The Oakland A’s started their 2022 season on Friday, raising the question of who would get the team’s first hit of the year. It took a while to get the answer, but it was emphatic when it happened.
The A’s bats were quiet their first time through the lineup, but in the 4th inning they finally woke up. With two outs and nobody on base, Chad Pinder drilled a solo homer to the opposite field. Just like that, Oakland was on the board!
At 103.3 mph exit velocity and 386 feet in distance, Pinder’s swipe to right field satisfied several 2022 firsts for the A’s. It was their first hit of the year, their first homer, and their first run, all generated by Pinder Power.
Making the blast all the more impressive was that it came against a right-handed pitcher, and a great one in Aaron Nola. Pinder has enjoyed much better success against lefties during his career, and is generally considered best cast as a platoon player, but this afternoon he got the cleanup spot in the order and he made the most of it. In addition to his dinger, he also ripped a sharp single (101.7 mph) and a loud groundout (103.7 mph). Three pieces of triple-digit contact in four at-bats is a nice day!
The one distinction Pinder didn’t get out of this was being the A’s first baserunner of the year. That happened earlier, in the 3rd inning, when Stephen Piscotty was hit by a pitch. Technically that does include the word “hit,” but on the arm not the bat.
Oakland went on to lose 9-5 to the Phillies, but they made some noise along the way, and in the 7th inning Seth Brown slugged the team’s second homer of the year. May there be many more dingers to follow!