I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet since we had a nice easy game and I’m going to try to get home in time to enjoy the rest of Mothers’ Day.
Most of the talk of the day can be found in the game story, which is posted here and should be updated shortly. This was all about Derek Norris’ domination of Gio Gonzalez, the player for which he was once traded.
That December 2011 deal in which the A’s sent away their All-Star Gonzalez netted Tommy Milone and Derek Norris along with Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole. Considering the events of this weekend, including Milone’s eight innings of shutout ball in a win Friday, that trade looks pretty good right now.
Today’s performance by Norris bordered on just being goofy. You understand Gonzalez challenging Norris in the first inning with two outs and two on, but for him to lay another 3-0 pitch in there an inning later was shocking. You can see the quotes from Norris and Gonzalez in the game story. Norris wasn’t expecting another pitch there, while Gonzalez said he thought he got that one inside more.
Manager Bob Melvin said he gave Norris the green light because he figured Gonzalez knew the A’s rarely did that and wouldn’t be expecting it. That explains the first home run, but not the second.
“It had this exact same feel to it,” Melvin said of the second blast. “This time I would think Gio would probably know there’s a chance he could swing 3-0, but again you’ve got to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it. It looked like two exact same swings. He’s not just swinging to swing. He’s recognizing where the pitch is and putting a good swing on it.”
Even A’s starter Scott Kazmir questioned the pitch selection.
“I’m throwing something else, especially with how good he hit that first one,” Kazmir said. “I’m going to take my chances with something else.”
*** Lost in the Norris performance was Brandon Moss, who went 3 for 4 against left-handed pitching. He entered the game with just four hits off lefties all season. It’s a small sample size, but he’s now batting 7 for 21 (.333) against southpaws.
“You make your own opportunities for yourself. Especially the last at-bat off (Jerry) Blevins, that’s the best I’ve seen him track a left-hander in a while. He’ll hit some mistakes off lefties for homers usually to right. But when he’s staying on the ball and hitting it the other way with a little bit of fade spin on it, it means he’s really taking a good swing on a ball away, which was kind of his Achilles’ heel against lefties before. The more chances he gets against left-handers and has some success, the better he’s going to feel.”