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Recap: Angels @ A’s ST Game 4

March 5, 2012

This game is noteworthy to most of baseball as the debut of Albert Pujols playing first base for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. To us A’s fans this is merely the fourth game of spring training. I am labeling this game Game 4 and the other split-squad game Game 5 merely because MLB decided to list them in that order on their website. If you have objections to that numbering, I am happy to hear them but will not make any changes. A’s lost this one in a blowout 9-1.

  • The Angels’ lineup looked pretty much like what I can imagine Mike Scioscia would throw out there on any given night during the season. A’s starter Brad Peacock did not look sharp against this MLB lineup allowing four earned runs, on four hits in 1 2/3 innings while walking one and striking out one (Torii Hunter).
  • Still facing a more MLB-like lineup Grant Balfour had a second straight forgettable appearance allowing a home run to Chris Iannetta and walking a mere three batters in his 2/3 innings of work. Don’t think this is cause for any concern, as can be said time and time again. This is the spring and these games do not count. Last year Balfour had a 6.97 ERA in the spring and turned out fine – though he only walked two and allowed a lone home run, numbers he has already exceeded in two appearances this year.
  • The other noteworthy poor pitching performance of the game came from another highly anticipated A’s pitcher, Sonny Gray. Gray threw one inning against all MLB players, and allowed two earned runs on two hits, walking two while K’ing one (Hank Conger). While the pitchers expected to be a big part of this team looked horrid, those who don’t figure into immediate plans looked great: Blake Treinen, Pedro Figueroa and Josh Bowman all pitched scoreless innings. And finally, Evan Scribner who looked good the other day in Peoria had another strong outing going two hitless innings with one strikeout though he faced more MiLB talent than MLB regulars.
  • On the offensive side of the ledger, Cliff Pennington and Michael Taylor both managed two hits a piece. But no Athletic had anything better than a single and all said and done, Pennington and Taylor accounted for 2/3 of the A’s hits as only Coco Crisp and Kurt Suzuki added hits to the A’s efforts.
  • Defensively, Pennington as he far too frequently does had another error and as per usual it was a throwing error – his second error of the spring and his second one that is on account of his throwing as well.
  • Only Kurt Suzuki was able to “lawyerball” Angels starter C.J. Wilson.
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