I have been so excited about the 2013 edition of the Oakland Athletics that I simply couldn’t wait until April 1st to see them in person. So I find myself down in Phoenix, Arizona to take in a little bit of the Cactus League action.
We saw the A’s take on the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday afternoon at Phoenix Muni, and I had some very strong impressions on a couple things that may or may not show themselves once the regular season begins. For the most part they looked pretty good, beating the previously 13-1 Royals by a score of 6-3. Tommy Milone wobbled a bit in his 3.2 innings of work, he allowed 6 hits and 3 ER, but the defense didn’t help him much either. He didn’t look that bad, except for the tape measure shot that appeared to travel to the practice in right by Alex Gordon.
One of the most glaring weaknesses I noticed was perhaps a little overaggresiveness on the basepaths by the Athletics. Brandon Moss got caught trying to grab second base on a throw that went to the plate on his RBI single in the 4th, and then was caught trying to stretch a pop fly that fell in for a single into a double, and Eric Sogard was nailed at 3rd base trying to stretch a double down the right field line into a triple. Sogard also should have been doubled up earlier on a would-be double by John Jaso that was run down by Jarrod Dyson, he was saved when the ball was bobbled on the relay by the first baseman to allow Sogard to retreat to first.
Ryan Cook threw an inning, but it sure wasn’t pretty. He only allowed a hit, but his pitches were all over the place. He’s gotten by thus far in his career on the strength of his stuff, but one has to wonder how long he’ll be able to dodge bullets.
It was a perfect start to the 4 day trip in Arizona, enjoyed my first A’s game of 2013, was able to get one of those sweet new A’s Spring Training caps, and saw a victory in the process. The A’s are off this afternoon, so we are going to go scout the competition as we head to Peoria to see the San Diego Padres take on Joe Blanton and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Tempe. The Angels will be starting all of their big guns, so it’ll be interesting to see them in action together for the first time. More reports from Arizona to follow.