On his 39th birthday, Kurt Suzuki donned the catchers gear for the final time in his career. He did so back in Oakland where his Major League career started. The place where he raised money for the lone survivor of the Adenhart tragedy and gave us a solid glimpse into his character.
The moment was handled perfectly.
Hoping to stick around next year is Michael Lorenzen. He was cruising along, pitching a shutout through 6 nnings. Problem was, A’s starter Cole Irvin was matching the zeros.
Both starters would leave after those six shutout innings but the shutout kept going thanks to Andrew Wantz and a pair of Oakland relievers.
Wantz cracked first, allowing a run with one out in the bottom of the eighth when Seth Brown drove in Tony Kemp. He left with two on and one out and Zastryzny got a K and a ground out to end the inning with no more damage.
Domingo Acevedo came into the 9th sporting an impressive 0.98 WHIP across 70 appearances fo Oakland.
Wunderkid Livan Soto put a dent in that WHIP with a lead off single. A little Bad News Bears by the A’s and some aggressive base running got him to third on the play.
Matt Duffy drove him home a few pitches later to tie the score at 1-1. Unfortunately Duffy was picked off first after an Adell K (shocker) and the rally died without any more scoring.
Enter Ryan Tepera needing to put up a zero in the bottom of the 9th. He did, including a K of Steven Vogt in quite possibly the final at bat in his career.
Vogt is one of the nicest players I’ve met out in Spring Training. Great guy. I’d be happy to land him if he gets into coaching.
Extra innings. Hmmm, this sounds familiar.
Stassi sacrificed ghost runner Fletcher to third. Rengifo grounded out sharply and the A’s intentionally walked Trout to get to Ohtani vs lefty AJ Puk.
Ohtani drove the ball to deep center field. It is out of most ballparks but it was an out tonight.
Tepera was kept in the game and got the ghost runner Smith out at third on an attempted sacrifice bunt. A nice play by Tepera and Rengifo on a really nice bunt by Tony Kemp.
It was downhill from there. A couple of batters later the A’s had the bases loaded with one out and walked it off on a walk.
An epic butter cup and a pretty good synopsis of the 2022 Angels.
See you for one more tomorrow.