After Opening Day I wrote that the Oakland Athletics' lineup was thankfully "even more pathetic" than that of the Mariners, allowing Seattle to eek out a win despite a muted performance from the 4-7 spots of the lineup. Maybe the Mariner lineup is better top to bottom, but on Thursday morning the A's power hitters did what they are paid to do, propelling the "home" team to victory. Yoenis Cespedes went deep off of Shawn Kelley, Josh Reddick off George Sherrill, and Jonny Gomes off Steve Delabar for a total of four runs.
Eight of Seattle's nine hitters sat idly by. They didn't appear to have any chance at hurting Bartolo Colon, who cruised through 8 innings. Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero managed wimpy singles that led to a pseudo-rally when Michael Saunders followed with a walk, but beyond that the only hitter that seemed to pick up Colon's pitches was Justin Smoak. Smoak hit the ball hard in his first two at bats but unfortunately found Athletic leather, but cracked an opposite field home run in the 7th for Seattle's lone run.
Jason Vargas did what we've become accustomed to: his best Lifewise Health guy impression. Vargas was boringly good through 6.1 innings, keeping the A's off the board until Kelley hung that slider to Cespedes.
Both of Cespedes' extra base hits in the half-series have come off of breaking balls, which has to be encouraging A's fans considering that's the only type of pitch he'll see all year. The double off of Felix was genuinely impressive, although Kelley already gives up a lot of home runs and, as mentioned, this slider was a spinning meatball.
And now it's back to the good ol' United States. Except that Arizona is not so good, especially after Spring Training goes from an alluring distraction from basketball season and miserable Northwest weather to an annoying distraction from a baseball season that just started in Japan. And, after that, Oakland is not so good because, you know... Oakland.
Revised: And now back to good ol' baseball scheduled with Pacific Daylight Time in mind.