By John Hickey
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 at 8:30 pm in 2013 regular season.
Nate Freiman was faced with a split-second decision in the sixth inning of Monday’s game.
For a while it haunted him, concerned that he’d made the wrong call, but upon further review, the A’s first baseman is content he made the right call
The Giants’ Pablo Sandoval was up with men on first and third and none out and hit a sharp grounder to Freiman at first. Here’s the question – do you go for the double play and concede the run or do you try and keep the run from scoring?
With the A’s up 2-0 at the time, Freiman decided it was more important to try and keep the run from scoring. So he took a few steps to first base and got the out there without taking his eye off the runner at third, Gregor Blanco, who looked as if he wanted to run but didn’t.
What that meant was that the runner at first base, Marco Scutaro, was now at second as the potential tying run.
A’s starter Dan Straily eventually gave up Blanco’s run on a grounder hit by Buster Posey, but he pitched out of the inning and the A’s went on to a 4-1 win in the first game of the series.
“At the time, I decided to make sure I got at least one out and to see if I could keep the runner from scoring,’’ Freiman said. “It was going to be a tough double play to turn, although the ball got to me quicker than I thought it would at first.
“At the time I wasn’t sure that it was the right play. But with the way in inning played out, Gregor Blanco was going to score, and so we were going to give up one run, regardless. It all goes back to the fact that the most important thing was that we got at least one out for sure on that (Sandoval) grounder.
“The thing that you can’t allow to happen is that you come out of that situation not getting any outs.’’
–Brett Anderson is still wearing his walking cast and is still using crutches to avoid putting too much pressure on the stress fracture in his right foot.
He’s probably got at least two more weeks of that, but no one can say for sure. Bones tend to heal at their own pace. So Anderson is learning to adapt while his A’s teammates do their thing.
“It’s different, sort of like being a fan,’’ he said. “Baseball is still fun to watch, especially the way this pitching staff is going. Yesterday I was able to watch two good baseball teams collide.’’
Just how well have A’s pitchers been doing? Coming into Tuesday’s start by Jarrod Parker, Oakland pitchers have a 2.33 ERA in their last 10 games and the team has won nine of those 10.