Indeed it was a wild one, in many ways. This game was a classic Spring Training affair, lots of unpolished pitching, lots of runs scored, and lots of errors made. These two teams looked like they were in just the first week of Cactus League play. Andrew Werner made the start today, and despite a defensive miscue by Brandon Moss, held the Cleveland Indians to just 1 unearned run in his 2 innings of work. Werner didn’t allow a hit, and just walked one batter; definitely a solid outing for the lefty.
The rest of the pitching staff wasn’t quite so fortunate though, Evan Scribner allowed 2 earned runs in his inning of work on 2 hits and 1 walk, Sonny Gray allowed a 2 run home run to former A’s great Matt Carson in his 2 innings, Jordan Norberto failed to complete an inning and allowed 3 ER including a home run to Yan Gomes, Carlos Fisher walked 3 and allowed 3 runs of his own to complete Norberto’s disastrous inning, and Drew Granier allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in his inning. Hideki Okajima though made his A’s debut in a clean inning despite allowing a hit and a walk, and Carlos Hernandez finished off the boxscore in nice fashion with a 1-2-3 9th inning. The A’s must have been running a free pass to first base promotion to celebrate their first Spring Training home game, because A’s pitchers handed out 7 altogether. There’s no surprise that the Indians scored 14 runs when you consider that fact.
The A’s were shut down at the plate early on by Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Vinnie Pestano, but they managed to get on the board with Shane Peterson‘s first (and the A’s first) home run of the Spring. That didn’t come until the 6th inning though and by then the Indians had gained a 5 run advantage. Peterson went 3-3 though after replacing Josh Reddick, he surely has to be opening some eyes right now.
Speaking of eye-opening performances, let’s discuss Michael Choice. After entering the game in a double switch along with Jemile Weeks in Jed Lowrie‘s spot in the order, Choice went 2-3 with 3 runs scored, a 2 run home run, and is hitting a scalding hot .714 so far. Of course it’s just through 3 games, but it’s better to put on a display like this than to appear overmatched by big league camp. Jefry Marte and Andy Parrino each contributed 2 hits and scored twice as well, with Parrino driving in 2 runs on top of that.
It’s all exhibition baseball, and it’s very early in the exhibition schedule so no major concerns should be had at this point. Let’s all keep in mind that it is still February. The A’s will play the Arizona Diamondbacks AKA the Arizona Athletics tomorrow in Scottsdale at the famously fancy Salt River Fields. The first projected member of the A’s starting rotation will make his 2013 debut as A.J. Griffin takes the hill against the funky delivery of Josh Collmenter. Michael Choice will be rewarded for his hot start with a start in the lineup in center field.