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A’s fall to Brewers, 8-5

The A’s remained winless through three exhibition games with Friday’s 8-5 loss to Milwaukee at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. But what stood out most in this game was the pitching they got from their front-line guys early on. Dana Eveland retired all six batters he faced and threw just 13 pitches in his two innings. “I’ll save my bullets. That’s the goal for this spring, save my bullets,” Eveland said afterward. He’s already made an important discovery: He’ll go with the contact lenses over glasses on the mound. Eveland said earlier this spring how bad his eyesight was last year, and he was going to wear one or the other. He wore his glasses to shag flies in BP, and he said he actually missed three fly balls. But he’ll wear glasses away from the baseball field because contacts hurt his eyes after just a few hours (I’m with him on that one …)

Brad Ziegler and Jerome Williams, a rotation candidate, also looked sharp.

Other notes from the afternoon:
–So much for what Geren told us this morning about Daric Barton debuting Sunday. Barton pinch-hit in the eighth inning and grounded out to second. The training staff gave him the thumbs-up to hit, so Barton wanted to test out his surgically repaired right hip. “I got out of the box OK. My timing’s still off, but other than that, it was productive.” He said he might DH Sunday against Arizona in Tucson, but his schedule seems to be changing by the day.

–Rajai Davis got a start in center and ran wild on the bases, showing the speed that’s likely to keep him on the Opening Day roster. He went from first to third on a hard single to left by Travis Buck in the first. Then in the sixth, he hung with an offspeed pitch from R.J. Swindle that must have clocked about 60 mph and drove the ball to right-center, legging out a triple.

–Jason Giambi got his first hit since returning to the A’s, a single to left in the second. But his best moment was a nice play at first he made on Craig Counsell’s bouncer in the third. He went to his right and made a backhanded stab on the short hop, flipping to Ziegler for the out. Giambi is likely to play lots of first base this season, and his glove is thought to be a bit of a liability.

–Geren said he likes what he sees from Travis Buck, who singled the opposite way and walked.

That’s a wrap for today. …

Joe Stiglich

  • Mike

    Let’s see…

    So last year, Eveland was a mess mechanically AND he couldn’t see??

    The fact that he was still a marginal MLB starter with both of those problems last year really makes me wonder how good this guy may be this season – combining the motion changes he picked up in Sacramento late last year along with, oh I don’t know…being able to actually SEE the catcher’s mitt!!

    Scary. How do things like this get missed at this level? But either way, I’m glad to see it all start coming together for this guy. He has the tools and seems to have the genuine desire. You always pull for those guys.

  • Oakland Sí

    I hope Davis makes the team. If he could raise up his OBP more — how about some slap hits to the left side, he’d beat out alot of throws? — I don’t think his making the team would be a question. With his speed and “true cenerfielder’ defensive play, he has alot to offer in areas where the A’s are thin, if he can just get on base more to be a real leadoff option.