Athletics Stumble Once Again, Fall to Cubs 5-3


Nobody likes losing, even when it comes during the exhibition Cactus League.  While the losses literally mean nothing, you’d still like to see wins that mean nothing rather than losses that mean nothing.  There were bright spots today during a rather lackluster performance by the Athletics in Mesa this afternoon.  The man officially named as the Opening Day starter, Brett Anderson made his 2013 debut and looked every bit the part of an ace of a staff.  But again, and I will beat this point into the ground over the next month, it is only Spring Training.  Anderson allowed just a single base hit in his 2 innings of work, struck out 1, and got 4 outs on the ground.  Needless to say Anderson was sharp and it was nice to see.

Brett Anderson is excited to be the Opening Day starter… see? (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Bartolo Colon also made his debut today, and his outing didn’t go quite as smoothly as Anderson’s.  Colon did get hit, but the defense behind him didn’t help the cause either.  Hiro Nakajima committed a costly error that allowed a run to score, and opened the door for a subsequent RBI single (CUT HIM!).  Colon’s line all told looked like this: 2 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 0 walks, 4 K’s.  The control is still there, and surely the hits will go down as he regains his command within the strike zone.  Jordan Norberto and Pedro Figueroa each allowed single runs in their innings, while Hideki Okajima and Evan Scribner worked clean frames.

On the offensive side of things, there wasn’t much to speak of quite frankly.  Derek Norris connected on his 2nd home run of the Spring in the top of the 2nd inning, he also walked and scored later.  Hiro Nakajima notched his second hit of the young Spring as well, and despite his error is beginning to look more comfortable in the white spikes.  Michael Choice got the start in left field before sliding over to center, and went 2-4 with an RBI in the process.  Darwin Perez, Eric Sogard, Brandon Moss, Grant Green, and Scott Moore also put a tally in the hit column today, but it wasn’t enough to best the North Siders.

The A’s return to Phoenix Muni tomorrow to take on the (unfortunately) defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants for the first time in 2013.  Jarrod Parker will make his debut against the lanky left Madison Bumgarner for the Giants.  Bullpen stalwarts Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, and Jerry Blevins are also scheduled to make their Cactus League debuts tomorrow, so if the Giants score a bunch of runs it’ll be a little sad since it’s against some of the best relievers the A’s have.  This game means more than the others in the hearts of A’s fans everywhere, simply because it’s the Giants, so let’s hope the A’s show them just how not impressed they are with the champs.