By Jason Wojciechowski on April 8, 2015 at 10:59 PM
Have yourself a damn day, Mark Canha!
Rangers 0, A's 10
WP: Scott Kazmir (7 IP, 3 H+BB, 10 K)
Homers: Who needs 'em
Standings: Tied for first in the AL West
I don't do the beat writer prewriting thing, typically, but I got home late tonight, so I started the game late, so as of this writing, I'm watching the top of the seventh, with the A's up 9-0. Given all those things, my thoughts are abbreviated:
Scott Kazmir's size and injury history leave me always feeling on edge, and the trainer visit in the middle of this game didn't help those feelings, but gosh, when he wasn't hurting, he was on his pitching game tonight, including throwing his fastball past people at times. It's easy to forget, given this weakened version of Kazmir, that the whole reason we know his name at all is that his arm used to be [fire emoji] [lightning emoji] [fire emoji] [100 emoji]. He's still got some of that going for him, and the double-digit strikeouts tonight showed that.
It's a little sad that Nate Freiman went and got himself Pipped by Canha, but a three-run double for your first big-league hit? Four RBIs in your first game? That's pretty neat stuff. He also made a nice scoop on a long Brett Lawrie throw after the third baseman dove to keep a ball from scooting down the left field line.
Lawrie, by the way, hit the ball with authority to right field on a hanging breaker and also scurried his ass down the line for an infield single later on. I'm back on the bandwagon.
Tyler Ladendorf also got his first big-league hit, which is nice because he's only going to be up as long as Josh Reddick is out. Make that time count!
Cody Ross looked fine. Nothing special. He hit the ball pretty hard for his one hit. He'll be fine, I've decided. Not Jonny Gomes fine or anything, but who is?
I got my first look at R.J. Alvarez. He's got closer hair, that's for sure. The low release point / drop-down mechanics make me worried that he'll be too susceptible to lefties to actually be a closer down the line, but the arm action isn't particularly long, and his drop-down isn't Eckersleyan or anything, and in any event Eckersley was a pretty damn good closer, so maybe he's not going to give lefties too much of a good luck to be all that worried about.
He didn't seem to have any idea where his slider was going, but that's why he's a reliever, right? There's something jerky and explosive about watching him pitch even though his fastball "only" comes in at 94 or 95, not that much faster than Kazmir, who has that easy rocking-chair lefty heat.
What on earth even happened to the Rangers in this game? They made about 17 errors, couldn't hit a damn thing Kazmir threw, hung pitches to the A's, and just generally all around looked like they, collectively, got called up from Triple-A to fill in for the real Rangers, all of whom are dealing with the flu. At least we got to see Delino DeShields, son of Delino DeShields.