Today was the last baseball game of the trip and the Athletics hosted the cross-bay rival Giants. The game wasn’t so great from the perspective of the A’s, except for the five innings thrown by Trevor Cahill. The only thing bad that happened to him was Travis Ishikawa belted the first of his two homeruns. After that though, the Giants stepped it up and scored seven more to win 8-4. One of the most interesting parts of the game, even though it was at the expense of the A’s, was when Bobby Crosby came up to hit with runners Matt Carson on first and Aaron Cunningham on second. Crosby hit the ball to the thirdbaseman Ryan Rohlinger, who immediately tagged Carson going to third, tossed the ball to Matt Downs at second to force out Cunningham and then threw it to Scott McClain at first to get Crosby out. Triple play. You don’t see those very often.
It was a quicker game than all the rest so we actually got back to the hotel pretty quick. We don’t have anything else planned since we’d like to get to bed early tonight. If we can wake up early enough and get rolling, we might be at home by bedtime tomorrow. Off to dinner and to organize our stuff for the car!
Today was the only ‘road trip’ of our games this week. We ate breakfast and hopped in the car for the hour drive up to Surprise, Arizona. Surprise Stadium is in the middle of the Surprise Recreation Campus, which includes practice fields, picnic grounds, a library, tennis courts, community pool and a water park. Both the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals share the baseball facility. It’s really a nice place to watch a game. We were in the upper level in the last row and it seemed like we were so close to the field. I wish all major league parks could be like this.
Today was a long day. We got to Phoenix Muni early, almost too early. Parking was open, but the stadium wasn’t, so we went inside the shop to browse around. I bought myself another straw hat, since you can never have too many of them. When we finally got inside, we headed over near the A’s dugout area. I snapped a bunch of pictures of the players taking batting practice and throwing the ball around.
Today was the first baseball game of the trip, with the A’s hosting the Dodgers split squad. After allowing the Dodgers to put up four runs in the second, they came back and scored nine in the third. They wanted to coast home, but the Dodgers put up four runs in the ninth to bring it to 10-8 before the game ended. I ate a footlong hot dog with kraut, onions and peppers. As my mustache grows, I have to relearn how to eat certain things, and dogs are one of those things.
My wife and I went to the real home opener for the A’s last night and watched what I hope is not an example of the kinds of games we’re going to see all season long. They lost the game 2-1 against the pitching of Daisuke Matsuzaka who was definately on his game.
Frustrating rookiee mistakes were made with a Barton-off-the-shoulder foul-ball drop and Hannahan’s indecision after making a fantastic defensive stop down the third base line. They weren’t the only ones. Jason Varitek hit a ball that bounced off the white line on the right field wall back into the field. The referees ruled it a double instead of the home run the replays showed it really was. It ended up not mattering much because the A’s couldn’t manage to get anyone else home.
The two bright spots of the night were the solid six innings pitched by Joe Blanton and the solo homerun that Jack Cust hit on the first pitch in the second inning. I managed to snap a picture of Cust making contact from our vantage point all the way down the left field side in section 234. Except it was blurry. Oh well.
Next up on the list of games is Travis Buck bobblehead day on April 19th against Kansas City.