“Friend of A’s UK” Cole Irvin pitched an absolute beauty against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
Facing what was essentially a full-strength Dodgers batting line-up (Betts, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Muncy, Pollock, Barnes and Lux), Cole struck out 10 over six score-less innings, giving up just a single to Lux when the ball cannoned off the first-base bag.
He also made a ridiculous catch on a come-backer that had ‘decapitation’ written all over it!
I’ve decided to make it the centre-piece in our Song For Cole, now available on our YouTube channel:
There is a rotation spot up-for-grabs on the Opening Day roster now that Mike Fiers is going to start the season on the Injured List. Irvin’s final audition could not have gone any better and even if he doesn’t get the nod in this case, with Daulton Jefferies impressing in Spring too, then his Cactus League performances have ensured he’ll be at the top of the list when the A’s do need another arm during the regular season.
Another key name on that list is A.J. Puk. Had he been healthy all Spring then Puk may have made the roster regardless. Unfortunately, injuries have bedevilled Puk in recent years, denying him the opportunity to really get into a groove and to show what he can do, and they’ve slowed him during March too.
Puk will get an opportunity to impress on Saturday when the A’s face the Texas Rangers. The game is a 20:05 GMT start and is being broadcast on NBCSC by the A’s crew. MLB has announced that MLB.TV will be free from today through Tuesday, so if you don’t yet have an MLB.TV subscription you can still watch the game live online via MLB.com.
The A’s game tomorrow against the San Francisco Giants is also being televised, albeit by the Giants’ TV crew, so we can enjoy a Bay Bridge Series warm-up this weekend. Sunday’s game begins an hour later (well, is an hour later for us after we are robbed of one hour overnight in the move to British Summer Time).