First Photos from Tempe

I don’t care if it’s a dry heat or not, it was damn hot today and scheduled to be hotter.

In the end, it was too hot for the Phoenix A’s, who lost 5-4 to the Tempe Angels in 11 innings.

I always enjoy watching A’s – Angels matchups in the summer league, because this is where the youngsters start to learn their organizations’ styles of play. The A’s batters almost always take the first pitch, while Angels players are always aggressive on the basepaths.

The A’s Moneyball style seems to be going the way of the dodo, though, because I actually saw A’s batters swing at first pitches today. Normally they never swing at a first pitch, so we might as well throw it down the middle for a strike and put the batter behind in the count. The A’s also stole five bases; leadoff hitter Jose Crisotomo swiped two bags and repeatedly drew pickoff attempts to keep him close. In 14 games, Cristotomo has 7 SB in eight attempts.

We played our style of play, running the bases aggressively to force the defense to make perfect plays. We’re certainly in their heads, if today’s A’s managerial strategy is any indication. In the bottom of the 9th, we had the winning run on 3rd with two outs; A’s manager Ruben Escalera actually pitched out, thinking Kevin Ramos might try to steal home.

In the bottom of the 11th, leadoff batter Aaron Peel’s speed caused A’s shortstop Wilfredo Pena to commit a throwing error. Chris Garcia’s single sent Peel to third. With runners on first and third and nobody out, Escalera intentionally walked Raddy Sierra to load the bases. Sure, Garcia’s run is as meaningless at second as it is at first, except now Escalera has put reliever Juston Street in the position of having to throw strikes with no margin for error. Ramos hit a sacrifice fly to score Peel, and the Angels won.

I shot plenty of video, but won’t have the time to post it for a couple days. Tomorrow we have a makeup doubleheader against the Peoria Padres starting at 9 AM. Each game is seven innings, as are all minor league twinbills. Gametime temperature is predicted to be 89 degrees but the humidity will make it feel like 94. By the time we’re done somewhere around 2 PM, it’ll be 101 but feel like 104. 2008 top draft pick Tyler Chatwood is scheduled to start Game #2.

My wife and I hit the road at 2 PM to drive home to California, so expect video to start showing up on sometime on Wednesday.

Tempe Angels manager Ty Boykin.


Today’s starting pitcher Manaurys Correa.


Pitching coach Trevor Wilson consults with pitcher Manaurys Correa. John Rickard is the catcher.


Center fielder Matt Crawford chases down a fly ball to end the first inning.


Third baseman Ludwig Glaser is from Germany. He tripled and singled in the game.


Reliever Abe Gonzalez struck out two in his one inning of work.


Sidearmer Nick Pugliese’s scoreless inning lowered his ERA to 1.32.


Adam Younger replaced the injured Alexi Amarista in the lineup and had two singles in three at-bats.


Catcher Ikko Sumi is from Yokohama, Japan.

One comment

  1. beesgal

    I believe the times they are a changing. . .
    The Sacramento Rivercats (Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate) showed their “new” baserunning philosophy the last time they came to SLC as well (11-14 July). It was funny listening to Steve Klauke (listening to the radio broadcast while attending the game in person) describe how they were stealing pages from the Angels playbooks, although the end results of the games themselves was less than amusing (split series, 2-4) . . .BeesGal

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