on Saturday, both against Cleveland Indians split-squads.
In conclusion, to make up for Friday’s forgettable game, here is a very good dog dunking a basketball at the Warriors game last night. Have a good night and an even better weekend!