It’s been nearly 10 months since we’ve seen a live Oakland A’s baseball game, but that fast will finally be broken Monday evening when they take on the Giants in a preseason exhibition game. Sean Manaea will pitch for the A’s, against Kevin Gausman of San Francisco, as the two clubs tune up for their regular season openers later in the week.
But if you can’t wait that long to see the A’s in action, then here’s a sneak peek. Teams have mostly been playing intrasquad games against themselves during the past couple weeks of Summer Camp, in order to avoid interaction during the age of social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic, and Oakland (along with Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle) posted some video of their latest scrimmage on Sunday.
Frankie Montas, who will start Opening Day on Friday, took the mound for his final practice outing. He was working 95-97 mph, reports Kawahara.
Montas walked his first two hitters then retired Piscotty (popout), Khris Davis (check-swing grounder) and Pinder (strikeout). Video is end of Pinder at-bat, 95 mph fastball pic.twitter.com/cOusAUxy6u— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) July 19, 2020
More Montas, who seemed to be carving through many of his teammates:
Montas strikes out Khris Davis on an off-speed pitch. Also got Franklin Barreto swinging at 88 mph off-speed two batters earlier pic.twitter.com/u2WsgMaLBe— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) July 19, 2020
Eventually, Mark Canha ended the game with a walk-off homer. This video gives a good idea of what the virtual crowd noise sounds like, and so far I like it.
Another angle of Canha, and a more closeup listen to the crowd noise.
Reminder: No high-fives. We do elbows now.
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: A foul ball toward the cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands. Looks like someone got pegged, too! More of a glancing blow off the initial ricochet, but it’s just a matter of time before we see a direct hit.
The A’s and Giants play Monday night at 6:40 p.m. PT. It’s televised on NBCS California, with audio streaming on TuneIn. Opening Day of the regular season is Friday, July 24, at home against the Angels, at 7:10 p.m. on ESPN. Click here for Oakland’s full 2020 schedule.