By Jason Wojciechowski on April 18, 2015 at 4:12 PM
A's 5, Royals 0
WP: Jesse Hahn (5 1/3 IP, 0 R, 4 H+BB, 0 K)
Homers: Josh Reddick (1)
Standings: First in AL West by 0.5 games; would face winner of Baltimore vs. Kansas City in ALDS
Jesse Hahn "did a nice job" / got lucky avoiding a run in the third inning. The jam wasn't entirely of his making, as he gave up what should have been a single to left field that Ben Zobrist just blew into a double, and that Sam Fuld blew into a triple -- Zobrist whiffed on gloving a ball that, on replay, it looked like he should have had, and Fuld did a turnaround jumper-type throw back to the infield that never quite made it to the infield, winding up in short center, instead. Infante never stopped running until he got to third. It was Little League all around. Hahn, though, got a grounder right to shortstop on a drawn-in infield, then a grounder back to him. Getting grounders is his job, so good job, but as we saw yesterday with Sonny Gray, getting grounders is only half the battle -- getting a fortunate angle on those grounders is the other half. The third out was obtained on a bit of a screamer to right field that was right at Josh Reddick -- he had only to move back a few steps to make an easy catch, but the ball came off the bat loud.
I was talking with a Twitter friend about Yordano Ventura and Glen Kuiper's typically joyless comments about his extra leg kick "just isn't necessary" and how I liked Ventura's steez. Then he threw at Brett Lawrie and I changed my mind. Beanballs are stupid. (Beaneballs are amazing.) Throwing at people is stupid. Walking toward the guy you just hit hoping that he'll come out at you is complete horseshit. You hit the guy. That sent the message. The ball's in his court now.
The Kansas City fans' reaction to the HBP was also typically classless, where by "typically" I refer to "American sports fans," not any particular city or sport. We're all horrible people and we deserve the misery of only 1/30 of us getting to celebrate a championship every year.
Blisters are so annoying. Sixty-five pitches through 5 1/3 innings and Hahn's reward is that he can't go further. Suuuuucks.
I'm here for Jesse Chavez. If he's going to throw 96 out of the bullpen, then I'm going to advocate for him taking the eighth-inning role. Anybody can work long relief. (That's not true. I don't care.) Chavez managed 11 swinging strikes out of 57 pitches and I'd swear that every one of them was on a fastball.