The Oakland A’s lineup is getting so hot that even Lance Lynn can’t stop them anymore.
The A’s were shut out by Lynn and the White Sox in a Cactus League game a couple weeks ago, but Oakland got the upper hand in an exhibition rematch on Wednesday. The result was a 14-4 blowout that featured four homers by the green and gold, with three of the runs and two of the dingers coming off Lynn in five innings.
*** Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread! ***
The A’s began their scoring in the 2nd inning, on a solo shot by catcher Sean Murphy. It was his second of the spring after getting a late start due to a collapsed lung.
Game tying pic.twitter.com/czqfPwzTYJ— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 24, 2021
Two lefty outfield candidates teamed up for the next run in the 3rd inning. Seth Brown doubled, and Ka’ai Tom singled him in.
In the 4th, non-roster invitee Frank Schwindel blasted his second homer of the spring.
Frankly, that was outta here! pic.twitter.com/29Ar8Fps0q— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 24, 2021
In the 6th, Lynn was relieved by minor league righty Will Carter, and the A’s blew the game open. Murphy struck again with an RBI double, and Stephen Piscotty knocked his first dinger of the spring, in his second game back from a sore left wrist.
March 24, 2021
Brown homered a few moments later, for the second straight day, and then the game jumped the shark. Carter issued two walks and was replaced, and the new pitcher walked three more batters to force in a pair of runs. No more mercy rule to bail out of a jam!
But wait, there’s more! Even in late-inning garbage time, the prospects kept piling on the scoreboard. In the 8th, outfielder Cody Thomas doubled in a run. In the 9th, shortstop Nick Allen doubled in two more, then Skye Bolt drove in another with a sac fly, and an error plated one more.
By the end, Oakland collected 14 runs without playing Chapman, Olson, Pinder, Canha, or Moreland. Mercy.
Stats that don’t count
Spring stats aren’t to be trusted, but let’s look at a few anyway.
- Murphy has two homers, two doubles, and two walks in 17 plate appearances (1.153 OPS)
- Tom is now 9-for-20 (.450) this spring, plus a few walks and some extra-base power, and he’s driven in six runs in seven games. He also impressed insider Martin Gallegos with his arm.
- Brown is 6-for-last-15 with three homers
- (Nick) Allen is 6-for-last-14 with three doubles, a walk, and only one strikeout
- Schwindel is 7-for-last-20 with as many homers (2) as strikeouts
I mean, it’s not bad that they’re hitting well this month.
Manaea still sizzling
Three starts in, and the new Higher Octane Manaea is still a thing. Sean Manaea worked into the 6th inning, and was still registering 94 mph in that final frame, per Rickey Blog.
Manaea: 5⅓ ip, 2 runs (1 earned), 3 Ks, 2 BB, 5 hits
Also of note on the pitching staff was Burch Smith, who is still in the running for one of the final bullpen spots. Smith allowed two runs on a pair of doubles and a single.
The A’s are having that good kind of problem right now, where all of the candidates in every position battle are playing out of their minds. How do you pick between the hitter who’s batting .450, and the one who’s now homering every day? Or between multiple pitchers who just won’t give up any runs? Even Smith, despite his high ERA, has six Ks to one walk.
There are five more spring training games, and then the real ones begin next Thursday and all these dingers begin to count!