A’s hold their own against World Champion Cubs in first game of ’17

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August 4, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jesse Hahn (32) throws in the first inning against Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
August 4, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jesse Hahn (32) throws in the first inning against Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The A’s played their first spring training game of 2017 on Saturday at Sloan Park against the reigning World Champion Chicago Cubs.

For a team that has had back-to-back 90-loss seasons like the Oakland Athletics, that had to be at least a little intimidating.

It seems even more intimidating knowing that the Cubs won 103 of their regular season games in 2016 and appear to be becoming a power to be reckoned with in coming years.

That’s not to say that the A’s looked or played poorly. They didn’t.

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No errors were committed. They were able to put men on-base.

The Cubs put up a three-spot in the second inning on a pair of RBI by Matt Szczur and one by Jason Heyward off of Athletics’ starter Jesse Hahn.

Hahn went 1.2 innings allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Heyward may not have gotten credited with a hit but it was still a hopeful first day for the outfielder who struggled offensively in 2016.

The Athletics’ answered back in the fourth inning with three runs of their own on a solo-shot by newcomer Matt Joyce, who was signed to a two-year $11 million deal over the offseason and a two-run bomb by up-and-coming third base prospect Matt Chapman.

The A’s actually signed Trevor Plouffe to a one-year deal worth $5 million plus incentives, to play third base instead of Chapman for 2017.

This was mainly to give Chapman more time in Triple-A, being that he missed much of his first two professional seasons with injuries and has played just 18 games at the Triple-A level. However, things are always subject to change after the spring.

Oakland Athletics
Mar 8, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman (36) in the first inning during a spring training against the Texas Rangers at HoHoKam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

Granted this was just day one. Yet if the 23-year-old Chapman continues to play well enough, he’s already been said to have one of the strongest arms in the minor leagues when he was named to MiLBPipeline‘s all-defense team, there’s always a chance that he could make the 25-man roster.

Yet, that’s getting way ahead of the game at this point. And this was a game in which the A’s were not victorious.

The Cubs used nine different pitchers and the A’s were only able to score off of one of them, Jose Rosario. Otherwise they were, for the most part, shut down by the Cubs’ pitching.

The Cubs scored one more run on a home run by 21-year-old outfielder Charcer Burks off of A’s right-hander Chris Smith.

The reigning World Champions defeated the A’s by the score of 4-3. Even though the A’s didn’t win the game they did hold their own against the Cubs and that isn’t a bad way to start.

Next: 2017 A's shortstop preview

The A’s may have an old stadium now, but a new one is finally in the works.

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