O.co Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Doug Fister was maybe a little too hyped up for his first start of the 2014 campign tonight in the O.co Coliseum. After recording the first two outs of the bottom of the first inning, the Washington Nationals' 30-year-old right-hander made an ill-advised attempt to throw Oakland Athletics' infielder Josh Donaldson out at first base on a swinging bunt, and Fister's not-Jeter-ish spinning throw resulted in a two-base error when the ball sailed over Kevin Frandsen at first and into the vast expanse of foul territory down the line. With Donaldson on third after the error, A's first baseman Brandon Moss singled through second to bring in the game's first run, 1-0 Oakland.
Fister left an 88 mph fastball up for A's DH John Jaso in the third and the fly ball Jaso hit to center field cleared the 388 ft sign on the outfield wall for a solo home run and a 2-0 A's lead.
A broken bat single and fly ball to short center put runners on first and third with one out in the A's fourth and a wild pitch from Fister brought Yoenis Cespedes in from third after the Athletics' left fielder singled his way on and went first-to-third on Josh Reddick's hit. 3-0 Oakland. Reddick moved up to second on the wild pitch, took third on a groundout by Derek Norris and scored on an RBI single to right by Eric Sogard that made it 4-0 over the Nationals after four innings.
Anthony Rendon bounced a throw to first with one down in the sixth inning and Brandon Moss made the Nationals and Doug Fister pay, taking the first pitch he saw, a hanging curve, out to straight center field for a two-run home run in the next at bat that made it 6-0 A's. Yoenis Cespedes took Fister's next pitch to right for a solo home run and a 7-0 lead. That was it for Fister in his Nationals debut.
Tommy Milone threw seven scoreless innings vs the Nationals on 96 pitches.
Derek Norris was 2 for 4 tonight after an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh made it 8-0 A's.
Milone was up to 108 pitches after a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth. That was it for the lefty, who earned his first win of the season, (1-3).
8-0 A's final.
O.Co Coliseum. No idea what O.Co is. This park is funky. But I like it. pic.twitter.com/CsaGxuJp2c— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 9, 2014
4. Doug Fister Start No.1: Doug Fister was making his first start of the 2014 campaign tonight in Oakland's O.co Coliseum, his first start for the Nationals and his first start as a member of a National League team after having previously pitched for the Seattle Mariners and the same Oakland A's he was facing in his Nats debut. Fister was held back as he rehabbed from elbow inflammation and a minor right lat strain that landed him on the DL at the end of Spring Training.
In his five major league seasons, two and a half-ish each with the Mariners and Tigers, Fister faced the A's twelve times before tonight, holding the A's to two runs or less in 10 of the 12 outings while allowing one run or less in seven of the ten. He was (5-5) with a 3.17 ERA, 15 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 46 Ks (5.83 K/9) in 71 IP, over which A's hitters put up a .280/.324/.369 line against him.
Fister posted a 2.41 ERA in 33 2/3 IP in the Athletics' home before tonight, over which he held the Athletics' hitters to a .250/.317/.348 line in Oakland.
Acquired from the Tigers this winter in a 3-for-1 deal, the 6'8", 30-year-old righty finished up the 2013 campaign in Detroit with a (14-9) record, a 3.67 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 44 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 159 Ks (6.86 K/9) in 33 games, 32 starts and 208 2/3 IP over which he was worth +4.6 fWAR.
In 121 career starts heading into his Nats debut, the Merced, California-born starter posted a 3.53 ERA, a 3.44 FIP, 1.81 BB/9 and 6.28 K/9 in 818 2/3 total IP.
His first start as a Washington National began with a ball low in the zone to A's leadoff man John Jaso...
1st: Doug Fister got a fly to left field from John Jaso for the first out of his first start with the Nats. A's shortstop Jed Lowrie flew out to center for out no.2. Josh Donaldson, Oakland's third baseman, reached safely on an infield single, and took two extra bases when Doug Fister made an ill-advised attempt to throw him out and sailed one into the vast expanse of foul territory down the first base line in the O.co Coliseum. Brandon Moss stepped in with a runner on third in the next at bat, and sent an RBI single through the right side of the infield to make it 1-0 Oakland early. Yoenis Cespedes grounded out to second to end an 18-pitch opening frame.
2nd: A's right fielder Josh Reddick flew out to left field to start the top of the second. Derek Norris worked the count full in his first career at bat against the team that drafted him in 2007 and lined a one-out single to right on a 74 mph curve to end an eight-pitch at bat. Athletics' second baseman Eric Sogard flew out to center field for out no.2. Craig Gentry's pop to first baseman Kevin Frandsen ended a 16-pitch inning. 34 pitches for Fister after two innings.
3rd: John Jaso hit an 88 mph 1-2 fastball from Fister out to center in the O.co Coliseum, clearing the high wall above the yellow 388 ft sign on the A's green center field wall for a solo blast and a 2-0 lead. Jed Lowrie flew out to left field on a 90 mph 1-2 fastball from Fister. Josh Donaldson grounded to short for out no.2 and Fister's second ground ball out and a fly to left from Brandon Moss ended a 14-pitch inning that had Fister at 48 overall after three.
4th: Yoenis Cespedes started the A's first with a broken bat single over third base. Josh Reddick dumped a single into center on an 0-1 two-seamer, sending Cespedes around to third with no one out. With Derek Norris up, Fister uncorked a wild pitch that brought Cespedes in, 3-0. Norris grounded out to move Reddick to third and the A's right fielder scored on a one-out single to right field by Eric Sogard. 4-0 A's. Fister got Craig Gentry looking for out no.2 and John Jaso K'd swinging at a two-strike bender to end a 23-pitch inning that left Fister at 71 total after four.
5th: Jed Lowrie flew out to Jayson Werth in short right field. Josh Donaldson reached on a throwing error by Anthony Rendon that Kevin Frandsen couldn't pick and Brandon Moss took another high curve to center field in the next at bat for a two-run blast and a 6-0 A's lead. Yoenis Cespedes took a first-pitch fastball to right in the AB that followed and it was 7-0 A's when Fister was lifted after back-to-back blasts on back-to-back pitches.
Doug Fister's Line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 3 HRs, 79 P, 53 S, 4/6 GO/FO.
• 3. Adam LaRoche's Quad: The Nationals took advantage of Interleague action and the abominable DH in the AL to rest Adam LaRoche's sore quad while keeping his bat in the lineup.
In his place, with Tyler Moore optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday, Kevin Frandsen got the start at first base.
Frandsen, the Nats' 31-year-old IF/OF, started 44 games at first before tonight, 40 of them with the Philadelphia Phillies last season.
LaRoche got a chance to effectively rest his quad for a second straight day after the off day on Thursday. He told reporters, including the Washington Post's James Wagner, before today's game that it was still an issue:
Adam LaRoche on strained quad he's been dealing with: "Looser but still there." Will keep a hot pack on & ride bike in between DH at-bats.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 9, 2014
LaRoche was 0 for 2 on the night when Nats' skipper Matt Williams pinch hit for him in the top of the seventh.
Frandsen missed one chance at a pick attempt at first on Anthony Rendon's throwing error.
2. Derek Norris Might Have Werth Beat in the Beard Dept: Derek Norris, tonight's starting catcher for the A's, and Tommy Milone, tonight's starting pitcher are the two players sent to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez deal back in the winter of 2011 who remain with A's today. Right-hander Brad Peacock was dealt to the Houston Astros in February of 2013 and A.J. Cole was sent back to the Nationals that winter in the three-team Michael Morse deal with the Athletics and Seattle Mariners a year after he was initially traded to Oakland.
Rizzo has since said that the inclusion of Cole in the original Gonzalez trade with the A's was the toughest part of the deal for him, which he remedied by reacquiring the now-22-year-old right-hander, who's ranked no.2 in the Nats' system now on most prospect lists.
Norris, an '07 Nationals' 4th Round pick, was 22-going-on-23 at the time of the Gio deal and he was the top-rated catcher in the Nats' system when he was traded. He made his major league debut in 2012 and in his first two seasons with the A's, posted a combined .226/.315/.383 line in 540 plate appearances.
This season, however, the 25-year-old backstop was off to a hot start with a .377/.463/.536 line, five doubles and two home runs in his first 80 PAs before tonight's game, which was his first against the team that drafted him.
In his first at bat tonight, Norris singled to right off Fister on a full-count curve, leaving himself with a .386 AVG on the year. In his second AB, Norris stepped in with runners on the corners and no one out in the fourth. A wild pitch got by Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos allowing one run to score. Norris' groundout to third moved the runner, Josh Reddick over to third base and he scored on a single to right by Eric Sogard that made it 4-0 A's.
Norris was 1 for 3 when he came up with two on and two out in the seventh and 2 for 4 after he took a 3-1 sinker from Nats' lefty Ross Detwiler through the left side of the infield for an RBI hit and an 8-0 A's lead. (.384 AVG on the year).
1. The Wrap-Up: Former Nats' starter Tommy Milone completed five scoreless innings and took the mound for the sixth with a 7-0 lead. When Kevin Frandsen flew out to center on an 0-1 curve, the A's left-handed starter was up to 11 straight outs and he'd retired 14 of 15 batters after Jayson Werth's two-out walk in the first.
Denard Span walked to break up the streak of batters set down, but Milone completed his sixth scoreless after 14 pitches when Anthony Rendon flew out to center and Jayson Werth flew out to right in the next two at bats. 81 pitches in six scoreless in which he allowed just one hit.
Ross Detwiler replaced Fister in the fifth and was through 1 2/3 scoreless after he pitched around an error in the A's sixth.
Tommy Milone was up 96 pitches after seven scoreless and 108 pitches after he completed a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth.
Milone was done after that: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 108 P, 71 S, 5/5 GO/FO.
Nationals now 19-16